This morning, I woke up in a state of panic. I couldn’t catch my breath and I couldn’t understand why.
Then, I turn on the Google newsfeed and of course, I see dramatic examples of people not being able to get along, killing each other, protesting, being shot by police, along with the requisite excuses that people with limited intelligence use to raise their fists in the first place.
I see the things that are supposed to distract people from reality. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, the useless Kardashians. It is so incredibly hard for me to believe in goodness and progress when all I see when I wake up is the negativity and the distractions.
• You look on the television, or the newsfeed and you see a racist, fear-mongering presidential candidate.
• You see a police force who believes that their office entails treating their duties like a first-person shooter video game.
• You see a government we can’t trust to tell us the truth about anything.
• You see an electorate getting more and more fed up with the system.
• You see the FDA telling us that a plant is illegal and damaging while shrugging off the collision victims killed in record numbers by drunk drivers.
• You see people being killed by gun violence for no reason while at the same time contending that more guns is the solution.
Meanwhile, while they’re accepting all of this a cavalier and fatalistic attitude, they constantly maintain the diametrically opposed opinion that they’re citizens of the “greatest country in the world.”
The sensible people in this country are waking up to the violence and ignorance every day, and realizing that something even worse is happening.
We’re getting used to it.
We see violence every day and we do nothing. We see hate and we do nothing. We see ignorance, we do nothing. Maybe we expect that Congress will wise up and do the right thing, or maybe we expect that the right presidential candidate will come along and change things properly.
More and more lately, I can’t shake this feeling that things are coming to a head. I can’t help but think that everything is approaching critical mass, and the Visigoths are once again at the gates of Rome.
How complacent are we as a society, when we just look at our computers, our televisions, our radios and then simply avert our eyes to the world unraveling around us? The technology we’ve built was supposed to save time and bring us closer together as a species. Instead, we’re busier and more isolated than we ever have been at any point in human history. We don’t even say “hello” to each other on the street anymore.
The other day, I spontaneously helped an older woman put her groceries into her car and she acted like no one had ever done anything like that before for another human being. I asked for nothing in return, I simply wanted to help. How is it that gestures of kindness and human solidarity have become so rare that an old lady was almost shocked into stiffness when I picked up her groceries?
When I was a kid, this was drilled into me that helping your fellow man is profitable, at the very least, spiritual. But, it appears to me that this generation has been brought up with electronics as a substitute morality and guide for ethical behavior. Maybe, it’s just the generational bias that I won’t deny I have but, was my generation the last one that truly gave a shit? Because I’ll be honest, it truly feels that way to me. It feels like in the generations that followed, there is some kind of vacancy in their morality that makes every person their own isolated country, and it’s this isolationism that is causing us to not act when we see these disturbing things.
Why are so many people afraid to act directly to change things?
My way of acting directly is by my service through my non-profit, namely education and evangelizing the positive effects of focusing the mind via intellectual and humanitarian endeavors.
The problem is that it’s not enough, and never will be as long as the collective forces of violence and intolerance are far more organized and far more powerful because none of us will stand together. Some kind of change has to take place at the most basic level of humanity. We need to give a shit again!
Outside my door is a community filled with citizens that can’t even remember each other’s names. I do my best to talk and to get people energized about their lives. But, they don’t care. They work their eight hours a day, or more, get their money, drink their beer and sit in front of their TV, fall asleep, get up in the morning, and do it all again until they retire, and then they die.
There HAS to be more than this! There has to be more than this personal shield of robotic isolationism that makes us all dirty cogs in a shit machine.
This sitting around and talking is accomplishing nothing; only action can facilitate change. Even if a bunch of people are taking a bunch of different actions, some of those actions will align, and then a movement occurs when those aligned actions start sharing a goal, then and ONLY then do things change for the better.
We sit and watch our newsfeeds with a passive eye, as if the things that happen mean nothing—because they don’t happen to us specifically. What no one truly realizes, is that it’s happening to all of us!
We’re not just floating around affecting nothing, we matter. What we do echoes throughout the universe and affects everything around us, whether we realize it or not. The kindness you show to someone will inspire someone watching to be kinder to everyone else. The love you show someone will make that person love others. The one thing we have enough of is hate and intolerance. We need to start replacing some of these things.
So, get the hell up and get mad. Not mad at the world around you, but mad that you haven’t done everything in your power, or at least what you can to make the world around you a bit less harsh, a bit more loving, a bit more understanding. Give people a shot, even if you don’t feel they deserve it. Hold hugs just a bit longer and instead of telling someone about their faults, tell them how great you think they are despite those faults.
If you’re reading this, we probably haven’t met. But, I love you. Yes, you startled by the fact that I made such a blanketed statement. I saw your head jerk back. I love you. We’re all part of the same living breathing collective, thus even if in a small part, there is a little bit of me, within you, and vice-versa.
If you need a hug or need someone to talk to, come find me.
Because we can love people around us and still maintain our individualism, and we CAN do this without killing and discarding one another. All it takes is to listen with a loving heart. The ignorance that stems from denying our connections to the rest of the world is the problem, it’s the water in the crevices of a rock that will break it apart when the long winter finally comes.