Who Are We?

Citizens.

Fourth of July parades, honoring those fighting, allegedly keeping America ‘safe’, or trying to topple the powerful of other nations committing atrocities.

At least we always said they were atrocities.

Now we’re doing it, and the administration wants it to be as heinous as possible so we’ll capitulate to their demands, and to satisfy their base.

What kind of people their base must be if that satisfies them? They’re a cabal of bullies, and America thinks that’s a good fit for us?

Is it?

Nursing mothers having their babies taken from them. That makes you glad? That makes you proud? That makes you think America is strong, and won’t be fucked with?

This is no country our ancestors would recognize. We had the idea that we would be the ‘shining city on the hill’. We would stand for goodness, compassion, fairness, negotiating, inclusion – help!

We all came from elsewhere, and now we’re all: “I’ve got mine, too bad for you.”

We can do better. Our immigration policy can evolve. Hint, it won’t be a wall. Ever hear of tunnels? Air travel? A wall is symbolic, and in history, walls have never stood for justice.

Dictators, autocrats, heinous deeds done in our name, are not inevitable. They’re allowed through apathy, disengagement, and complicity.

Ben Franklin retorted: “A republic, if you can keep it”, when asked what the founders had wrought after our bitterly hard-fought sovereignty and our Constitution’s creation.

We are always negotiating who we are, what we stand for, and how we wish the world to see us.

That light we carried – that hope we offered – is nearly out.

It’s up to us citizens to keep our Republic, to shore up our ideals, and to pull the reins on the powerful factions ever trying to re-make us in their own image.

We were never perfect, and we’re never going to be perfect, but we’ve had a pretty great template for a relatively balanced society and country.

Oppressing people works for a while, but we eventually rise up when the burden becomes too onerous. I think we’re at that time, and I hope America puts down this latest attempt to change our fundamental ideals.

Only those who want to take your power tell you voting doesn’t matter.

Don’t let them, and if you’re too cynical to believe that, then don’t make it easy for them.

Change The Policy!
Change The Policy! End Family Separation!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Hell Hath No Fury Like Mine

I’ve heard about those who lives are lived ‘in quiet desperation’, and we’ve all seen or witnessed loud desperation – those vivid, stark, images of traumatized humanity – children with bellies distended, flesh barely covering their bones, their mothers and fathers, if alive, often in the same condition.  These are the scenes that remind me why humanity is its own worst enemy.  If there is a God, do you think it’s going to make me burn for my disbelief while leaders who could relieve suffering, deny their people adequate food, and water, while directing their military to kill innocents, and rape their country’s women and children as a strategy?  Foreign aid rarely reaches those who need it, and brutal regimes are necessary to maintain power and control.

Maybe that’s the law of this world: use or be used, eat or be eaten.  It’s a vicious world when resources are slim or difficult to access.  Maybe God exists and is a bastard, but I would never give fealty to such a one, even though it could mean unending torment.  Perhaps, God is, as I suspect, the greatest farce ever perpetrated on humanity.  Their book, a clever, self-fulfilling prophecy.  Anyone can include facts in a narrative in an attempt to bolster their argument.  People have always had high intelligence or they wouldn’t have evolved as far as they have.  Adaptability is the key to survival, not necessarily brute strength or stellar skills, although those get you the furthest if you can adapt well.

My favorite Stephen F. Roberts quote is:

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

I know I have it easy, living in a part of the world where resources are abundant and easily accessible.  Sadly, we all can’t live here, and I know many individuals and organizations do their best to give aid to those in need all over the world – but that need never ends.

Focusing on situations that I cannot effect, except by bringing attention to it, does not serve me in living my life.  I almost have a survivor guilt for the relative abundance in my life.  So, I can choose to enter the Peace Corps, or align with some other organization that serves the most destitute, desperate areas of the world  Or, I can remain selfishly in my own little world, doing my best to survive, and throwing my measly fifty dollars a year at problems fifty million would just begin to address.  I can also ‘pray for them’ so I feel better even though it does nothing for them.  If you’re a believer, you’ll smugly think to yourself that prayer works, but it only works if it impels you to act, and that action doesn’t need your prayers.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?  Then he is not omnipotent.  Is he able, but not willing?  Then he is malevolent.  Is he both able and willing?  Then whence cometh evil?  Is he neither able nor willing?  Then why call him God?”
– Epicurus [341-270 B.C.]

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.