by Eric Chaet
I figure that this work I’m doing, of which this website & each of the 100 so-called poems are parts, will take about a thousand years, give or take, to do. Unlikely I’ll live so long.
But what if 9 of you decide to share the burden, each in his or her own way? Then each of us would have only 100 years work to do. Of course, I’d probably have to take on some of the burden each of the 9 is already engaged in digging out from under. But, say that, in total, I only had to take on 100 years work that way. Then, instead of having 1,000 years work to do, I’d have only 200.
But, then, what if 10 people get it, & decide to share my & your burden, too? My burden of 200 years of work is reduced to 20 plus, say, about 2, I take of theirs. Your burden of 100 years is reduced to 10 plus, say, a relatively negligible amount, you take on of theirs.
But what if 10 more people decide to share each of our burdens?
Now I have 20 years of work to do today, plus, say about 1 year I take on from the others. And you have about 10 years of work to do today, plus a negligible amount of months’ worth. (Let’s round my work down to 20, while we’re at it. Presumably, I’m getting more efficient—that’s part of the work.)
So, I have 20 years worth or work to do today, & here come 9 more volunteers. And you have 10 years worth of work, & here come 9 or 10 more volunteers.
I am not pretending that there won’t be plagues, famines, fires, floods, droughts, bureaucratic foul-ups, Hitlers & Genghis Khans, plumbing that needs fixing, quarrels with loved-ones & neighbors, taxation, inflation, depressions, persecutions—I’m not pretending that anything that goes wrong, normally, will stop going wrong.
I’m saying that, within that very context, each of us has a lot of work to do today, including inducing more volunteers to share the burden, each in his or her own way.
Some will be unbalanced, ill-disciplined, counter-productive people. Some who would take at the expense of whoever can’t prevent it will join us, seeking easy pickings among idealists. Therefore, more work will be necessary than if it weren’t so, & clearer & clearer thinking, & more & more effective behavior among the rest of us.
Most people won’t notice what we’re doing, except to think that we’re somehow weird & like some individuals & groups they have experienced or heard of before, that were goofy & had negligible or bad effects, or, at least, that’s what they’ve been led to believe about them, always with some truth to it, but not the whole truth.
Most people are busy either grabbing what no one can prevent their grabbing, or protecting themselves from grabbers, or working for the grabbers, & dealing with the plagues, famines, bureaucracy, tyrannies, etc.
We’ll have to be unusually clear-thinking, diligent, resilient. Each of us will have to un-do his or her own bad programming, & become more capable of dealing with bad ideas that come at us from all sides, as well as bad behavior.
But, say that 10 more people get what each of us is doing, & are inspired to decide to share the burden—& are willing to overcome their fantasies about who they are & what the world is like, & work realistically, whatever anyone else says or doesn’t say or thinks or doesn’t think or does or doesn’t do?
And what if we never become a formal organization of inclusion & exclusion, but everything is up to each of us, always, with no members telling us we’re okay because we’re members, or blaming non-members for our work not yet being accomplished? What if all that matters is that we actually change the world forever for better, starting with today’s thousand years of work?
And, just like everyone else, we’ll have to survive in the world the way it is, if we are to do our work. That’s part of the work, & not negligible.