|Posted on September 6, 2017 at 10:15 PM|
Be the change... these three words speak volumes. Gandhi had it right when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is within this statement that all responsibility falls... on each and every one of us. If we want change, we have to get up off our asses and do something!
WARNING: There will be ‘language’ in this piece and I’ll probably make some people uncomfortable... but that’s all part of change!
To affect change, energy must be placed into motion. If we don’t shift energy - one way or the other - then everything stays the same. This is why this writing will probably be uncomfortable for some people.
To be completely and perfectly clear about where I’m coming from, I feel that it’s important to let you know that I consider myself a ‘compassionate conservative’. Yes, it’s a term I just made up, but it seems to suit me on many levels. I believe in God, Family, and My Fellow Man/Woman. I believe that it’s important to be as loyal (as possible) to all three.
I believe in the US Constitution. I believe that everyone should be treated equally and to have the same rights - black/white, gay/straight, male/female... you get the message. I believe that love and compassion are the only way to go and I do my best to stick with this, although occasionally I tend to get pissed-off about some things, because that’s what human beings do.
I also VERY strongly believe that everyone needs to own their own shit! Yes... we ALL need to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to work separately... this is about taking personal responsibility for what we do and what we don’t do. This means that the blame-game needs to go away completely.
How amazing would this world be if everyone took ownership of their own shit? Things could turn around completely, because we wouldn’t be able to sit back and blame someone else for our failures. We wouldn’t have excuses... either we did something or we didn’t... case closed. People would start acting with integrity (holy crap!) and no one would be able to say that they were ‘held back’ or ‘oppressed’ or anything of that sort. This kind of talk really pisses me off, because people are blaming society for them not taking care of themselves or their loved ones. They wouldn’t be complaining that they can’t do anything because of ‘whatever reason they can come up with’ because ‘someone’ kept them from being their best - when the truth of the matter was that they just didn’t put out an effort.
I know a man who prefers to spend his days and evenings partying with friends. He likes to drink too much and to indulge in drugs. Because of this, he can’t hold down a traditional job, because he can’t pass the drug test. He’s got a list of legal infractions that’s longer than he is tall. He has a 12 year old child that he never sees and very rarely speaks to - and whom he hasn’t helped to support, but he’s always complaining about how he never sees the child. It’s because he doesn’t make the effort - but he’s angry if anyone else sees the kid. He complains about never having enough money and the fact that he bounces from sofa to sofa - but he won’t stop the drugs long enough to get or keep a steady job. He blames every one and every thing for the circumstances in his life - in spite of the fact that his family has tried to help him for at least 15 years! He assumes no responsibility for where he is today, because it’s always everyone else’s fault.
I know someone else who’s an amazing person and a hard worker. He had some rough times when he was much younger, but he learned his lesson, payed his debt to society, and tries to inspire other minority boys/men to walk away from that ‘gang-banger’ lifestyle (as he refers to it). This man and I are friends and can discuss just about everything - no restrictions. We discuss different race issues that have been prevalent in the past year and obviously since we are of two different races, we each have a different perspective - but it leads to great conversations and amazing understanding. He has the potential to do really well in his business, but he still feels a stigma of being a minority and someone who has been in prison. We talk about this quite a bit, because when he meets someone, they don’t know about his past and he doesn’t need to feel that he’s being judged by them since they don’t know anything about it. He’s holding himself back because of these beliefs. Now he totally owns what he did and is proud of his transformation - as he should be. But he feels that he’s being kept down because of race and his record. As much as I like my friend, I sometimes get frustrated with him because he feels compelled to blame these things, and government officials on his lack of success. But it’s not true... he needs to see himself with new eyes and that’s what I try to reflect to him when we talk.
But so many other people are blaming history, race, gender, you-name-it for whatever they feel is wrong with their lives or the world. They aren’t stepping-up and trying to positively effect change... they’re just throwing a fit about it. Unfortunately, lately it’s gotten to the point where things are getting out of control and everyone is attacking everyone else. What the hell?
We’ve got all these freaking hate groups going out and rioting, hurting people, destroying property and sometimes killing people because they are blaming some ‘great unseen injustice’. (Here’s where you’re going to get offended - you’ve been warned)
We have Black Lives Matter who are now demanding that white people give them their homes or money as reparation for slavery. WTF? I don’t know about you, but I don’t and haven’t had a damn thing to do with slavery and I sure as hell don’t believe that any of the people making these demands have been slaves, either! Yes, in going through my genealogy, I’ve discovered that one relative owned up to 15 slaves, about 300 years ago in Virginia. Do I owe everyone something because of that? Absolutely not, because that’s not who I am!
