I’m an addict. To anyone who really knows me, that’s not a revelation. For those who don’t, then I am just crazy. Either way, they are both right. I am a crazy addict. Now you can understand the underlying motivations behind these daily blog things. I don’t consider myself insightful but I do love to stir up the pot from time to time as long as it gets people thinking. That’s probably because disturbing the comfortable is my lot in life. I did it in the classroom for nearly 40 years and I’m doing it here. I try to get the facts right and sometimes the facts get wrapped up in a burrito of emotions. I guess people would label me as a progressive and an unapologetic liberal in my views on this great country of ours. I guess they think that’s a bad thing. I just view it as an American thing. My philosophy needs to be one of inclusion rather than exclusion and sometimes I hit it and sometimes I don’t. If you have a good argument against a stance I have taken I will listen and try and understand. If I think the argument is blinded by myopia, I will call you on it. I am not seeking agreement but education. For example, if an individual gets “news” from only one source and re-spouts it as Gospel it is my job to present the other side with an equally compelling argument or ask them to become “fair and balanced” by watching other sources even reading. Not to do so would add to the truth-retardation experienced by many of those viewers. I try to encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and take charge of their own lives, sometimes subtlety and some times obliquely and sometimes with a hammer. So when I hear a Sarah Palin or a Glenn Beck spout outright lies or insane conspiracies and people lap it up, I get concerned. The former is an uneducated opportunist and the latter is just addled. I believe an opinion has value as long as the individual has facts to back it up. These two, make up the facts to form their “opinions.” I find it hard to believe they have the best interest in the country at heart. But what concerns me most is the laziness of folks sitting at home and buying into these “opinions” and not fact checking through alternative means to find out the truth for themselves. The battle cry of the “Tea Party” is “Take our country back!” My counsel to them is, the best way to take your country back is to become informed with well-rounded information, left and right and center information. Dumbness has become a national drug and I know drugs.
Now to make the leap to the soul is not a stretch. The health of the soul is connected directly to how an individual feels. Simply stated, if you are angry all of the time and do nothing about it then your spirit gets sapped and bollocks up your day and relationships. So it makes sense that if one watches TV that constantly makes you angry and fearful then that’s the way your day and your life goes. Add to that comes a feeling of perceived helplessness which then feeds on the anger and the fear and you are near crazy-town. So what is the remedy? Turn off the TV and do something worthwhile for someone else. Show Glenn Beck what the real definition of “social justice” is and help out in your community. KWITCHERBITCHIN and volunteer at a soup kitchen. Go beyond the safe check writing for your favorite charity and work for your charity. Write your congressman about issues rather than making stupid and offensive Hitler signs and act like you haven’t an historical brain in your head. Don’t complain about high taxes since that talking point is a scare tactic (taxes haven’t been this low since Truman by the way). It’s our country and only we can make it better. There is no room for bystanding, it is time to be outstanding. Corporations aren’t going to do it, unless there is a profit hidden somewhere in the enterprise or the PR is good. They could care less. It’s up to you and me to help others with the American Dream thing. In doing so, we find our own.
Small contributions of time and talent make big differences and the most wonderful gift we can give that we never ever get back, is time, our time. I cannot find G-d in church if I cannot see G-d in my fellow citizen first. The face of G-d is in the faces our fellow citizens. Though it is more difficult to see, it’s there in a Beck a Limbaugh and a Palin. This search for G-d in my fellow citizens demands I am compassionate (feel with them). Positive change can only come from us. We all have a right to happiness and if you are not happy, why aren’t you? If you get an answer to the “why” question, see if it is something you can change. A natural high for me as an addict is to do something positive and even helpful for another. I can’t prove this, but our country demands we help those who for whatever reason cannot help themselves. That’s one of the great things that makes us uniquely Americans and citizens of the world and far less selfish. Caritas (love;caring for the other) and compassion is not strictly Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or atheist, it’s American. It is a sober touching of the face of G-d.
And so it goes…