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January 23, 2008

Miriam Solomon

Norman Solomon on his mother's death this past Sunday:

My mother did not die young (she was 86), but since then I've felt awful waves of sadness. And sometimes I think of people who are mourning loved ones of all ages, due to distinctly unnatural causes. The people dying in Iraq as a consequence of the U.S. war effort. The children in so many countries who lose their lives to the ravages of poverty. The health-care system in the United States that -- in the absence of full medical coverage for everyone as a human right -- means avoidable death and suffering on a large scale.

In mediaspeak and political discourse, the human toll of corporate domination and the warfare state is routinely abstract. But the results -- in true human terms -- add rage and more grief on top of grief.

Our own mourning should help us understand and strive to prevent the unspeakable pain of others. And whatever love we have for one person, we should try to apply to the world. I won't ever be able to talk with my mother again, but I'm sure that she would agree.

The rest.

Solomon says a bit more about his mother in a conversation I had with him several months ago.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 23, 2008 11:02 AM

I don't know about this.

1. What is this definition of avoidable death? The grasping will to live is eating up our resources. Everyone wants to know how Lost finishes, I guess.

2. ...and strive to prevent the unspeakable pain of others. So if we had no pain, we could in comfort get to weigh 300lbs, eat out on credit daily, and watch TV to relieve our contentment filled boredom.

Jeez folks, pain gives us meaning and drive. Comfort turn us into gellatonous consumers unwilling to move in our self satisfaction.

Posted by: Ted at January 23, 2008 07:28 PM

Reading about Miriam and her son, I feel a bit more hopeful. Fear, hate and greed are very strong forces, but truth, justice, and the humane way may yet prevail. As a modern adaptation of an old saying goes, you don't have to save the world by yourself, but you are on the rescue squad (that is to say, this can be your assignment if you choose to accept it.)

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 24, 2008 04:11 AM