The Price of Civilization – As We Pay For It


Photo: Kim Miller

A few years ago, I was lighting my rooms using a tin lamp that used kerosene that I bought from a local shopping center. On a table beside by small bed was a match box and the same lamp that gave me the light I so dearly needed every night to read my books. Whenever I had no kerosene left, I swallowed my pride and asked my mom for her own lamp. Thanks to her! I knew that one day, all of that would come to an end.

Why am I telling you about my long gone tin lamp? I will answer that in a short rant. I was so excited while studying physics in high school, I even got an A. I knew how long ago electricity was invented and I also knew how long it would take before I could flip my own switch in my own house – a long time. But whose fault was it or is it when you are located in a politically dysfunctional part of the world? I knew, that through education, I could change that tin lamp into a light bulb. Let us move on….

Today, so many people do not have access to electricity. They know what it is, they have seen it in action, they just cannot afford it. I was one of those people. I used a spotlight to read at night. To be honest, if the moon was bright enough, I probably would have used it too. Those were the days when I was in Africa. Let us look at the political part of our lives today.

Today when I was walking around the neighborhood, I stopped and looked around. Behold, the beauty that was. The uncountable number of vehicles zooming through the traffic lights. That reminded me of my first car when I was 21. During those days, no one could convince me that riding a bus was much cheaper and environmentally friendlier than having your own car. Don’t let me get started on the cost of insurance, gasoline and of course the unexpected yet unavoidable traffic violation tickets. It is all about the money.

After I had pressed the small button that would enable me to cross the road without fear of being ran over, I looked to my left. I couldn’t help but see the gas prices at my local gas station. Almost $4 a gallon. I felt like calling whoever was and still is in charge of the prices, telling him or her to just give the drivers a break and peacefully stop exploiting us. I didn’t have his/her phone number! Anyway, why are we paying so high prices for gasoline? With the civilization we have today, why is everything so expensive? Who is behind it? Washington and Wall Street, here I come…

Every time I stop to fill up my tank, I hate life. Every day I think of my life before electricity, I feel so bad that I have to pay so much when others do not even have lights in their houses. Advancement in technology was meant to make our lives easier but it has made it unbearable. It is against logic that a handful of people control our  lives. It is about the profits. Wall Street Banks do the bidding and the rest of us pay the price. Should we sell our cars and start walking again? How backward would that be?

I feel like a duck trying to walk on one foot. How far can I go? How long will we last? May be not so long. I do not like politicians who talk but do nothing. They are the same people who live their good lives because of our taxes and the millions they get from lobbyists. They seem not to care. They have oil companies on their backs, they have millions in their bank accounts. Well, we pretty much have nothing left. We live in a civilized world and yet it is working against us. Can we do something about it? Perhaps we can. We elect them so that they can represent our interests but they change their minds once they meet the other guys. What a waste of time and patriotism…..

I will stop ranting here. I have probably said enough for today. I will continue tomorrow. Meanwhile, keep reading my blog. You can read more of my opinions by reading my book My Life Sentences – A True Story Thank You.

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