Around this time last year I had a chance to volunteer for the Mayor's campaign and canvassed and knocked on doors on the Upper West Side, between 90th and 101 st street and between Broadway and Riverside drive.
In the span of one day I got to meet a South African racist who literally was rolling down the street in his vile opinions and because we are a tolerant society no one beat him up. In the same day I got many complaints from decent citizens about "the homeless people" where I couldn't believe my ears that in the century of the Space Odyssey someone may consider that a certain human being has less value than another.
Many in the latte holding crowd thought that homeless people are simply out to cause inconvenience in accessing venues that dispensed said lattes.
No one complained that we have too many shops. I am sure no one will complain if instead of homeless we have piles of gold and diamonds on the streets. They will be much better looking piles, right? And not talking and certainly not disturbing the paradise we have built for all the good looking people.
I believe that the moment we decide that human beings who are down on their luck are somehow less worthy, of love, affection, attention and consideration with dignity, we are lost as a society and we are back to being simply a beast. Beast do not care for the injured and the sick but we humans should.
The amount of consideration and respect we pay to simply dug up dirt that was smelted, and cut up crystals, the care we take to put these on display and in shops, it is to me ridiculous and surreal. At the same time we want to put out of sight and out of mind humans who literally took millions of years of evolution to make and whose position of being on the street is only special today; but we have lived in huts and in the dirt for thousands of years, how can we forget what it is to just be human.
Our humanity is our greatest capital. The greatest capital in the world is the human capital. My dream is that in 500 or 1000 years differences will be considered obsolete and humanity will be comfortable enough to dispense with slavery to the material world. And will dispense with the material measures.
back to my campaign and the human stories of New York...
My main task was to talk to people - in the street and also to knock on the doors in apartment buildings in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world.
Only one person out of many threatened me with police and literally threw me out. But I had many and wonderful conversations with many people who were simply happy to talk. I remember meeting a Bulgarian-American-Jewish man who told me that every year he used to go to his home town, by the seaside in Bulgaria; he used to rent a hotel room from which he could see his childhood home. He said they built a hotel now which blocks the view so he hasn't been back in five years.
Another man shared that their father passed but his values lived on and signed for my campaign. ....................
To sum up my feelings on this matter - I feel it is time we take a good look at our values, of what we consider worthy. Why do we care about gold and diamonds, why do we care about handbags? Why is a sack with straps that important so we put it in nicely air-conditioned rooms and well lit while humans are out in the elements? I can tell you right now a pile of gold is probably only worthy if it has been buried with a mummy. I think instead of saying someone has a heart of gold we should say they are simply human.
The greatest capital in the world is the human capital. In fact I believe there is no other capital to be had at all.