The day comes again
We know not what it may bring
In a moment: gone
Patriotism and the ability to have a deep sense that our lives encompass greater spheres are not mutually exclusive. They can reside within one person at the same time.
We can appreciate many ideals that were the foundation of this nation and have drawn so many to its shores. These ideals are in the heart and soul of most of us; it’s what makes us American.
But some of us can also can see beyond these ideals: the bigger picture if you will. The global picture, the human picture. And, to some, it seems this makes us less American.
We could argue about it–and many do now sadly. People can feel what they will. And many hold much anger these days.
For those of us, though, that are willing and able to be both a decent American and to see beyond our borders–then if our only reward is that we remember to have gratitude and love, then I suppose we have won in the end.
(Note: This is a political post and could be offensive to some readers)
While I have never thought of myself as very political or extremely patriotic, I do vote and care about what happens here in this country. That’s just because I’m a caring human being in general, most the decisions I make in life, big ones anyway that involve ethical decisions, are geared around trying to be kind and trying to think about the ‘bigger picture’ beyond just me.
Because of this I’ve made lifestyle choices that have often made me seem odd or have put me far from mainstream America. This is fine by me. Live and let live, as long as we are all respectful of each other.
Of course you guessed by now that my ‘politics’, if I have to label myself, is liberal. For many years I didn’t claim either party and simply considered myself Independent, but this just seemed, well, simply too non-committal to me. And I knew I would never affiliate with the Republican side, so one day I decided to become a Democrat. No surprise there, right?
I’m not an over the top Democrat though. Like I said: politics isn’t my schtick. I’ve lived with Republican Presidents, Senators, Congressmen and all the decisions that they make too. I understand that being an American means: you vote and sometimes your ‘side’ doesn’t win. And then you deal as best you can. You continue to be the best person you can regardless.
But this time it’s different. This time the election has left me cold. It isn’t just a Republican that has won, but someone altogether different. Someone who so many of us simply can’t understand how our fellow Americans wanted as our President. It’s simply baffling….and scary.
As reports come out now about his personality (narcissist) and his capabilities (turning democracy into kleptocracy), my years of being a side-line player in our political system is becoming harder to be. I am a pacifist at heart, so plunging into the heart of a heated protest is not my style, but I also am a strong believer in our right to be heard.
Today for the first time in my entire life, I wrote political leaders in my state. My Governor and my two Senators. I’m compelled to do something to bring attention to the freight train barreling toward our democracy. It subtly and over time, can be dismantled without anyone really being aware. Unless we are diligent and proactive. Standing by hoping it will ‘go away’ or just play itself out, is a dangerous thing to hope for against someone who is so full of himself as this president.
I’m sorry if I have offended those of you who support this person. I only ask that you look beyond your personal needs (and I know they are real!) to the man behind the words. Many men just like him spouted big words and went on to do horrible things. It’s about personality here, ethics, greed, morality, neediness, hate and ego to name a few. It’s not about political party. He doesn’t represent a political party, or me, or you. He represents himself, his family and his own desires.
This is a very dangerous thing for the head of any country!
So be aware, be kind to others (even if you don’t agree with them), think beyond yourself, read real news (not on Facebook) and notice what he does and doesn’t do, really listen to his words!
Everything important here is at stake. Truly. For ALL of us.
Thought I’d hitch a ride
I did not feel like flying
Stay out of the sky
I stand quietly
Grounded against guns
(Note: Prayers sent to those victims and their families, the witnesses and responders at the most recent shooting today in Florida’s airport. May there someday be an end….)
Will blow out all the things
That slowly built
And mushroom clouds
Wiping all life
That roamed before
Who is left in the rubble ?
Buried beneath the layers
What recognizable form?
Or is there none —
Only the echo
Shell and bones
The spirit lost
In the upward spiral
Of the desecration
On this September 11th, as I am remembering that day now so long ago, it feels rather odd to no longer be a part of the ‘family’ of emergency workers. It was a part of my life for so many years, and when that day ripped the world apart, it hit me personally, when so many of my brothers and sisters were there in the chaos. It could have been me….
Now, I am so blessed, as I am settling in to my new home, to be living a different life. Not that it isn’t without its stresses. But in this new place, it somehow seems more tidy and peaceful, even when the world is now full of such unrest. For me, it seemed like it really started on the awful day. That’s when it ramped up. Yes, there was always hate, prejudice, injustice. Oh yeah…don’t get me wrong.
What we’ve done in this very country for hundreds of years has been disgraceful. The inequity of people based on color, gender, disabilities or anything different for that matter, has always been an issue here. But the hate now seems so palpable. And no, I don’t think it’s just that we hear about it more through media. There is just more of it!
As I walk through my new community, one that is neat and friendly, I feel it is easy to become insulated. I want to become insulated some days. It’s exhausting listening day after day to the killing, the terror, the devastation of the planet and the hatred. One just wonders what happened to simply winding one’s life down and beginning to relax?
At work I sit and hear people talk. The constant whining, complaining, the mocking tones and downright meanness. What came first? Were people always like this or has our country turned sour because of all that’s hurting our world and therefore our souls? Maybe it’s simply decomposing us from the inside.
I ask every day in my daily meditation for peace: in my life and for the world. Trying to touch each person I meet with a sense of peace. How can I have a ripple effect?
My simple, small and quiet apartment is my sanctuary. It’s easy now to feel like I never want to go outside. But there are good reasons to do it… Pushing against the beast of lurking depression, caused by bombardment of the seeming global demise–I do my best to remain positive. This home is my recharge point where I plug-in to be able to go out into a world that drains me of resources.
So, lest we never forget: that day September 11, 2001, changed the world. It tore us apart and we haven’t figured out since then how to come back together. The only way to honor those lost that day, and those who are still suffering, like the rescuers who continue to lose their lives because of the toxins they took in from 9/11–is to learn how to love again. To love each other, the earth, the animals, the trees, the air, the water….
And no walls, either outside or in, will help. Only learning to understand each other on the deepest level. And truly caring for our fellow human like we are one family.