Sunday 3 October 2004

The dead are dumb when money talks

Letting the dead bury the dead
Once, a person looking for a purpose in life was offered a career opportunity with prospects that make heroes of the subjects of the Bible, but he felt that he could only take up that prospect after he had buried his father.
The response of the employer was, "Let the dead bury the dead". There is a possibility that this meant the literal but I'll err on the side of the figurative.
The inference being let those who have not prospects continue in their purposeless lives and those who do get on with doing something meaningful.
Blunt as that may seem, the proponent was never known for mincing his words and these ones in particular.
This saying however carries more poignancy when viewed in terms of some recent events that have caught my attention. The last weekend witnessed the occurrence of two major but man-made tragedies.
First the 3 suicide bombings in Bali, Indonesia [1] and then the day after a tourist boat capsized on Lake George in New York State. [2]
Both events bought untold grief to the victims, survivors, relations and citizenry in general; as an act of terrorism in Bali [3] and some freak accident on Lake George.
What however bothered me more was the way the news was delivered without a pause to allow the disaster to sink in before agonising about the loss of tourist revenue and business.
Now, there is no doubt that those locations do really depend to a great extent on people visiting as tourists, keeping those economies and livelihoods going, but there is no use being an anxious tourist.
For those who are not anxious, it is not time for the bravado for business as usual in the midst of the recovering from the event.
It is saddening that subtle aspects of humanity and conditioned response to tragedy are being lost to the quest from the tourist dollar above all else.
Indeed these places do need tourism as I do say again at the risk of inadvertent tautology, but at least, let the wounded be succoured and let the dead be buried before we return to counting the pennies which either fall from heaven or come from afar.

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