Open Letter to God

Dear God,

Could you please eradicate all the poverty and starvation in the world? I’m sick being guilted into donating to the food bank at the grocery store checkout.  While you’re at it, would you mind protecting the rainforest, saving the endangered animals, and abolishing war?  You see… I’m very busy with my own petty problems and can’t seem to find the time for such things.  I have to manage school and a job, pay bills, take care of my living, and still find time for fun.  Although, I guess if I stopped having fun I might be able to find time to help with one of these things.  Unfortunately God, the bigger problem is that I’m very lazy.  It’s not my fault.  This is how you made me – it’s your fault!

I’m sorry God, sometimes my human gets to me.  You understand.

Do I understand?  God, if you helped the poor, starving people, who will make my clothes, and where will American corporations outsource labor to cut costs and save their CEOs more money?  If you protect the forests, where would I build my house; and what about the houses of generations to come?  You and I both know the human population is expanding, and we need tropical resorts to escape to from our meaningless jobs as general contractors, or whatever we do.

God, why did you make the earth so small; or us so big?

God, this is serious stuff! Are you listening?  Are you even there?

On second thought… maybe I am God.  I’m talking to myself again.  Do I actually want these problems fixed, or am I just repeating the generic altruism of others around me?  Now I’m confused.  If I fixed these problems, wouldn’t it only create problems for myself and others in my rich, affluent society?  I guess this is the price we would have to pay.

But I’m comfortable where I’m at in the world.  Why don’t people just take care of their own problems instead of sitting on their asses all day collecting welfare checks?  COMMUNISTS!  Sucking at the government’s tits… raising my taxes… just for a free ride.  After all it’s them with the problem, not me, God damn it!

I really shouldn’t blasphemy myself like that.  After all, maybe I’m being too hard on the rest of the world.  It’s not their fault.  Whose fault is it?  Mine?  Is it anyone’s fault at all?

This is all quite unsettling.  If I want to solve the world’s vexing problems, I must create some problems of my own.  Or, I can bask in my comfort, and acknowledge that I don’t care enough about these injustices to do anything about them.  So far I’m not satisfied with either option.





About cognifeeder

My name is Josh. I like to think about things. I also like to write (albeit, “type” might be a more appropriate verb). Sometimes, I can muster these two likes into an enthralling synergy of self-expression. Sometimes not. Cognifeeder was a word I made up in this poem. To me, a “Cognifeeder” is any bit of learned information. A Cognifeeder is a piece of culture, something learned that contributes to one's map of reality. The world is littered with Cognifeeders. Take them lightly. When I’m not blogging, I run Sonata, a digital marketing and SEO agency based in Aledo, Texas.

Posted on March 13, 2012, in humor, philosophy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. What’s up with this whole “faith” thing? Imagine two gods–both all-powerful. (They live in alternate universes, imagine.) The only difference between them is that one has no problem showing-up once in a while–proving that he exists. Not for the purpose of proving it, but just because he doesn’t mind it. Or if you like, she’s female. Anyhow, the whole faith requirement makes no sense. Further, I don’t see the people of faith having any better lives. They believe blindly, but do they have more stuff? Are they happier? Don’t you find it a bit questionable that the Church offers a product that never appears?

  2. jesco b. ignatius

    it seems to always come to the matter of comfort over progress always…there must be a zone in the middle. i believe that zone begins when we amend ourselves a better government, rewarding those willing to sacrifice “cold comfort for change*” though as a patriot of the highest order–i have lost all faith in our current; avg. guy votes count as much as expert scientist guy’s. the average guy seems concerned only with fear that comes from transition. an American is at a loss because we are immediately hypocrites preaching the gospel, while Chilean kids mine the earth for our latest i-pad.

    your ploy of reversing the letter-king-lear style was very enjoyable and enlightening as well–illustrating all our guilt. however, like Vonnegut (again w/ him i know) i do not find a solution among your self-prayer. it does begin the brainstorming process however–to which i simply say: the less shit we have, the better off we will be.

    it is rewarding to find one as versed as yourself taking the time to concern us all with these trying matters.

    * jacked from Floyd’s “Wish You Where Here”

    • I can see your point about offering no solution. Partly responsible, is that I think my philosophy minor has equipped me with more questions than answers. In this piece I was trying to illustrate the difficulties one might come across when having to deal with how to solve the world’s problems.

      For every cause there is an effect, and if some of these problems were fixed it might only lead to other problems elsewhere. I would agree that, as an industrialized society, we have too much. Yet, where would one draw the line of “too much.” It can be acknowledged that you and I own computers, to say the least – is this too much? I don’t have the answer to this, but I do know that somewhere down the line in the development of our computers someone had to make incredible life sacrifices, and if there weren’t people who, say, were slaughtered for the oil to make our plastic keyboard, we wouldn’t have the capabilities of having this blog conversation.

