It's been a long, dry spell for me. Putting words together became just too hard when everything I wanted to say boiled down to the simple statement that Bush and his vile cluster of thugs are destroying anything and everything that America once stood for, completely in pursuit of profits and the creation of the hell on earth that their sick, putrid right wing pseudo-Christian supporters so deeply crave. Period. End of thought. Nothing more needs to be added because there are no conditional clauses involved.
I simply lost that constant urge to research and explain what these animals are doing in as much as their acts need no explaining. They are simply so blatantly upfront with their distaste for anything pertaining to the Constitution or programs aimed at our children or elderly that explanations are redundant. I mean, what could any one person do to alter this sickness?
I've often written about my personal search for some sort of real moral bearing to move forward with in my life. I've read the bible and Koran and investigated mysticism and beliefs from Native Americans and Buddhism and its cousin Zen and even Satanism (generally a bunch of disaffected kids with too many tattoos and too many studs in their heads) and, well, loads of books and millions of words. What I've discovered, if "discovered" can be used in this context, is that the major religions of the world either began with a message of hope and peace and lost their way due to the pain inflicted by one of the other "religions" (see the constant wars between Islam and Christianity going back a thousand years) or the religion supposedly retained its original positive message but the context was warped beyond recognition by its more depraved followers.
I found that the positive messages were too often watered down in order that the marginal issues within each belief system could be affirmed and made vastly more important than in the beginning. In Christianity, the Old Testament became the bible thumper's major resource that is used to fan the flames of hatred against peaceful gays and lesbians but not adulterous TV evangelists and right wing politicians and cowards, against abortions but not war and poverty, against science but not mindless belief in the impossible. Everywhere you look you find these half wits waving a bible around to prove some mean spirited point but, without fail, completely ignoring the simple teachings of Jesus that we are to love one another without judgment and to never engage in tedious and mindless hatred for those who are "different" which usually means little more than tribal crap.
In Islam, Mohammed began with a message strikingly familiar to that which Jesus taught. It, too, was an inclusive belief that was beaten into the murderous, suicidal and sick acts of children being wrapped in explosives and blown to molecules in order to murder a few more civilians of another faith. I mean, how much Christian love in the form of Crusades and torture and war could Islam take before the evil within every religion took control?
That left only the original ideals of those two major belief systems to investigate Both Jesus and Mohammed taught that we are all in this together and that the manner in which we treat one another is of utmost importance to us as we glide along through eternity. This same message is the basic foundation of the Native American view that the Great Spirit is within and around everything we see and understand. Buddhism and Zen teach that life is hard but we don't have to become hardened. They teach that laughter and love and sharing and enlightenment is all that we should strive for. In all ways, in all religions (except Capitalism, which is the major American religion), money and wealth is considered the objective of the soulless and the small minded and for those who aim far too low in life. In all religions, life is sacred and must never be sacrificed on the altar of greed or petty political differences that won't matter ten years hence.
So why is America so, well, so completely fucked up? How can someone as stunningly stupid and uninterested as George W. Bush ever become a janitor let alone steal the highest office in the nation not once but twice? How can he send our bravest and brightest off to die in a far away desert and there isn't a massive uprising of decent Americans that demand that we cease being the world's corrupt and violent and greedy policeman and turn ourselves into the world's teacher and protector? Why, for god's sake, do people so worship the pretend over the real that they would elect a truly ignorant foreigner to be governor of the third largest economy on earth? Why has money become the measure of a human's worth instead of the true character that each person displays? Why do athletes hold our attention but dedicated teachers and nurses and mothers and fathers elicit huge yawns from the populace?
Listen to any of the blathering radio shows. What do they show us about ourselves? That we honestly care about the obscene salaries that adults playing mere children's games get? That the won loss record of a bunch of unimportant bozos has become so important that we waste huge parts of our lives calling the blathering hosts of sports shows to complain that "our team" should be doing better. Listen to the fanatic hobgoblins who waste their lives memorizing the lies of the Limbaughs and O'Reillys and the Norths and the Liddys. They hate without thought because they are told to hate but ask any one of them to explain the history that brought that them to that hatred and the drool forms in the corners of their mouths while their tiny brains wrestle with the demand that it spew forth information rather than just absorb lies. I mean, gentle readers, why would anyone take even a tiny bit of pride in describing themselves as a "Dittohead"?