Now I am totally against anything that even resembles slavery, but I doubt that all of the people making the demands or rioting can accurately trace their lineage back to slavery. Some probably can and I’m sorry that happened, but I can’t change what an ancestor did 300 years ago. Besides... there were also a hell of a lot of white and Asian slaves in America, but they’re not demanding to be repaid and they’re not rioting. It’s history - something that we need to learn about, so that it doesn’t repeat. We have to move forward, instead of trying to stay in the past and being angry for something that 90% of the people in the US don’t have any personal connection with. We don’t even have to go into the fact that African rulers used to capture neighboring tribes and sell them into slavery or made them their own slaves... but it happened and they are responsible, too. In my opinion, these people who are so angry about slavery in the US, are using this as an excuse for their not sharing in the American Dream. It’s not the fault of those from the past, it’s all about what is happening here and now that affects where each person is in their life.
Then we have the ANTIFA people who are fascism and are violently rioting against everyone. Why? From what I understand, they are determined to fight against conservatives and White Supremacists. I’m white and have lived in the South my entire life and never once met a white supremacist. Suddenly, everyone who is white is considered to be racist and bigoted. They have decided that they should literally and violently fight to FORCE everyone into inclusiveness and peace. How outrageous is that? They beat the crap out of people because they ‘believe’ that the person is a fascist or supremacist because of what that person is wearing or what they are attending or for whatever they perceive that person believes. These people are militants and cowards, because they always try to hide their faces when they’re beating the shit out of someone. How tough and brave is that?
These people believe that those who are white and potentially conservative are a hate group who must be destroyed. While I agree that anyone who is a real member of the KKK or a similar group, needs to have an awakening, I strongly disagree that anything should resort to violence (unless it’s self defense). ANTIFA is also anti-government and anti-capitalist. I wonder where they’re getting money, if they’re against business... It is true that some large corporations are inherently bad (Monsanto, for example), not all of them are. Corporations enforce competition and competition generally encourages research, development and growth. Again, some are not great companies, but you can shoot them all down or destroy them all. Where would we be without some of them and where would we be without some government organizations. If it wasn’t for NASA, we’d all still be writing in pencil on Big Chief tablets... am I right?
There are many different groups who are now upset because of ‘cultural appropriation’ and say that they can’t function because someone braids their hair a certain way, dresses a certain way, or uses a term that they identify with. Now they have to protest and riot because their feelings are hurt and they have to attack others and demand financial renumeration because of the supposed infraction. Really? Does that mean that since I was born blonde, I can collect money from EVERY PERSON who has ever told a blonde joke? Did those blonde jokes every stifle my ability to work, grow, learn, gain housing or anything else? To be honest... good or bad, all of those things were determined solely on my own personal efforts. (and for the record, I used to have a HUGE collection of blonde jokes, because I thought they were funny)
When I was 20, I had to drop out of college, because I couldn’t afford the tuition, although I had a good paying full-time job. I was paying for my car, my apartment, my living expenses, my furniture... everything needed to survive, I was paying for it myself. For that reason, it was hard for me to come up with enough money for school and I just couldn’t see getting expensive loans to continue (even in 1980). For that reason, I had to drop out. It was my decision. I wasn’t oppressed or held back by any one or any thing (except lack of money), but I owned it and made the decision. If I had continued, I would have been an attorney - probably corporate, which would probably make me even more of a target to some of these hate groups. So I didn’t have the career I wanted and I’ve never made the salary that I had originally thought would be appropriate. This was MY decision and MY responsibility. Would you believe that I never once rioted because of not being able to finish school? Imagine that!