      Even if I had the authority of a God, I don’t know if I would make any changes in our world. I have a vague inkling that there lies a balance between good shit and bad shit – although, maybe the polarities of these extremes can be brought closer together. I would hope so. Part of me thinks we’ve dug ourselves too deep into this technological hole to risk losing the luxuries we have. The survival of our species on this North American continent partly depends on creating injustices overseas; for now at least.

      I approach this all with: “Maybe – I could be wrong,” and I don’t think I will ever win a Nobel Prize with this attitude. Anyway, I really dug your feedback, constructive thinking, and your Floyd reference. I saw Waters play “Wish You Were Here” live a few years back when he came through Cleveland. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts.

      • jesco b. ignatius

        I have missed Floyd in person, though since I have known of music I have been connected to their–especially early Syd Barrett stuff. Though I have to add The Final Cut (basically a Water’s solo disc) is one of the best albums ever produced. I just found Ummugumma on vinyl and have been playing the live side with extreme frequency.With all of that said, I am not surprised that you are a fan too, which only confirms my high esteem of the band.

        One thing I want to think about: in every conversation I am fortunate to have with fellow philosophers, the idea of hypocrisy is mentioned; that is, as I call for the termination of cars (mainly dependence on oil) one will point out that I have a car. I do. In this world most of us do. I rarely drive and walk everywhere, which is beside the point–the point is to use these unnecessary products, like the monitors we are staring into to manufacture the new way. We don’t have to sacrifice anything really, as we all want immortality. Pitching change for future generations as heroism than we may begin to recruit people for what we need. The need is not a call to specific action, but a call to begin popular conversations about change and the value of large thought.

        To begin we must begin to asses our value system. Zombie-like capitalistic collections for individuals should be avoided. Thinking semiotic-ally about what and why we buy needs a dedicated science. The science of where to put our resources. Using what we have now to separate fools from their money should become a scene where we fools utilize our individual differences into creation; birthing self-expression, thus negating the need to buy a red, blue, or white i pad.

        An interesting and worthwhile presentation for your eyes:

        Again, I have gotten carried away with my words. I believe that is what makes me a writer however. It is always enlightening reading your comments–and don’t let not having the answers stop us: making a science out of realizing the problem is what, and I believe Alcoholics Anonymous would agree, is the first and therefore the most paramount step.

    • Thank you very much for sharing the “story of stuff” link Jesco. I found it to be very eye opening, and I have shared it with some friends and family. For anyone reading, do yourself a service and click the link to the short video in Jesco’s comment. It covers the inevitable redirection of our living habits that we must undertake in order to exist in a consumer economy.

  3. Think of the positive effects he has given society; rather than look at the dark side of the moon, look at the materials he has given us to find such data.

  4. I am fascinated by this post and I applaud you, Josh! Writing like this comes from a thoughtful and clever mind; your writing is witty and at the same time very powerful. The rest of the poets at and myself are admirers of your work, please keep it up!


  5. I’m very glad to find the link to The Story of Stuff in the comment section. There are so many enlightening documentaries being made. I wish they all could find a wider audience.

    I thought this post was deeply rooted in sarcasm, so I got confused (I hope) as I read through your answers in the comments section.

    I’ve been hoping that humans could all begin to embrace the notion of our highest selves. I don’t think we have to give up all forms of progress or our computers. I just feel it’s important to begin weighing choices realistically instead of the way corporations want us to. If we could all make the illusion of money and affluence less of a priority (because all that is on the road to complete failure within very near, future generations), I don’t think we would experience new approaches to manufacturing, chemistry, and living, as deprivation.

    This is an extremely difficult subject only because humanity as a whole doesn’t seem ready for it yet. I’m afraid that real answers won’t ever be embraced. So far only the wounds are being embraced, as you made clear in your piece. I hope I live long enough to see it all change.

  6. “More questions than answers” will get just a little easier to tolerate with more experience under your belt; that is, if you manage to maintain only a modicum of sanity (whatever that is) in the process of living…

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog, glad you liked one of the posts:).

  8. I like the idea of a god that is tortured by doubt and not sure of what to do. The Conatic in Jack Vance’s Allastor Cluster novels is absolute ruler over the human population of thousands of Earth-like worlds but is reluctant to act for fear of causing more harm than good. The Conatic enjoys walking among the masses of ordinary folk and going unrecognized. If the analogy holds, then any random person on the street or even a blog author might be god.

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