Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Would I Do That To Myself?

So remember those times when your mom or dad used to say to you "If you're best friend jumped off a cliff would you do it too?"  Or the ever popular "What?!  Are you gonna do everything everybody else does?"  Remember hearing Vive La Difference for the first time and wondering not only what it means but how to spell it?   And then remember when you were just small and being taught how to be tolerant of people different from you?  I must confess my parents were very prejudice people.  I am not. I was taught tolerance by my most favorite baby sitter, and her perfect,  to my four and five year old eyes, family; Carol.  Hearing someone say "Wouldn't it be boring if the world was full of only people like you?"  And to hear the answer 'Of course.' Ring out inside your head along side another voice that whispers, 'would it?  would it Really?'  I haven't always liked myself enough to answer "No. I don't think it would be that boring at all. In fact I quite think it might be a perfect world if everyone in it were like me.  I'd never be bored or feel out of place anymore.  Nor would I find it difficult to make friends.  And I know for sure that there would be no suffering in the world because I would never want to hurt myself like that.

And then it hit me.

Like a switch going off inside my brain followed by a computerized voice saying "LEVEL ACHIEVED".   That's why the world is so fucked up.  We all say the right words but no one is actually doing them. We aren't following another one of those important phrases from our parents, and our clergy; or in my case both, "Practice what you preach".  And boy does it show in the way we treat our homeless and working poor.  And it's made itself perfectly clear in the type of people we rally behind in the political arenas.  And the ones we don't and why.  Our country is as divided over the class that needs help and protection against the class that has everything.  This, historically speaking is a growing pain.  We are still a very young country, globally speaking, and this separation of class has always been here.  It's just that this time the Roosevelt's didn't win. This time, Hitler won.  And I get to watch it all happen again.  Watch democracy fail.  Why does it not feel like the first time I've witnessed this?   Oh I know. Because I remember my parents talking about World War Two, or WW2.  As my uncles called it. The stories they would tell me of heroism were always edited for young ears; and even in my wide eyed interest, they managed to impress upon me how horrible and scary it all was. But in their eyes it was also necessary.  For each side truly believed in what they were fighting for. Just like now.  Humans are fighting for their lives not only a lifestyle but a way of life and basic human rights which are protected by our constitution.

Basic.
Human.
Rights.

Let that sink in.  Just let it soak in your brain a minute.  While you realize on every level of government this president and his cabinet are destroying and dismantling our basic human rights; while we march and yell carrying signs of physical and mental frustration.  Our fear turning to anger will only ignite flames of an already volatile situation. Or as that famous generation that is almost gone from our planet, would say "Like a match to a powder keg."

Something's gonna blow!  You can feel it in the air.  There's an extra electrical tinge in the air.   As if the very trees are holding their breath.  As if all the humans emotions are so high you can actually feel the tension in the air when we gather together in groups.  As if the earth itself, were waiting to exhale.  I find the times I live in to be both fascinating to my observation skills, and  horrifyingly real to my heart everyday. I feel more paranoid regarding my fellow man than ever in my entire life. And at the same time more desirous of wanting to help who I can, as not only a lifetime member of the working poor, but a human.  I was taught that we are all humans.  All connected.  All made of stardust.  All created in his image out of clay.  Or dirt.   By his breath.  Yes I was BUTB. (Cue RUSH song). I was taught a simple golden rule, and I bet most of you were too. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Seems legit.  Seems like just a good way to be.  And the only way to really have it is if everyone were like me.  But that's impossible.  Right?

So what's the next best thing?

To really look at each other as if we were looking at ourselves.  How would we want to be treated?  Judged, or accepted?

I know I'd rather be accepted.  Cheers.