Thursday, March 18

The meaning of life

“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.” Hubert Humphrey.

When Obama was elected I didn’t think things would change dramatically. After all we still have The Patriot Act, Homeland Security continuously fucking up, an economic depress- excuse me recession, DADT, two wars we should have never started and so on. I did think things would calm down politically. We would all return to quiet desperation while the powerful played out their games. The neocons would go off and sulk at losing. The defeated would bide their time planning how to win the next election. There would be a respite after 8 years of strident rhetoric and excessiveness that drove away our foreign allies.

Oh no. The arguing on both sides is louder, the sound bites are more angry, hateful and doom laden than ever. Everyone is demanding they are right Goddamn it and you pathetic naive people better wise up! The distrust of government, corporations and the law has reached new hysterical heights. Nothing gets done because no one can be heard over all the shouting.

I despair.

Will there ever be intelligent discourse on social issues? Will the media reach for fairness and balance in news again? Will America ever recover it’s former prestige and respect with the rest of the world?

I read the news and opinions and wonder what has become of the world. Maybe it’s the alignment of the stars or a change in the magnetic field or the food we eat but I can’t help notice how intense everyone is. There is so much fear, so much ignorance, so much cynicism.

There was time when someone or some group launched an attack against an enemy they claimed some worn out manifesto for their actions. Now their explanations make no sense at all like they’re from schizophrenic Martians.

In the past if you broke the law you paid your debt. Now you go on a reality show. Lawyers in the Department of Justice flout the constitution and aren’t disbarred. Priests abuse children and are protected by the hierarchy instead of being defrocked. Rather than take responsibility for their actions, perpetrators blame the victim instead. It’s their fault I have no conscience.

Where is our sense of social fairness? What ever happened to altruism? What ever happened to the idea that there are things bigger than our little selves? It’s time for some serious reflection on why we are here.

I am reminded of a teaching story- I can’t remember where I read it- where a fellow dies to goes to heaven. He’s walking around and sees Jesus and goes up to him to ask about the meaning of life. Jesus thinks for a moment then shows him a vision of a room where a group of people are sitting around a huge pot of stew holding long spoons in their hands. They all look emaciated and desperate as they gaze on the delicious pot before them. The man is puzzled. Jesus shows him another room with the same situation except everyone is healthy and laughing as they ladle out spoonfuls of stew and feed each other.

“When you only think of yourself, you will starve but when you help each other you will thrive.”

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