Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown

Early this morning I ranted a bit about the possible Republican Government Shutdown. I rarely rant. I'd rather find a common ground and reason things out and understand different points of view. And while I was working in the studio I got to thinking about all of this and have come to some ideas all of my own. They don't have anything to do with any political party. Though I have one comment to make that does address the Republicans that have allowed a small, hostile minority that speaks hatred and declares they want everything all their way... you need to get your party back. Though these aren't new tactics, in fact, I have observed this behavior all of my life and I'm getting old.

Setting all of that aside, I would like to say something about what is best about America. I love that all different kinds of people, with all different ways to pray or meditate or do none of those things can live together without being afraid that they are going to be intimidated and kept from working or having their own businesses or being killed because they think and believe differently. A young person mentioned to me the other day that they were at a cafe near Millennium Park and that in the immediate area there was a table where there were people of different races and life styles and religions all around them. And everyone was enjoying the day and their life and he told me this was what he liked the most about America. I have been watching the news and reading books about cruelty and torture and propaganda and intimidation that people inflict upon each other just because we think differently. Justifying what they do in the name of God or a political party or the almighty dollar and how much power they think they can stuff in their pockets and I continue to be perplexed. 

I think all of you know I have a Traumatic Brain Injury. One of the good things about this is that I couldn't keep track of dates or differences or holidays, the details that can often unite us and separate us. And still I have a great sense of how connected we all are to the earth, to each other and to all of life, that is always changing, all of the time. I have this sense and I'm filled with love because life is so precious. It is so fleeting. And so incredibly precious. A sunrise, birds chirping, a gentle breeze, sun pouring over the edges of a cloud and I feel grateful. I stopped praying a long time ago, for things I wanted to happen or so I would know what the right thing to do is and now I only think one thing... thank you. Regardless of what is going on, thank you. I don't have to know any more than that.

So I got to thinking.... just for a few seconds.... maybe we could let go of the particulars. Let go of what makes us different and look at what we agree on. This is an amazing planet. We live here. Lots of animals and birds and fish and creatures of all kinds live here. We don't know everything. We never will. But we can know that this is a precious place. Every time an animal or bird or fish or plant becomes extinct its gone. Every time we try to alter the way nature works, because it has evolved over millions of years to work in sync; we mess things up. It is getting to the point where people use politics or religions to justify what they are doing. They don't want to hear anyone say, hey, we have been pushing things too far. We are created a toxic soup in our environment that is making us sick. That is killing the fish and the bugs which even though I like to keep outside, we need them. They are the mini-cleaners of the planet. The natural germ fighters for our crops and water. 

 We like to separate everything and think if we just take this away everything will be perfect. But maybe we could just for a few seconds say, I can believe my way and respect others believe theirs. We all have traditions that are linked to our cultures and our ancestors. Maybe we could just respect that instead of trying to force everybody to see things one day. Because guess what. That day will never come. There have been wars and genocides on every continent trying to kill off people who are different or force them to conform to one ideology and all of this causes suffering. Would it be such a terrible thing to see the beauty in each other and just listen a little bit more and consider that maybe, just maybe there is more than one way to look at an issue. And maybe, just maybe we could and maybe should, remind our politicians that their job is to figure out how to help us live together and being productive and also help one another as an outward demonstration of the gratitude we feel because of this one thing.... this one very special thing.... we have another breath and another day, maybe, to grow and understand how precious this life truly is. That's all I keep thinking. Will we ever get there?

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