Friday, November 28, 2008

What does it say?

I remember when it was reported that 150 people died in a stamede in India. Rumors of a landslide and even a bomb led to the stampede where over 40 children were killed. I remember reading about this and talking to someone who asked, "What does that say about them?" I assume the person was referring to the lack of safety concerns, people-flow oversight, and the like.

Then today I saw this: Worker Killed in Wal-Mart Stampede, and Shoppers Fight at Wal-Mart over the last X-Box 360 Console, and 2 Shot Dead at California Toys R Us. KTTV of Los Angeles is reporting that one of the dead is a 6 year old girl.

So what do such headlines say about our country and culture? To someone, a toy at Toys R Us was more valuable than a 6 year old girl. At least the Indians were attending a religious festivity. These people we simply shopping. They weren't shopping for food and starving. They weren't desperate for shoes or coats or any of the basic necessities as winter descends (or for some of us, is already here). They were buying toys and electronics. They were buying stuff. THINGS! Things become more important and valuable than people. I realize this is nothing new for our country, in some sense. I mean, our culture has been obsessed with materialism for quite a while. But it is the degrading value to human beings applied simply out of infatuation with things that amazes me. I suppose it makes sense in a country that kills its own, but what a sad testimony to our culture. What must the rest of the world think of us? We must look like spoiled infants.

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