FROM DOWN, TO HONOURS

By William Markiewicz

In a science fiction story from which I remember some generalities, a tribe of African pygmies was visited by extraterrestrials. Those surprising visitors, through an instant translating device, started with: "Brothers and Sisters ..." and the tribespeople shivered because nobody used these terms to them. "We admire your harmony among yourselves and with nature. You deserve a reward and that's why we are here." The tribe, stunned, stood silently because nobody had any idea what to ask for. One elder 'with penetrating and mean eyes' spoke: "Masters ... " and what I remember from the rest was: "... and when I feel melancholy in my heart I sing and play on my instrument. This you cannot give me because I have it already." Then he thought and proposed: "Could you give us some grain? ..."

"-- yes yes!" echoed the tribe "And some salt, and some covers for cold nights! ..." More and more demands came for such trivial daily items. And one of the visitors muttered to his companions criticising the lack of ambition of those pure-of-hearts.

Another story whose title and author I don't remember comes from Jewish sources. It tells about the Soul standing before Divine Judgement. I don't remember the Defence but I remember the Prosecutor who was probably the Devil. His argument was, "He wasn't active, he just accepted everything in silence. What merit can he claim?" The Judge, probably God himself, wanted the Soul's opinion. "What do you want?" The Soul's eyes brightened and I believe he asked something like "May I have a piece of bread?" The Prosecutor laughed with disdain; thus ended the story.

And there is Charlie Chaplin, a great hero of humility, a Sub-Zero ...

Georges Brassens wrote a song about, 'Poor Martin, Poor Misery', who, when he felt death was close, dug his own grave at night, silently, so as not to awaken anybody.

I found in the tiny basement of a shoemaker in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a small handwritten note stuck to the wall. It described the aboriginal people. It ended: "We, the indigenous, the most humble. And the most noble."

Humanity is divided into groups representing empathy versus Darwinism. Capitalism chooses individuals over the masses. Socialism chooses the masses over individuals. Communism chooses oppressed majority and National Socialism -- superior Aryans. And the earth continues to turn.

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