I’ve hesitated writing this because, first, I wanted to work through it and, secondly, I didn’t want my words to be misunderstood and sound like more rantings.
Hubby and I were talking recently one morning, when I became saddened by the latest news reports and political bashings. It’s the last thing I want to do is enter into that circus arena and add to the political and social opinions.
But, there comes a time when speaking out might help to give a different perspective. That’s what I found to be true for me when I worked through this. I found hope again and got a new outlook.
I’ve been disheartened and concerned lately, as to not only where my country is headed but also humanity. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it this bad. The Presidential debates have turned into a joke more for entertainment than for addressing serious issues.
It has gotten to the point where I’ve felt like giving up on us, as humans, or having faith that we could learn to love one another and resolve our differences. But, it seems not much has changed in the eons of time, as demonstrated by our potential leaders and how we treat one another. I began wondering if it’s a reflection of how we really feel collectively or is it something ugly we can no longer avoid?
I thought: “What’s the use of speaking up. Look at what’s happened to the best of them: the Kennedy’s or Martin Luther King, Jr.” No doubt there’s a lot of fear and unrest in the world. There always seems to be no shortage of those who think they have the right fix. So, why would I think I could be any different in the things I may have to say or the consequences?
Even centuries ago, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for one of Rome’s greatest orators, Cicero. He was executed and his head and hands put on display in the Roman forum for speaking out in a series of speeches against Mark Antony and the government.
Not that long ago, even John Lennon was highly criticized when he spoke out about people and government and how insane it was:
It doesn’t seem like we’ve evolved much and I’m tempted to doubt if we could ever hope for better in our lifetimes and generations to come. Something desperately needs to change if what we’ve been doing since the beginning of time isn’t working. We now could not only destroy this planet but ourselves right along with it.
I’m going through all this because it’s some of the fears and unrest I’m experiencing in attempting to say what I feel. I chase off my courage (there’s my word for 2016) with the worse-case scenarios only because I’m trying to justify them. Fears are real and I want to be safe but there comes a time when I have to push through and speak up with a few things I’ve observed. What’s going on in the world is serious and is no playground banter and childhood drama. I feel it in my heart and it affects me. Maybe, what I say here will matter.
It’s no wonder I hesitate in standing up and speaking out, especially with regard to religion and politics; although, there seems to be no problems out there in expressing hate. Those topics bring out the worst in us, yet seem to touch us most deeply in terms with how we live and relate to one another.
I wonder, “What is it we’re not getting, if centuries have gone by and we’re still repeating the same power struggles?” I suppose it’s been going on since humans came into existence and instead of shooting to kill for food and survival in the elements, it’s a ―get them― before ―they get us― mentality with one another. There’s no shortage of fear and with more guns available to use, when some of us have a crisis or go through raw, emotional issues, it shows up in what you see in the world today.
It used to be we settled our differences in taking it up, out in the parking lot, with brawn and fists. Now, it’s war in our parking lots and neighborhoods and is settled with the same armory the military uses. A regular shotgun or hunting rifle isn’t enough. One bullet to kill doesn’t do it, it has to be a semi-automatic firearm to kill with a hundred bullets and the gun industry is benefiting tremendously from our fears.
That may be our biggest problem ― human nature and the conditions of the heart haven’t caught up with our mental and physical abilities. It’s not that they’re lacking in any way; it just hasn’t been as important or much attention paid to them. Maybe it’s a sign of weakness if we looked within for answers and learned to listen to our hearts rather than react with our egos. I don’t know. I can’t say I really understand my human nature and what is the condition of my heart only that I can feel the turmoil.
You can probably see by now, in my reflections and what I’m writing, that I’ve been feeling in a bit-of-a-funk by the latest news and what’s been going on in my country and the world. Please, don’t stop reading now ― it gets better as I work my way through this.
