meus intuitus

punchline

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I sit here in my heated library in a health system that spans acres snacking on salted peanuts wearing a sweatsuit that a very distant Chinese cousin of mine probably helped to stitch together.

One of our required readings for tomorrow talked about neglected, but treatable diseases that afflict the “bottom billion” of the world.  What is the bottom billion?  They are the poorest billion people in the world.  They are mostly subsistence farmers.  They have nothing.  Well, almost nothing except for a very occasional meal and hookworms.

The “bottom billion.”  The semantics haunt me.  They make me realize that I am, what, the “top hundred million?”  They make me realize that my career path is taking me towards the “top few dozen million.”  Out of almost seven billion people on this planet, I was born into the life of the richest millions.

For all the success I can achieve in this life, my life will be nothing greater than ironic.  Indeed, my life will be a deacdes-long setup to a glorious punchline.  For all the counseling I’ll do, all the chemotherapy I’ll guide, and all the lives I’ll touch, what will it be that makes my so “virtuous” and “noble” life possible?  It will be the oil pumped by slave-wage workers, fabrics stitched by slave-wage children, and food grown by machines whose metals were smelted by slave-wage men.

Good one.

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Written by meusintuitus

January 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

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