I’m simply amazed, for lack of a better word, at the bitterness coming from Hillary Clinton supporters these days. People have lost their minds.
The new world is not only possible, she is on her way. When I am quiet I can hear her breathing.
— Arundhati Roy
As I was reflecting along with some friends about the spectacular failure of the Hillary campaign, and the Democratic inability to take responsibility for that failure, I have come away with the resolve to never ever vote for a Democrat (not that I ever did). I mean, they lost to a clown — the very person they wanted as a candidate. But, you know: the Russians did it! Instead of taking leadership on the racist practice of crosschecking, the HillBillies have reduced themselves to trolls. SMDH
Almost none of my friends are on the internet and they think the energy I put into the “blogging thing” could be better put to use actually writing. Well, blogging helps me write. If I didn’t blog, I probably wouldn’t write. I am lazy.
Anyway, as I was laughing about the kind of person who would go to the extreme of becoming verbally abusive on account of something as irrelevant as a post on the moral cowardice of neoliberal Democrats, I thought about the very real crisis we’re all facing as a species. We may very well be the first species to make ourselves extinct. And it’s this type of thinking — this narcissistic wish fulfillment of doing harm to others — that is at the crux of our problem.
Anthropogenic global warming (catastrophic environmental degradation caused by human activity) is a fact and it has some of us thinking. Recently, I read an article stating that basic human needs are destroying our planet much more quickly than previously thought. The article cited a four-year multinational study, “The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,” which found that humans “have ruined approximately 60 percent of the earth’s ecological systems to meet our demands for food, fresh water, timber, and fuel.”
Research shows that we’re in the middle of the sixth largest species die-off in biological history. What naturalists call an “extinction spasm,” which to me evokes an image of the earth purging itself of unhealthy organisms.
It appears that we do have something to fear and it is us.
I would ask why, but I think I already know. We can’t handle our technological advancements. It’s as if evolution has given a child a loaded gun and we’re playing with it with the safety off.
When I reflect on the mindset of the idolization of the individual, I am reminded of the paradox of the egomaniac with low self-esteem. It’s how I have heard the addictive personality described, but I am confronted with this narcissistic behavior too often, and I have to wonder if it doesn’t apply to our society as a whole. The issue at hand today, my brothers and sisters, is that we have to do something. If crisis is a measure of opportunity, then opportunity abounds.
Many of my friends were moved by the last election to decide to become more politically active, through dialog or local politics, and that’s where we all have to start. Each of us has our own temperament, but we engage we must. Perhaps your way is to picket an oil company. Others may fight to save an endangered coral reef. Maybe part of the challenge is bringing back a sense of awe and reverence for everyday life. So you might want to engage in some nature-loving pagan ritual. Go ahead, hug a tree, or bow down and kiss the earth.
We race around in these little boxes of steel, chasing after instant gratification and in the process we’ve forgotten our own humanity.
Stop… look… listen… breathe.
I have one suggestion that I think will help the most and you can begin to implement right now. Here in NYC, some companies give away tiny squares that unfold to a large map of the NYC subway system. It’s the size of a credit card and not much thicker. What we need in order to save ourselves is keep a bigger perspective in our pocket, just like the NYC subway map. A big perspective that you can unfold in your head at a moment’s notice. Too often, I see comments in my social media streams and from people in the real world that betray a singularly selfish perspective. We seem to have lost the ability to understand things from a larger perspective. “Don’t raise the minimum wage!” some of us screech, resenting the perception that as small business owners, or higher-paid workers some are not getting any “handouts” (they do). But if no one can afford your products, who would buy your services/ products?
We seem to want to demonize those we see as different, forgetting that in denying a working poor person the right to an honest (living) wage for an honest day’s work, we erode our own rights. Too many are willing to allow tens of thousands die simply because we want to cling to the concept of health care as a privilege rather than a basic human right. We decry taxes that could make our schools better, but are blind to the taxes that funded the land-mine some child in some far-off land just step on…
This very moment… and the next…
Think! Or rather, think differently. Think with the larger perspective. If we take consideration from the advantage of a more panoramic perspective, we quickly learn that denying others their rights erodes ours. And the answers are not the problem. It is the will, or lack of, that will doom us. Just think that if we all did something as seemingly insignificant as stop using plastic bags, it would have an immediate and tremendous impact.
We need to hold a big perspective to remind us that nature is one tough bitch, and life has so far survived the collision of continents, mountain ranges erupting in volcanoes, murderously cold ice ages, the plague, your ex mother-in-law, and even the parade of neoliberals who have abdicated their role as leaders even as we vote for them (well, the jury still out on that last one).
The Big Picture also carries your inner understanding that you are part of it all, and so are they (<–insert anyone you hold resentment towards: immigrants, blacks, whites, men, women, etc.). My father had a great phrase he used to describe people he didn’t get along with, “friendly enemies.”
This is a species-wide problem. We’re living the curse of “interesting times” with plentiful opportunity and need to act wisely and with compassion. If your Big Picture doesn’t include a Bigger Love then we’re doomed for sure.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…
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