Now we get to the ‘snowflakes’. These are the people who are so incredibly pissed that Donald Trump won the election, they hate everyone they even think voted for him - whether they did or not. They hate everything he does, they hate everyone he works with. It doesn’t matter what he does... they’re going to focus on their absolute hatred of him and what he supposedly stands for. In all honesty... I have ZERO tolerance for any group of people who want to be mad for the sake of being mad. Here’s an excellent example of what some have said lately:
Last week, Texas was hammered by hurricane Harvey. Entire towns and communities have been destroyed. Homes, businesses gone. Lives lost. What many don’t quite realize is that probably 90% of the people who lost their homes and businesses because of this storm, will not be reimbursed by insurance, because the loss was due to flooding. Very few people carry flood insurance, because it is expensive and when you’re far away from water, you don’t think you need it. We have about 100,000 homes destroyed just in Houston and most will not be rebuilt because there is no money. Current FEMA payouts have been $1,000 or less per family and they get up to two week’s worth of vouchers for a hotel. After that... they’re on their own. BUT... what are the snowflakes saying about all of this? “Melania wore high heels in the plane to Texas” It didn’t matter that when she got out of the plane she was in jeans and tennis shoes - it was all about her wearing high heels. But that wasn’t all, because Donald was slammed for not knowing how to load a truck when he was helping with supplies. Maybe he didn’t load a box the way someone else may have done it, but that didn’t matter, because that’s what they focused on while people’s lives were falling apart, and loved ones were either missing or dead. Putting a freaking box in the back of a truck! Give me a break!
The conservatives have been total asses, too. Some of them think that people who are gay are that way by choice, so they must be ‘forced’ into being straight, or they are feel that anyone who is different from them should have zero rights. WRONG!!! God made us in many images... deal with it! They also believe that anyone who has liberal leanings wants to give everything away for free or they want to let every Tom, Dick & Harry into the US to do whatever they want... on the taxpayer’s dime. Many also believe that liberal females want to have abortions right and left, instead of using birth control - that they don’t value human life.
So is ANY of this true about anyone? (There are so many more of these groups that could be added to this, but I have a life I have to get back to.) YES... some of these assumptions may have a ring of truth, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is all bad. We are all individuals, who need to drop the damn labels that we’re giving ourselves and each other.
The overriding truth of the entire thing is that humanity is totally screwed-up and it’s not getting any better. We are killing ourselves and everyone around us with all of these belief systems that are TOXIC to ourselves and others. Think of what we’re teaching children, when they hear or see this. What are we showing them? Will they continue on with our legacy of intolerance and hatred - possibly making it worse in the future? Do you want that for your children or grandchildren?
Do you want to see a change in the world?
• Drop the labels.
• Take personal responsibility for what happens in your life.
• Treat others with respect and honor.
• Have a little compassion for someone who isn’t exactly like you.
• Stop whining about what you don’t like and start working (peacefully & productively) on what you do want.
• Whether you believe in a Higher Power or not... spend time in meditation, so that you can get grounded and focused about what you want in life.
• Dig deep and see if you can find a shred of something in yourself that you can build on for improvement.
• Try forgiveness... it’s more for you than it is for the other person.
• Let go of that freaking ‘blame game’. It doesn’t look good on anyone!
• Accept the fact, gracefully, that you just might be wrong about a few of your beliefs - it’s ok!
• Completely eliminate the word ‘hate’ from your vocabulary.
• Have ZERO TOLERANCE for others who still cling to these ideologies or who want to attack others - let them know that this is not acceptable behavior around you.
• Let go of the TOXIC in your life. Stop watching so much main stream media (you know they do all the bad stuff for ratings). If someone in your social media group is toxic, either call them out on it or delete them. If you’re doing good stuff, you don’t have the time or energy for their bullshit.
• Cut out the crap, the toxic, the negativity, the labels - and focus on accepting others and celebrating our differences.
• Remember that wonderful Cherokee story about the two wolves and decide which one you want to feed.
THIS is how you are going to see a change in the world. One person at a time, until it comes in a huge rush and flood of compassion and understanding.
This isn’t some Polyanna, will-never-happen-in-a-million-years outlook. I know that we’ll never be perfect and there will always be negative things that happen... it’s called life. BUT... we don’t have to add to it and it’s all really about how we respond to the negative. That is the key... don’t add to the pain and suffering of others. Don’t drag-up something that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago and say that’s the reason why you aren’t having a perfect life today. We all need to put on our big-girl and big-boy panties and move forward into a new paradigm where there is respect, honor, compassion, acceptance and love. This doesn’t mean that you have to give-up some of your core conservative or liberal beliefs, because that’s what makes this world more interesting. Be proud of your heritage, but don’t allow that to be all you are... because we really are so much more than our past. We are our future.
Don’t keep thinking that your way is the only way and that everyone else is wrong.
Now get out there and share the love, damn it!
Categories: Every Day Spirituality