“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.” (Harry S. Truman)
“Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 22:39)
When I saw multiple news clips recently where people were literally fighting over toilet paper in the aisles of grocery stores, I was completely appalled, disgusted, and sad all at the same time because it truly showed what happens to the mindset of the masses when something like a pandemic occurs.
Ironically, my partner Chris and I were running exceptionally low on toilet paper ourselves just last week. In light of that, I headed to the local Kroger store hoping some might actually be left. I was completely shocked to discover that a small supply was still left on the shelves there! As I gazed over the remaining packages, there was that moment where my ego said, hmmm, maybe I should just buy a few packs like everyone else has, just in case. Thankfully, I listen more to my heart these days because listening to my ego only ever led to selfish and greedy-based actions. So, I picked up one package and headed to the check-out shortly thereafter. As I stood there and scanned the package, along with the few other random items I had needed, I realized how much fear is the main culprit for what’s going on in this world right now, like fighting and hoarding over things like toilet paper.
The fact is, if everyone bought themselves what they truly needed for their daily consumptions, instead of what their fear leads them to believe, there’d definitely be enough to go around. Yet, one act of selfishness and greed, say someone buying a dozen packages of toilet paper, leads to fear in another they won’t have enough, so they in turn buy a bunch as well, until quite rapidly all of it is gone. Hence, the fighting that soon takes place over a remaining package left standing on a shelf. And of course, I mustn’t forget to mention those who always look to make a buck off of the unfortunate by selling some of their haul on the Internet for an exorbitant cost, knowing if the crisis continues, someone will buy it.
You see, that’s the problem with our country. It’s not with our leaders, like those in political or religious power, or with any of our specific laws and policies either. It’s with us. It’s our selfishness and greed and not someone else’s. Deep down, when fear begins to consume us, we forget all about loving one another, and helping our neighbor, which is pretty sad considering 65 percent of the people in the United States currently label themselves as Christians, as based upon statistics from 2019.
Can you imagine what would happen if a far greater pandemic occurred, where death tolls were in the hundreds of millions to even billions? If such an apocalyptic event was to happen, most of those who say they are faithful to the Lord would probably easily forget their Christian roots, their Biblical trainings, and that little reminder from Christ that one of the two most important commandments is to always love your neighbor as you love yourself.
That’s why all this selfishness and greed I’ve seen in recent weeks due to the Coronavirus totally sickens me. It sickens me to see that so many people of faith don’t really care about their neighbors right now. And it sickens me to realize the problem really is with all of us, yet the majority keep blaming someone or something else. Maybe if people would start looking at their own actions instead of pointing the finger during hard times like this, we may actually find we have enough of everything to go around, even with things like toilet paper.
Dear God, I pray You forgive our world for the selfishness and greed of so many of us. Help me to always remember what Christ once said about loving my neighbors, as I’m sure there will come a day when I need them as much as they need me.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson