My New Year’s Wish

Hola mi gente,
Well, I finally made it. I posted at least one blog a day for the entire year of 2016. I think it’s a good thing because it forces me to write and I’m a lazy writer. So having this daily deadline forces me to open a blank page and start writing. I hope to do more writing this coming year. Who knows, maybe I’ll put all this shit together and try to publish a book of essays and put out some short stories…

It’s been hard, but life is good. Happy new year!

Image: Revellers cheer as confetti falls during New Year celebrations in Times Square in New York

 

I know you’re out there, whoever you are, because I see the page visits. Keep coming back.

It’s been a challenging for me, as it has been for too many people I know and perhaps you have endured some hits to the gut this ear as well. Too many of us have been “downsized” or discarded, and have been finding much too difficult to re-enter the stream.

Too many of us have lost our homes, our livelihoods, our sense of self, and sadly, our sense of hope. In all my years on this planet, I have not been confronted with the waste, the lack of opportunity, the destruction that I have seen lately…

I know I will eventually prevail, somehow, but it’s been hard, especially recently. My hope, for all of us, is that we find it in our collective will to strike back at the forces that would marginalize the vast majority of us. I’m beginning to see glimpses of that spirit this past year — especially after the recent election cycle. Something has been brewing for quite some time and that has been the most beautiful thing this year — this whole notion of taking back, of occupying, or decolonizing, of speaking truth to power.

This year has been for me, as I’m sure it has for many, extremely hard and challenging. Yet at the same time I sense that something beautiful will come from all this. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going down without a fight.

Many of you may have heard me state this before, but it bears repeating:

I don’t pray, but if I did my prayer for you would be that you would be able to discover the passion in your life and that you would be fortunate enough to make that passion your life’s work. My prayer for you would be that your every action and thought would be dedicated to making manifest that passion.

May you know love and happiness — It’s not enough to suffer. Oh yeah: Don’t. Drive. Drunk.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

 

Hittin’ the G-spot

Hola Everybody,
Happy new year!

tube

 

Some years ago, I was having a discussion with my boss regarding my work. I had been experiencing some major challenges and feeling stuck. At one point, she turned to me and said, “You’re not hitting your G-spot, Eddie, that’s the problem.”

I was a bit taken aback by the comment because my boss is more often than not more politically correct in her language usage. Then I started laughing. I asked her to clarify and how she explained that not hitting your G-spot is a lot like losing touch with your creative flow. I’m known as a creative individual who makes it a habit to think “outside the box,” but sometimes, as we all do, I lose focus and can get stuck on what I can’t do, rather than what I can do.

But more importantly, “hitting the g-spot” is really about enjoying the process of what one does. It’s about being immersed in the work, of finding that balance between flow and dynamic tension. It’s hitting the g-spot even during difficult times or when doing mundane stuff, like washing the dishes or sharing times with friends and family.

Life is full of countless opportunities for hitting the g-spot.

Sometimes when I sit down with my friends as we get together, sharing food, laughter, and good feelings, I am reminded that life’s greatest riches are found in such moments. As human beings, we are social creatures and connection and contact are like psycho-spiritual food. Without it, there is no meaning and we starve and wither. In the midst of our support network, we find common ground, we feel safety, and we rejoice, partaking in sustenance and good feeling.

That’s what life is all about.

I grew up in an environment rife with poverty, ugliness, and violence. But I was fortunate in that I grew up in a community. I was fortunate in that I grew up in neighborhoods where people looked out for one another, helped rear each other’s children, and created some measure of sanity in a world that was at best apathetic to our existence. It’s sad truth, but community — real community — is hard to find these days. It seems to me that we have all contracted into solitary pockets of isolated small groups living in fear of one another and living lives of quiet desperation.

When I connect with friends and loved ones, I am reminded once again that community is not only possible, it is necessary and wonderful. Sure, there will always be personality issues and egos and pettiness — the full catastrophe of life — but at heart, when we come together, it is the principle of community that outplays the personalities.

When we’re too old and sent to nursing homes, our true possessions will be these moments of connections — instances of hitting the g-spot. The only thing you will be allowed to take with you when you do “the transition” are those moments of joy that you accumulate throughout your life. And that joy will reverberate long after you’re gone and in that way, you will live through your actions.

Personally, I will always strive for community, whether it’s a cyber community, or a fellowship of men and women, or me acting out when they throw my nasty ass in some nursing home when I get old and cantankerous.

Oh yeah, if you came here thinking you were going to read something about female sexuality, then you need white Jesus!

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

 

Self-Righteousness

Hola mi gente,
For the most part, I am taking a break from the news of the day. For one, I cannot stomach the likes of Rachel Maddow and the rest of the poseurs of the liberal punditry class and I refuse to read, listen to, or watch corporate media. I’ve had it.

gandhi_being

An eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind.
— “Mahatma” Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

 

Gandhi practiced ahimsa, a belief in nonviolence as a way of life. He was assassinated, but not before he he became part of a process that liberated 600 million from British dominion — without firing a shot. A teacher once told me the story that at the precise moment when he came face-to-face with his murderer, Gandhi’s first instinct was to bow to him in the spirit of forgiveness. Even when faced with his enemy — his killer — his last gesture was an act of forgiveness.

Amazing…

As I attempt to write a piece for an organization seeking to empower families and their currently and formerly incarcerated loved ones, I think of Gandhi’s power of example. Gandhi was an influence on so many people including Martin Luther King, Jr. Both men were able to reconcile conflicting energies into sustained movements that changed the world. Both men met their demise at the hands of murderous violence.

How seemingly opposite ideologies sometimes share the same ethical/ spiritual concerns are captured brilliantly in Graham Greene’s masterpiece, The Power and the Glory. Greene captures it in what is essentially a parable. The novel revolves around a revolutionary Marxist soldier who believes that he must kill a Catholic priest, even though the priest is a harmless drunk — a “whiskey priest” — because the priest represents a corrupt institution that has been complicit in his, and his people’s, exploitation.

The priest is a fugitive from this revolutionary, making his way among the peasants he once served, sleeping in their barns and fields. The revolutionary, in his exercise of revolutionary self-righteousness, is so thoroughly convinced of the necessity of the murder of the priest that he is willing to kill his “own people,” the peasants, as hostages in order to get at the priest.

But in the end, the drunken priest, representative of a corrupt Church, and the idealistic revolutionary, who murders in the name of self-righteousness, share the same spiritual values. The priest says to the revolutionary just before the lieutenant empties his gun into his head, “You’re a good man.” This is not merely a pitiful gesture of moral generosity. It is a simple statement of recognition: I see what is in your heart, and it is good. Tragically, in the fallen world in which they must act, neither can do anything but work against his own deepest and most passionate beliefs. The irony being that they conspire together in their different ways to defeat a shared spiritual and ethical vision. Both the Church and the revolution are corrupt, destructive, and murderous, but the desire for loving and just human relations is nonetheless embedded deeply beneath their failed institutions.

We are at our most dangerous when we are fully convinced that our positions are absolutely morally superior. Our biggest challenge is that we must question why we are most uncomfortable with the hard questions and why, in our rush to be certain, we kill one another.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

Being vs Reacting

Hola Everybody,
Though I have known it at an intellectual level, the past election cycle has made me actually integrate the fact that there is no Left — no progressive movement — in the US.

I was looking at the calendar and I realized I have just a couple of days and I will completed my commitment to post at least one blog per day for the whole year of 2016. I don’t know if I will continue into 2017 at the same pace…

 12-28-16_-reacting-vs-being

Don’t say such changes cannot happen. A vast freedom could live inside you. A loaf of bread wrapped in a cloth for the table is just an object, but inside the human body, it becomes gladness for being alive!
— Rumi

 

I guess that if you wanted to get somewhere, an accurate map is a good place to start. It can make the difference between arriving at your destination with ease and becoming hopelessly lost. However, imagine, for a moment, that when you ask a friend who has just raved about a restaurant where it is, she says, “Just visualize the restaurant clearly. Post a sign on your refrigerator door that says, ‘I can easily and joyfully find any restaurant I want!’ That’s all you need to do.”

I’m sure most people would think such a statement silly — and they would be correct. But what if my destination is “self-acceptance”? What if all I wanted was to reach a state of inner wholeness that I have never experienced before? As in the directions to the restaurant in the above example, I may have heard wonderful things about it, but I had never been there and don’t know how to get there. Perhaps many of us can relate having been told to, “Just do it. Just accept yourself.” That’s a lot like being told to “Just go to the restaurant,” without being given any directions.

Today, I am grateful for having that direction in my life, for the luxury of experiencing self-acceptance.

Better yet, what if you ask how to get to a restaurant and you’re told that before you can even begin to try to find this restaurant you need to spend several months, or even years, thinking about how bad your own cooking is. That before you can experience this restaurant you will need to explore the reasons why you aren’t happy with your own cooking and why you have this need to go to the restaurant in the first place. In addition, before you can go to this restaurant, you also have to understand how you became such a bad cook. I would say this is sillier than the previous example.

A common belief is that if we understand a problem well enough, it will simply disappear. Yet in my life I could have, at any given moment, articulated the intricate psycho-dynamics of, let’s say, a $300-a-day heroin habit and still not change.

Today I am grateful for the freedom from the tyranny of thinking and the over analyzing that was the prison of my life — literally and figuratively — before I became free.

My life is not about affirmations or positive thinking. Shit, I have tried many times to overcome my limitations by sheer will power or trying to act or feel different, telling myself repeatedly that I would be different. But I discovered that this approaching the issue from the outside in. It is tantamount to trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s a lot like taking pain medication for a broken bone: you might feel better for a little while, but if the bone isn’t set right, the pain will persist.

Today I am grateful for the many people who have helped me do the “inside job” of creating a lasting transformation.

Most of all, I am grateful for having an underlying sense of wholeness and well-being whether or not things are going well in my life in the moment. Even when things seem to be falling apart, I feel resourceful. I have had this experience numerous times and, little by little, it has become my default way of being. I am grateful for developing and maintaining an inner sense of self, well-being, and wholeness and perhaps a connection with something beyond myself, that sustains me in difficulty as well as in good times. I am grateful for the awareness that this inner sense of fullness and integrity, and a strong resourceful self is available to each of us, and is our own birthright.

Now, mind you, I ain’t all that well, and have times of when I become attached to sadness, frustration, despair, anger, and irritability — that’s part of being human. But I am equally grateful that even in those times I can still have an underlying sense of joy as my ground of being. I possess an inner knowing that I have the resources to weather the storms, an unbeatable sense of pragmatic optimism that I will come out on the other side of my difficulties not only intact, but also wiser and stronger.

What more could I ask of my life?

All of us have personal limitations we have struggled to overcome. With some of these challenges, it seems that no matter what we do, they won’t go away. Most of us turn away from those parts of ourselves we don’t like. We try to repress feelings we don’t want to have. We try to “think positively” and push away negative thoughts. These approaches will never work — they never seem to create natural, lasting change. Besides, at least half of life ain’t all that pretty and how can you expect good results if you’re busy denying a good chunk of reality?

I am here to say today that I am most grateful to be able to carry the message that the way to happiness is through our limitations.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

HeartPrints

Hola mi Gente,
As I was sitting down to post this, I found out that actor Carrie Fisher passed away. RIP sweetheart and thanks for all the beauty…

 12-27-16_-heartprints

Our purpose is to consciously, deliberately evolve toward a wiser, more liberated and luminous state of being, to return to Eden, make friends with the snake and set up our computers among the wild apple trees.
— Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backwards

 

Deep down we all intuitively know that our true calling is in reality a form of spiritual evolution. An integration of the Universal Principle, The Godhead, of Love, a collective unconscious — whatever the fuck you want to call it.

Yet we spend an enormous amount of energy suppressing that awareness because to make it conscious is to recognize that most of our manipulations, our religious dogmas, our personal ambitions and dramas, and financial grabs are not merely counterproductive, but most likely insignificant. In some real way, our lives are a series of acts adding insult to injury. Our mission, whether we recognize it or not, is to do away with the trivial pursuits and take on the responsibility of an infinite, hard-won joy that comes from a psycho-spiritual integration. Or, at the very least, get to taste the perfect slice of pizza before we “transition.”

We are now living at a point in time in which the collective choices we make will either lead us to certain self-destruction on one side or toward a miraculous evolutionary quantum leap on the other. Sometimes my posts on personal liberation — what I like to call conscious evolution — seem to me self-indulgent. It’s Winter in America (again) and in this prolonged season of violence and war at every level, perhaps concentrating on self-improvement seems a wee bit trivial. But just maybe, taking a step back and looking at the world we have created with a light heart can help us see it more clearly. Perhaps with fresh eyes we can learn to respond more wisely to the crucial choices we have before us.

Do we continue our individual dramas, or choose to take on the primal and all-important task of sowing the seeds of joy and peace in our hearts? Do we use our uniquely human gift of reason to come up with meaningful solutions to the challenges that face us, acting with wisdom to change a global climate bereft of love and compassion? And in case you haven’t noticed, our previous choices have placed us on the ever-increasing endangered species list.

Sure, I know many of you are saying that you would love to have or do all these things. As any well-trained beauty contestant would tell it, you want world peace (or at least a safer world) and you want to prevent our world from turning into ash. You might be saying however, that sure, you want world peace, but so what? You might tell me that the problems we face are too large and that nothing you do will make a difference.

And my answer to you is, damn skippy.

I know how that feels. I know the despair that sometimes comes from trying to make a difference. But I’m dense, I will fight to the last, and even if I knew my struggle is doomed and it will not make a difference, I refuse to accept the way things are without a fight.

Perhaps it would be useful if we start where we are…

The first thing we have to grapple with is the possibility that our ideas about money, power, and dogma have outgrown their usefulness. In fact, all this competitiveness, self-righteous warring, in combination with technological advances used in the service to strengthen our status and satisfy our material desires, just might be making matters worse. Interestingly, some have observed that in spite of tremendous poverty and disease, people in developing nations seem happier, more peaceful, less stressed out, and less anxiety-ridden than those more fortunate citizens of the developed countries.

I can say from my experience that this seems true of poor people, or people who I’ve known who were raised in poverty (as I was). We didn’t have depression and we didn’t feel isolated or alienated. There were times we were hungry, but our lives were full of the things that really matter — love, family, connection — even as we struggled mightily to preserve those values.

Perhaps this is a sign that we should be looking for another way of being and doing.

I think the crucial question is, “How am I personally contributing to co-creating the world we live in.” As a mental health practitioner and social activist, I know too well true healing comes from a sense of personal empowerment. The key to personal transformation comes from a self-responsibility that embraces a vitally human connection to the world. In this, we can take our cue from the environmentalists. In response to the climate crisis, environmentalists are asking us to re-assess our “carbon footprints,” by living differently and working toward making that footprint shrink.

And this is where the concept of a “heartprint” can help us find answers to our questions or a path from the alienation that marks too much of contemporary life. What is a heartprint? According to Karen Trueheart, a heartprint is the impression made by every feeling, thought, word, and deed.

At every moment, we are generating heartprints. Anger, fear, ignorance, and hatred create heartprints. They literally leave their mark within us and are picked up by mirror neurons in others and oftentimes acted out unconsciously. They create a ripple effect expanding in ever widening circles. If we don’t take care to feel these destructive emotions deeply and mindfully, and using their energy wisely, these heartprints cause much of the world’s pain and suffering, resulting the poisoned emotional climate we live in. On the other hand, heartprints generated by love, compassion, and kindness, and understanding affect our inner and outer climate, and we create those too.

Trueheart taught that what we need is an emotional climate change, a shift in the emotional atmosphere. This doesn’t mean we become emotional Nazis attempting to stamp out feelings we see as “negative.” In fact, the opposite is true: if we consciously and mindfully experience all our inner emotions, even those we feel ashamed of, we are confronted with the potential of transforming even the negative. Those that garden know too well that we can turn weeds into mulch. Farmers take refuse and use it to grow life-sustaining crops. It’s the same with feelings. By feeling deeply, thinking clearly, and acting wisely, we can create heartprints for humanity and all life on earth. I realize this might sound like too much for all you beautiful too-cool-to-care motherfuckers. I realize for those who have learned helplessness at a deep level, this may even sound impossible.

Maybe not. Try to let go of the dogma and all the trivial shit for just a moment. Act as if it’s all not hopeless. Perhaps you have heard of the Butterfly Effect. In scientific Chaos theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can potentially affect the weather in New York City. Chaos theory led to a powerful insight about the way nature works: small changes can have large consequences. It recognizes the profound interconnectedness inherent in all existence — a very real connectedness on a global scale. In addition, current scientific findings on the neurological basis of social intelligence reveals there is an emotional equivalent that is called The Heartprint Effect.

