I have a good friend, D, who works at an upscale hotel near Time Square in New York City. I’m not exactly sure what he does there, but it’s something similar to a flight attendant’s life of serving drinks, picking up trash, and waiting on people hand and foot. The only difference is that he deals with celebrities and the hoitty totties on a daily basis. Oh, and he’s not in a metal tube in the sky, but that’s a minor alteration.

D told me the following story while we were on the European Adventure of September. I was reminded of it last night, when I heard John Torres, a talented Los Angeles based singer/songwriter.  He wrote the song American Dreams about the constant pursuit to have more and achieve more, a pursuit that is very much encouraged in our society.  It fits with D’s story.

While at work one day, D, stepped into the elevator, only to be joined by a guest. The two exchanged the awkward elevator pleasantries; the weather, the decor, how slow elevators are these days, blah, blah, blah. Before reaching the lobby, the guest turned and asked a question. “Why do you work here? At this job?” D, responded jokingly, but the guest pressed again for a serious answer. “Well, I guess because it allows me freedom.” The chime of the elevator, and the doors slid open with a swoosh-click. The guest took a step forward, turned, and said with an air of superiority, “You know what’s better than freedom? Success.”

Did he really just say that? And more importantly, does he really believe that?
Does he really believe that success is better than freedom?

Tell that to all of the Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals that were killed in the Holocaust.
Tell that to the Christians that died for sport at The Colosseum in Rome.
Tell that to the man who is not allowed to speak his mind in his country
Tell that to the woman who is beat by her husband.
Tell that to the girl who is sold and exploited.
Tell that to the boy who is forced to be a child soldier.
Tell that to the meth addict, the alcoholic, and the anorexic.
Tell them if success is better than freedom, and see if they believe you.

hundreds of thousands of shoes. millions of lives.

always remember Auschwitz

Budapest, Hungary and the shoes by the river

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