Hubby and I continued our conversation and I noticed there was a slight shift to the positive. He reminded me how things have changed over time and what we are able to do today that would not have been tolerated a hundred years ago. As I noted earlier, people were shot or worse, no questions asked, if laws and behavior were challenged as they are today in the rantings on TV and posts on social media like what I’m writing here.
Yes, it took people standing up, even giving their lives, speaking out against slavery and for women’s rights, for example, and that freedom still rings true today. It takes courage (love that word) to put values and opinions out there like what I’m sharing here. Chances are those who remain silent may have similar views.
So, slowly, humanity is evolving . . . slowly, we’re getting it, even if the crazies come out shouting and appear to bully their way over the silent majority. And, I might add, they can because it’s their right, too.
Hubby went on being positive and told me how centuries ago it must have been hard, when skilled craftsman built cathedrals, knew they would never live to see their completion but they started anyway and envisioned it just the same. They built ― brick-by-brick. Most of the time, we never see the results of a kind word, good deed or smile. We don’t see how it changes things. But, we have a vision of how it could be and that’s what we put out there.
I remember years ago, when I piloted a talking-stick group in the corporate world. I wanted my fellow workers and management to talk about interesting and deeper topics that normally weren’t discussed as much in the work place, at least philosophically ― topics like trust, attitudes, leadership and harmony.
I envisioned if we got to know one another, human-to-human, we would be more tolerant and forgiving, when it came to the handling of daily work and management decisions. I saw a few glimpses of encouragement, even compassion among fellow co-workers and management, that it was possible.
Not much really came of that pilot, even outside of the corporate environment, if you wanted to measure it by popularity and people lining up to sign up for the next workshop. Only, a tug of my heart, when a supervisor came up to me privately, after one of my introductions in a meeting, to tell me how the poem I read touched her heart. She had to hold it together and not cry. You see, her mother was dying and she felt love.
“The Secret Sits” by Robert Frost
“We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”
At times, it left me scratching my head wondering what that was all about. Why was I so passionate about putting on that pilot at the time? I’m beginning to understand that it’s not so much the results but it’s the effort, like in this interview below that H.G. Wells had with Teddy Roosevelt over a hundred years ago.
It was something hubby read me out of Edmund Morris’ book, “This Living Hand And Other Essays” that struck a chord. Picture it over a hundred years ago: Teddy Roosevelt said to H.G. Wells in a May 6, 1906 interview in the White House garden talking to him about his Time Machine:
““Suppose, after,” he said slowly, “that you’re right, that our civilization will end in your butterflies and morlocks. That doesn’t matter now. The effort’s real. . . .It’s worth it. It’s worth it ― even so.”
I can see him now and hear his unmusical voice saying. “The effort―the effort’s worth it.” and see the gesture of his clenched hand and the―how can I describe it―the friendly peering snarl of his face, like a man with the sun in his eyes.”” ~~ taken from Edmund Morris’ book “This Living Hand And Other Essays” – (Theodore Roosevelt The Polygon – page 34).
Yes, it’s the effort that’s worth it. Maybe, it’s just the doing that’s important in lieu of always having to reach a destination or see an end result, as life is a journey. All the muses, accomplishments, possessions and, yes, those rantings will not accompany us when we leave this world.
To quote Barbara Mattio at “Idealistic Rebel”:
“we are all Stardust and deserving of love and consideration from and for each other”.
The things I do today may not yield the results I think they should. They may only be footprints to point the way for someone else to pick up and develop years later, when times are primed and conditions are more accepting.
Maybe, all I need to do is take advantage of opportunities that come my way and take part, together, in the movements of human evolution in my time. I am making progress one brick at a time just in working through my feelings and with courage putting it to words.
I’m doing my part to make this a better world and so are you. Take heart in the effort because it does count and may be more important than the results. In the bigger picture, what we say, stand up for and the love we share does make a difference.
Walt Whitman in “Song of the Open Road”
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires
The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first—Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first;
Be not discouraged—keep on—there are divine things, well envelop’d;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table