Climatologists have used the Butterfly Effect to help us understand our participation in global warming and have shown us how to understand our behavior. By understanding the Butterfly Effect, we can see how small actions like planting a tree, changing a light bulb, or dialing back our thermostats even a little really do make a difference.

Similarly, by understanding the Heartprint Effect, we can begin to internalize our importance in a movement that creates a more peaceful and sustainable world. We can generate our inner light to change our internal climate. And this in turn creates the psychological spaces that can help others do the same. In other words, drop the Jesus talk and be like Jesus. Be the change you want to see in the world, Gandhi said. Understanding The Heartprint Effect could take something that seems impossible and help make it easier, or at least “doable.”

Think of it, with every movement of our hearts and minds, we contribute to the biological, emotional, and mental climate of the world. If you can take this premise as true, then you can make a difference for the better. If our mission is to do away with the trivial in favor of psycho-spiritual integration, then the Heartprint Effect lets us know that even a simple act of kindness contributes to global change.

For those looking to act, just look around. We live in a time of crisis and crisis abounds with opportunity for social change. I’ll leave you with the following the illustration of the power of this approach. Read the story of anonymous donors paying off lay-away accounts across the nation (here). Read it and pay attention to what simply reading about these acts do to your internal emotional climate. What does the story do to your hope about humanity? Notice what brings you true joy and fills you with peace. Then notice how when you feel this way, your way of relating to the world changes.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

Noche Buena Heist

Hola mi gente,
“Happy Holidays!” for those who don’t. J

The following is fiction. It is based on actual events and is the foundation for one of the stories in my book of short stories I’ll never finish tentatively titled Ataques de Nervios (Nervous Attacks) or 704 E. 5th St. (or some shit like that). However, I have taken huge liberties with parts of the story, the characters, and time line.

12-26-16_-what-really-matters-noche-buena

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
— H.G. Wells, The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman

 

It’s so cold she can’t feel her feet. She’s wearing slippers in the midst of a raging Nor’easter. She’s afraid and her threadbare coat can’t protect her from the 40-50 mile per hour winds. It’s the night before Noche Buena and she’s alone, keeping vigil outside a home in a white section of lower Manhattan, but she’s here because her kids are in need… there’s no one around and she despairs. Her hands are numb from the cold and her feet ache.

It seemed as if it were hours ago when ‘Galo left with Gangster with instructions that if she saw anyone, she should whistle. In actuality, only minutes have passed. Now she wonders if she can whistle, her face is frozen, and they’ve been gone so long. What if the police come?

Finally, they come rushing out the building with stuffed pillowcases and as she starts to run with them she falls, she can’t feel her toes. Gangster and ‘Galo pick her up and they make their way hurriedly back to the Puerto Rican section of the Lower East Side, which takes too long and she’s crying, she’s in agony. ‘Galo stops to look at her feet and mutters, “Shit!” under his breath.

They hurry home.

They finally get home and by then, she’s crying in agony. ‘Galo takes off the slippers and thinks she has frostbite. She weeps, but tries to stifle her cries, fearful she’ll awaken the children. Unbeknownst to them, her oldest son, all of five-years-old, watches through a crack in the bedroom doorway. He’s afraid.

They call ‘Galo’s sister, who takes one look at the stuffed pillowcases and looks down at the young mother, as if noting her lack of moral standing. What kind of mother are you? Her looks seems to say. ‘Galo asks her to look at her feet and the sister says it’s not frostbite, but that she should go to the emergency room anyway. The young mother refuses, afraid. Afraid of the consequences of the act she just helped commit and afraid of what they may say about her toes that throb with a dull pain now.

They give ‘Galo’s sister a gold watch from the stolen loot, and she’s delighted. It’s an expensive watch, very pretty. She gives the young mother another look condemnation and admonishes her for behaving in such an un-Christian manner. The young mother says nothing and thanks her for looking after the children.

That Christmas was a good Christmas, or at least the children thought so. There was food, there were gifts under the tree, and the young mother seemed so happy though her children asked when they noticed that she limped a little when she walked. She had a brand new pair of boots, the only concession she made for the oldest will always remember the James Bond attaché case, complete with gadgets and it even shot rubber bullets if you pressed a hidden button. He also got a chemistry set that he used for hours upon hours… She made sure her children got our gifts before ‘Galo and Gangster would leave with the bulk of the loot, returning only when the money was spent on drugs. She didn’t even get herself a decent coat. However, her children got warm coats, gloves, scarves, and long underwear.

Her son never knew why she was crying that wintry night all those years ago. He thought they were fighting. But he was not surprised at her sacrifice — the choices she made so that she could make sure her children were and had what they needed. Somehow she always made it right, even if it meant compromising her values or her reputation. She didn’t care, only her children mattered. Still, she was ashamed and part of the reason why her children had perfect posture is because she taught them to walk tall, with their heads held high. It was the last bastion against the shame — that she made certain her children would walk proudly.

Most importantly, she taught them what really matters.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

The Fake War on Christmas and Silent Night

Happy Holidays mi gente,
Leave it to the Christian right and people in general to fuck up a good thing… There are two parts to today’s post. One illustrates how conservatives use religion to foster fear, the other illustrates how spirituality can be a powerful force, even in the midst of unbelievable violence and insanity.

The Fake War on Christmas

12-22-16_-silent-night_-001What we preserve in the larger human story determines what we believe is possible in the world.

 

The fake war on Christmas is not really about Christmas, but rather it is in reality code for religious intolerance, anti-Semitism, and bigotry. It’s the dog whistle to rile up the rabble.

The whole political correctness smear is bullshit anyway. People who bitch about political correctness remind me of a bunch of jerks whining because they can’t belittle and demean other people with impunity. Conservatives have been very successful at demonizing perfectly good words and concepts; in fact, it’s one of their most basic tactics. They have demonized the whole concept of politeness, of tolerance, of respect for other people. In their worldview, you’re either “us” or “them”; you’re either “with us” or “against us.”

From what I can tell, at the core of The Nazarene’s message is a powerful and sublime philosophy: that we love one another, and that we should treat one another with respect and tolerance. Of course, Christmas really isn’t about that at all. Shit, if there is a war on Christmas, it was won long ago by a consumer culture grounded in the mindset of mindlessly acquiring material possessions rather than self-actualization or compassion for one’s neighbor.

And that’s the tragedy here because this vital message of love is lost. And if you doubt the power of the true message of this spiritual teaching, then check out the following story…

Silent Night

12-22-16_-silent-night_-002 The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914

 

On Christmas Eve in 1914, two lines of homesick soldiers, one British, one German, were dug into the trenches on the Western Front in the middle of World War I. Now, you have to understand that WWI was considered the “war to end all wars.” It was one of the most vicious wars because in those days, you had to look your enemy in the eye as you stabbed or shot him. You were more likely to die from starvation, exposure, and disease as you were at the hands of the enemy. So, there are these two front lines and between them was a fire zone called no-man’s land. On a moonlit, snowy night in a God-forsaken landscape, the Germans lifted army issued Christmas trees sparkling with tiny candles over the edge of their trenches and set them in plain sight.

The British shouted and cheered with delight. The Germans began to sing “Stille Nacht… ”and the British began to sing along with “Silent Night.” This encouraged the Germans and they set down their guns in the moonlight and heaved themselves from their trenches carrying candles, cake, and cigars toward their enemies. The British responded in kind, carrying steamed pudding and cigarettes.

These men met in the middle of the forbidden zone, exchanged gifts, sang carols, and played soccer. This seemingly spontaneous truce eventually extended for hundreds of miles among thousands of soldiers. The really funny thing was, having seen each other’s humanity, they could no longer shoot each other…

The war essentially stopped.

Horrified, commanders on both sides had to transfer thousands of men to new positions until the enemy became faceless again, something killable, not a human being — not a brother.

Almost a hundred years later, scholars are still studying this event, reading soldier’s journals and letters that refer to it, seeking to understand “the breakdown of the military mindset,” or attempting to understand how a spontaneous peace movement could spread even in the cold heart of war.

Today you will hear countless other stories. Stories of death and unspeakable cruelty. You will no doubt hear stories justifying, in the name of global economics or religion, the starvation and killing of innocent men, women, and children. You will see or read approximately 80,000 messages today bombarding you with the agenda to get you to buy something — most of it will fly under the radar of your awareness. But if you remember anything, remember this story because it is true and it speaks to who we really are and the essence of what it means to be a human being.

Most of all, remember the contrasts between the two parts of this post today. The first part emphasizes difference and domination, the second part reinforces what is good in all of us, regardless of what or who we believe in.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.