Letter: To survive, we must all work together

Probably like most readers, I was appalled by the article in the Lima News (July 22) regarding the teenagers who laughed, joked and took videos of a drowning man but did nothing to help him. The man, who had two daughters, drowned while pleading for help.

This incident revals the ability of some — hopefully, few — to deny completely our fundamental relatedness as human beings. We are not isolated monads. We are beings-in-relation, to one another, to our planet and all that is in it. We depend on the sun and the rain, the microbes that enrich the soil that enable farmers to produce the food that all of us need. Our very existence is the fruit of a loving, self-giving, other-centered relationship.

The crassness of this incident is underlined by the multitude of good going on all over the world and here in Lima, where individuals and groups come to the aid of others, sometimes at the risk of their own lives.

Incidents such as this one, however, can serve as an occasion to remind each and every one of us that true happiness and personal fulfillment will always and only be found in the effort to help the other to be more fully. We need to remind ourselves over and over again that our greatest gift, and grave responsibility, is to be the human presence of God’s love in the little part of the world that we inhabit.

And if you should hear someone talk about being a “self-made” man, not dependent on anyone, just ask him where he came from and when he made his last pair of shoes.

Al O’Dell




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