A rite of spring

Easter is Christianity’s rite of spring. It is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, but even before Jesus lived on this earth another culture celebrated a re-birth.

The Egyptians worshipped many gods, but the two they celebrated in the springtime were Isis and Osiris. Each represented a part of nature. Isis was the land, mother-earth. Osiris was the river, the fertilizer. Their union each spring when the Nile flooded the land, brought the birth of crops, food, a gift from the gods.

The celebrations Easter and that of Isis and Osiris are close in symbolism. Osiris and his followers battle his enemies and during the struggle Seth, a leader of a foe, kills Osiris. The body of Osiris is entombed and after several days of mourning, his followers slay Seth and Osiris is restored to life and the celebration of re-birth begins.

The ancient Anglo Saxons had a goddess of spring too. She was called Eostre and her name may be the derivation of our word Easter.

The Easter bunny too has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. Because rabbits are prolific breeders, the rabbit and the Hare became symbols of new life in the spring season. Happy Easter.

Africa’s HIV epidemic

Some thoughts on one of the greatest medical emergencies and moral dilemmas of the modern era.
We have a continuing big problem on this planet.
It’s AIDS. HIV infection.
22.5 million of the 40 milion people worldwide infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. Only one percent of those who need anti-aids drugs get them. The cost is too high.
Already there are 11 million orphans.
In fact the professionals needed to confront the disease are dying faster than new ones can be trained.
The moral dilemma for the industrialized nations is why have we ignored Africa and the AIDS epidemic for such a long time and let it fester to genocidal proportions. Why are we not, as human beings, seeing this as a pandemic emergency. If we look at it only as governments, as drug companies, as it being far away, as it being not my problem, a dispassionate venue emerges. If we look at it as fellow human beings, then the suffering, the pathos, the inhumanity of it all is shocking and shameful that we let it happen.
I wonder if greed or to be nicer, the profit margin, has anything to do with it.
I wonder if race has anything to do with it.

Molly The Cat

Some thoughts on Molly the cat.

It was quite a story a couple of years ago; the rescue of Molly the cat trapped behind a deli basement wall in New York City.

There was some criticism of the media for spending too much time on the rescue of a cat and not on other stories. The story, however, was important because it symbolized and validated the sanctity of life, any life. Why else would so many people, spent so much time, energy and effort to save stranded cat. It took two weeks to finally rescue Molly stuck behind a concrete wall.

It reminded me of a story in 1989 when two baby gray whales were trapped in the ice in Alaska. To rescue them, contentious governments ( then the US and USSR ) put aside mistrust, environmentalists and oil workers suspended argument to labor together for a common good and Eskimos did everything they could do to save what they normally hunt.
Both stories, two little gray whales or one little cat named Molly remind us that the essence of life is cooperation, not competition and compassion not conflict.