“Psst,” he whispered.
“What?” I whispered back, wondering why I was whispering.
“Just watched the The Hunger Games.” He was still talking softly, but this time he looked left and right as if he wanted to make sure nobody was within earshot.
“Oh ya?” I replied. “Was it a good movie?”
“Fantastic! But we can’t let it happen.”
“Let what happen?”
He looked left and right again. “The apocalypse. Nuclear holocaust. Anarchy. The collapse of democracy!”
He was starting to scare me. Did he know something I didn’t? “What makes you think that might happen?”
“Not might, will.”
“Okay, what makes you think that will happen?”
“Have you seen, Capitalism: A Love Story?”
“Isn’t that a Michael Moore documentary?”
“Yes. And why are you answering my question with a question?”
“You did it to me first,” I replied defensively.
“Sorry, I guess I did.”
“No worries. And no, I haven’t seen the documentary or the movie,” I admitted, although I still didn’t understand the relevance.
“Let me explain,” he offered.
“That would be splendid.”
“Capitalism: A Love Story, is an indictment against … capitalism. It implies that government corruption and runaway greed which is so rampant in Western culture is leading to the very disintegration of society. This will eventually lead to anarchy and in combination with Mother Earth’s retribution for the way we have mistreated her … with over-development, global warming and the enormous production of garbage and pollution … will lead to the apocalypse. This in turn could potentially lead to a Hunger Game’s type of world … a communist-style society where people are pitted against each other in death games.”
“You must be a fatalist,” I said accusingly, ignoring the horror of what he had just described.
“A realist,” he replied in a steadfast tone that made me think his was a credible voice with genuine concern.
“What makes you think we could end up living in a Hunger Games world?”
“Russia, China, Cuba,” he replied. “Not to mention any number of African and Middle Eastern countries.”
“Good point.” I hadn’t thought about it before, but what he said made a lot of sense. People in those countries had risen up and revolted against repressive regimes only to have even more repressive regimes take their place. Stalin allegedly murdered over 20 million people, including Leon Trotsky, an important figure in the Russian revolution who advocated mass democracy.
“What can we do?” I asked sincerely.
“I have a solution,” he offered. “But it won’t be easy. People will have to behave differently. They will have to change their priorities. Parents will have to parent differently. Schools, government, corporations will have to change the way they operate.”
Before raining on his parade … I wanted to tell him that the likeliness of all these things happening is so remote, you couldn’t see it with high powered binoculars … I thought it best to humour him by inquiring about his miracle solution. ”What do you have in mind?”
Whoa! Didn’t see that coming. I sat quietly for the longest time contemplating these two simple words. “I thought maybe you were going to suggest a different form of rebellion,” I said, finally breaking the silence.
“We’ve had lots of rebellions. Not many have worked.”
“What about South Africa,” I countered.
“Nelson Mandela advocated reconciliation,” he said. “And that comes from a place of self love.”
“I guess you’re right,” I had to admit.
“When people feel good about themselves,” he continued. “When they feel lovable, worthy, good enough and empowered, they don’t mistreat other beings. They don’t live in lack, so they’re not driven by greed. They live with compassion and they ensure there is abundance for all. They live in harmony with all that is.”
“Including the planet,” I added with a smile.
“Exactly,” he agreed approvingly, mirroring my smile.
“So we can save ourselves and the planet by learning how to feel good about ourselves … by learning to love ourselves.”
“I believe it’s the only way,” he said.
“I guess that’s a better alternative than a Hunger Games-type society, where people kill one another for entertainment.” I thought about I Am Legend, starring Will Smith and The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington, and wondered why it is that Hollywood always paints a very dark portrayal of post-apocalyptic life on the planet. Maybe they are being guided by sources of higher wisdom who are trying to tell us something.
“It certainly is,” he agreed. “Besides, I’m not good with a bow and arrow!”
“Pardon,” I exclaimed.
“Go see the movie,” he suggested, his caring smile returning.
Have a lovingly awesome day!