Okay, then what can one little bleeding heart liberal/progressive ever do to turn the tide? Want the truth? I haven't the foggiest damn idea what one can do. That's scary, isn't it? With zero access to the major media, none of us can ever hope to interrupt the constant barrage of hate and distrust and outright lies that passes for news and information. Sure, I can chatter away on the Internet but am I informing or just preaching to the choir? Will someone whose entire existence centers on the accumulation of wealth ever read my stumbling thoughts and find that a small spark of decency has been lit within? Will the heathens who base their hate on their misinterpretations of the bible or Koran or whatever spend one second wondering if their path leads to a better world or just more material crap to store in the garage and more attacks on people who love the "wrong" people?
Here is the tiny little ray of light and hope that has slowly appeared for me through this long and boring (for everyone I can corner) search. First, screw the bible thumpers. They are not just wrong, they're pure, unadulterated evil. Ignoring them may seem impossible but giving them a pulpit of any sort just encourages them. Distrust ANYONE who claims to represent god's opinions on any subject, even mine (especially mine). If you believe that god nudges us in the spiritually healthier direction then listen to that voice but never force anyone else to follow your path. We each find our ways towards heaven or Nirvana or enlightenment ourselves and following the paths of others may seem like a shortcut but it could be a never ending detour.
Our lives must become our beliefs. I don't mean walking around with a halo suspended above our meager minds. I mean taking the time to truly behave as we preach. All great belief systems teach that we are simply a part of the universe and that every act affects every other part of that grand machine. Jesus taught that we are to always love another, a logic that can do nothing more than create a huge organism dedicated to the betterment of all. Buddha teaches that every act carries a ramification that will either tilt the scales towards positive Karma or infuse the universe with just that tiny injection of more negative energy. That Karma, just like the concept of "sin", follows us throughout our eternity and must, eventually, be repaid with interest.
Therefore, to view each question from the perspective of deconstructing the core so that we can address the illness and not just the symptoms is vital to our existence. Don't be the prophet of doom, be that quiet, insistent voice for justice and fairness both in the world but, most importantly, in your own life. Instead of screaming about the perceived difficulties in educating our children, stop your busy scurrying about and take fifteen minutes to read Good Night Moon to children in a library. Take a few minutes and help a teacher prepare for the next day's coloring or spelling or anything that allows you, personally, to see precisely what it takes to teach each and every day. Go to a homeless shelter with produce from your garden and add something new and fresh to their meals. Take a book for the children and some toothpaste and soap for the parents. Doing something as small as just picking up the little pieces of trash that lie beside every trash can will make the world a tiny, tiny more pleasant. You can do many wonderful things just on your lunch hour but, for god's sake, JUST DO SOMETHING!!!
Why is engagement so important? Jesus taught that every person has the duty to care for those less fortunate. That wasn't just a suggestion, it was a spiritual demand. Buddha teaches that desire can never be quenched, only directed towards another useless possession. The Native Americans believe that everything that sustains life arose from the Great Spirit and, thus, it is our duty to both protect all things as well as to acknowledge and thank the Great Spirit for those blessings. If, like me, you're really not even convinced that there is a god of any understandable dimension, we must still seek a path that softens the world for all others because, well, because not believing in god doesn't really matter much to one if it does exist.
This may all seem like the ranting of a very self-involved nincompoop and I have no real basis to argue that deduction. Here's the point of all of these words, though; one person such as myself will have little impact on the world if all I do is harp and complain and continue to live my selfish, withdrawn little life. But if I use this split second in eternity to alter the dynamics of good versus evil or Yin versus Yang or decency versus the entire Republican Party (and a large majority of the current creatures soiling the Democratic Party) then I might, just might mind you, provide that mustard seed that, along with the billions of other spiritual gardeners, grows a new direction for our children.
It starts with us. All things are our responsibility. All children are our children. Harm to any of us must affect all of us. There are no other options that we may morally accept. That, frankly, is what the last silent seven months have brought me to realize.
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