Monday, January 20, 2014

"How Should We Think about People?" by Ellen Reiss

Just yesterday I read this statement by Ellen Reiss:

"A motto Eli Siegel used in an early printing of his poem "Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana" is: "All existence is one hundred hundredths."  Every person is one hundred hundredths, as existent as every other person...And it is impossible to see people as equally real and yet feel that the world should belong more to certain people than to others."  
                              --How Should We Think about People? The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, #1680

I love this.  It is both logical and passionate, and urgently needed right now.  We have such a disparity in wealth in the US today, as in other places, and it wouldn't exist if people saw each other as "equally real."  No one would dream of trying to privatize education, for instance, if the children of all were seen as equally real.  People's sickness would never be seen as a means of profit by health care corporations and their shareholders if those suffering people were seen as REAL.  There would be no question of not extending unemployment benefits either if the cold-hearted and complacent representatives who are blocking that extension in Congress had anything approaching this ethical way of seeing.

The way of seeing described by the Chairman of Education, Ellen Reiss, which is in Eli Siegel's magnificent poem that she quotes, and which is taught today in Aesthetic Realism consultations and classes, is completely anti-prejudice, and it needs to be studied everywhere.