Hardship, Desperation and Need

Hardship, Desperation and Need

BY J E SOLOMON

IT has become increasingly evident that the current harsh economic situation worldwide has pushed many people beyond the limits of their enduring capacities. The result is seen in the extent to which some people have gone in order to deal with the hardship.  It’s all desperation and despondency, not hope and expectation of a better future.

Recent news reports indicate, sadly, a booming black market for human body parts especially in Europe. The New York Times reported on June 29, 2012 that in “Spain, Italy, Greece and Russia, advertisements by people peddling organs — as well as hair, sperm and breast milk — have turned up on the Internet, with asking prices for lungs as high as $250,000. In late May, the Israeli police detained 10 members of an international crime ring suspected of organ trafficking in Europe.”

A desperate couple in Serbia, Pavle Mircov and his partner Daniella , were also reported to be looking for a buyer willing to pay nearly $40,000 for one of their kidneys.  Mr. Mircov is said to have lost his job at a meat factory.  He could not afford a tombstone when his father recently died.  And his phone line has been cut off, the report said, quoting him as saying, “When you need to put food on the table, selling a kidney doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice.”

It’s strange the way some people react to desperate economic situations. There are people out there who have lost their jobs and have had to accept the situation, doing just about anything worthwhile in order to survive. Others, ungraciously, decided to end it all by taking not only their own lives, but also those of their dependents.

In October 2008, Karthic Rajaram, 45, an American businessman, reportedly gunned down his wife, three children and mother-in-law before killing himself at a family home near Los Angeles, in the United States.  Rajaram, who had made nearly $900,000 on the London Stock Market, saw the family’s fortune wiped out by the stock market collapse.  And that was worse enough to drive him into such an unthinkable act.

In January of 2009, a Los Angeles man shot and killed his wife and five young children before turning the gun on himself after he and his wife were fired from their jobs.  The man, Ervin Antonio Lupoe, 40, was said to have faxed a letter to a Los Angeles TV station that said, "after a horrendous ordeal, my wife felt it better to end our lives; and why leave our children in someone else's hands ... we have no job and 5 children under 8 years with no place to go. So here we are." A “horrendous ordeal” inspiring a horrendous action of greater magnitude!

And in Minnesota, Patrick Joseph Graves, 51, killed himself in front of his former colleagues after being fired from his job late in September of 2011. He was a father of three children.

With regard to the flourishing business in human body parts, I can understand it when people decide to sell their hair or sperms. If you’re blessed with beautiful hair that grows profusely, you’ll sure have to cut or trim it anyway; and sperms, too. It’s okay to sell them.  After all we literally “waste” more sperms than is needed for procreation. So selling sperms is no big deal.  But when people are willing to sell essential organs like the lungs I shudder to think of what might be going on in their minds.  Is it really desperation?  Is it insanity?

We live in a world that has enough resources to cater for every human being’s basic need, yet there’s untold hardship, deprivation, and hopelessness evident even in the so-called rich nations of the world. Lord have mercy on humanity.