Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coffins and Cadillacs

In the spirit of "being green" a.k.a. environmentally friendly, the following thoughts have arisen.

A high end coffin has much in common with a Cadillac; plushly cushioned, wood grain polished to a high shine, and designed for superior smooth comfort. Brass trim and other niceties add that extra little something for the discerning customer. However, in the former scenario, the person is not privy to the luxury afforded his or her flesh and bones, while in the latter case, a live one perceives his ride as great good fortune.

Cadillac owners take pride in this brand that broadcasts affluence. But the carbon footprint of that car is like a triple D width size 13 man's shoe traversing a tightrope. What it takes from the environment is not commensurate with what it gives back.

Similarly, lavish coffins carried by a minimum of six great men also seem like overkill. Cutting down beautiful hardwood trees and using other resources for something that will be immediately buried or burned seems wasteful -- not to speak of the financial burden of paying thousands of dollars to lay away the deceased in one of these Cadillacs for the dead. (For the indigent, plastic coffins are a bargain at a couple of hundred bucks. But think about that carbon footprint!)

Why do dead people, who could care less about the carcass they left behind, get to sleep for eternity in such luxury when homeless shelters provide cots for their humans who have all 5 senses at work? Or thin mats for refugees in tents camps scattered the world over? Why do car companies make cars that suck up the blood of Mother Earth, competing with one another for the best seductive design?

Taking a sociological view of fancy coffins and luxury cars, status among peers could be the number one feature for these over-the-top creations. Comfort does not cost tens of thousands of dollars, but fancy frills do. In the name of the ALL, perhaps we could reconsider what our societal mind tells us we should have and focus more on what we actually need.

Free will is our inherent birthright. May our will be in harmony with true value.

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