Posted December 18, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
“In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens and giving it to the other.”
– Voltaire (1694-1778)
There is now less than a week till Christmas, when people everywhere celebrate the birth of Jesus. Jesus said, “what you do to the least among you, you do to me”. Obviously, it is impossible to determine what percentage of men and women around the Earth will give serious thought to the message of Christ this holiday season. The children will be tearing into presents (those whose parents can afford to buy them), and for sure some adults will remember the message from Jesus.
One wonders what the soul named Jesus would think of the present day grade deserved by humanity for the level of adherence to the spirit of his “least among you” message. Here at the end of 2013 approaching the new year of 2014, what could be said about the efficacy of mankind’s efforts to eliminate poverty around the world? Living in America, there have been some movements to make known that people at the low-end of the income scale are having a hard time of it.
Recently workers at fast-food restaurants and Walmart have conducted demonstrations to let it be known that the money they are earning is not enough to make ends meet. Many full-time workers have to apply for government aid in the form of food stamps and Medicaid to ensure enough food will be purchased to keep going, and financial aid if they or their family get struck with health emergencies. Many call this situation, where full-time workers need government aid to live, “subsidizing corporations”.
If reports are correct, America ranks last among developed nations in the poverty experienced by its citizens. The man named Jesus wasn’t speaking to “developed” or “developing” nations in particular. He was speaking to all people – at the time there was no such thing as “developed” or “developing” – his was a universal message. It could safely be said that Christ was speaking of the qualities of compassion, generosity, and sharing with one’s fellow-men and women.
His message was one of acknowledgement and knowing that the “other” is yourself in the spiritual context, and that this awareness is the truth – the highest truth of the universe. There is some debate as to whether Jesus alluded to the idea of reincarnation, however the reincarnation concept includes the idea of karma. This idea leads one to ask if it is possible that actions taken by humans with regard to the “least among you” will become the basis for future experiences because of the law of “cause and effect”.
Reports of personal near death experiences (NDE) point to what seems like a common aspect of all NDE accounts where the person has a “life review”. Each personal account, described by men, women, and children from all races, economic status, or backgrounds, has the common life review experience of feeling what others are feeling at every event through the review. So, we could extrapolate and suggest that multi-billionaires will experience joy during their review when they did something loving and compassionate, and not so good when they see the other – the “least among you” – suffering, because he did not help relieve that suffering when it was within his power to do so.
Every human being will eventually pass from this world and, according to some, “meet your maker”. For this writer what occurs at that time has been described in the most detailed way in personal accounts of those who have had an NDE. Without going off on a spiritual/philosophical, academic oriented explanation of the NDE, just let me say that how we treat others in this life will become recorded. It is up to each soul/person how to proceed with spiritual awareness such as this, and no person has the right to interfere with another’s relationship with the Creator/God.
One can certainly note that with regard to “the least among you” the situation on Earth has experienced an economic downturn and conditions which have aggravated an increase in the amount of people slipping into poverty. So, humanity has been challenged with an even greater puzzle of determining actions which reduce or eliminate poverty, especially when the message of Christ and others, related to the “least among you”, is taken into account.
In America, where the minimum wage of $7.25/hour is somewhat large compared to those around the world who have to survive on $1/day, there have been an increasing number of calls for an increase in the minimum wage. How does the American minimum wage – its increase or non-increase – relate to Christ’s words “you do to me”? If the words of Christ reflect absolute truth, the US federal government’s choice on the matter literally determines what the lawmakers in Washington do to/for Jesus Christ.
An increase in the minimum wage is one way to realize spiritual truths in the world. There are a number of available avenues/actions in addition which have the potential of helping those members of humanity who are struggling now in 2013 – moving quickly into 2014.
For those who consider themselves Christian or hold an outlook mirroring the highest spirituality, the present hard financial conditions of Americans – as well as people around the Earth – strikes at the heart of the message from the man whose birth will be universally celebrated in less than a week.