Friday, August 19, 2016

Bigger Is Not Always Better

A seminary professor, during the rainy season, found some snails on campus. Happy he was to see them and marveled for they carry around their shells on their backs. Gives one much to think about, he writes: slow, small, and weak but always carrying around their house and place of refuge.

What would happen he wonders if the whirlpool like shell kept growing, it would no longer be a home and refuge but a burden and would restrict movement. The snail would have to learn to overcome the problems that came with the oversized shell.

In the Catholic Times, the professor compares the wisdom of the snail to the not so wise situation of society which keeps increasing our shell. Growth, development, prosperity, progress and the like  are the mottoes under which we labor and as with the snail, the bigger the shell becomes the less comfort and more of a burden. Economic development and a flourishing  market are not always benefiting the majority of the citizens. Not infrequently the burden of the so-called prosperity rests with poor citizens.

The situation with energy is similar to  that of the economy. In comparison to other countries, our use and production of electricity are not small. We continue to supply the needs of the country and even if we grant that we need more there is no need to build nuclear power plants but we have other alternate ways of producing what is necessary. Nuclear power plants will be more for the use in the metropolitan areas of the country and the burden again falls on the small people. Do we need to be burdened with the dangers and concerns that come with nuclear power?

Similarly, we are dealing with THAAD: Terminal High Altitude Area Defense- anti-ballistic missile system. [At present there is much talk pro and con on the placement of this system in Korea]  The government feels that this is a deterrent for the nuclear missiles of the North. We have lived without it, and doubtful we will have peace with it. At the present, we have enough firepower to reduce the whole country to ashes.  

There  is no guarantee that the money spent will bring peace and security. The money spent is taken away from the poor of the country. We are making the life of the poor poorer. We have to start looking at the shell that we are making and ask is it helping us or becoming more of a burden?  Is it making us freer or confining us? Is it an obstacle? To solve these problems we have to become more involved and a better democracy.

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