“Now the only thing I did was wrong, Stayin’ in the wilderness too long, Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on” attributed to Pete Seeger
Either you are part of the solution are you are the problem, there is no middle ground.
Let us look at life in a very simplistic way. Say the only problem in the world was hunger. That is we all needed to eat. Now say if some people were overfed while other people were starving. It is your responsibility to share your food with those who are starving. If this is an impossibility your responsibility then shifts to advocating the transfer of food from the haves to the have-nots. The difference is clear either you are trying to get people fed or you are not.
Some of America identifies our country as a ‘Christian’ nation. It is clear from even a simplistic reading of the scriptures that Love is the motivating force. I could quote hundreds of scriptures. “For God so loved the world,” begins the famous John 3:16. “God is Love” 1 John 4:8 and 4:16. The two greatest commands are to Love God and Love one’s neighbor. The Bible defines Love several times and it is exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. A simple declaration is in Romans 13:10 “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:”
Perhaps it is easier to demonstrate what Love isn’t. Love isn’t engaging in warfare. The wholesale destruction of civilizations and the murder of millions of innocents is evil. Love is not tearing children away from their parents because they are in violation of the law. Love is not encouraging a culture of violence to one’s political opponents. Love is not the hatred of groups of people for any reason, including sexual orientation, political persuasion or religion. Love is not gunning down young black men on the streets and allowing the police to kill with impunity.
But love goes beyond identifying the negatives and opposing them. Love is also the creating of positives. Love is reaching out to the disenfranchised and embracing them. Love is helping the poor and impoverished. Love is loving even those that hate you. Love is being kind to your neighbors and strangers.
What we need in America is a paradigm shift away from hatred. It is a simple and practical solution. We don’t need any great leader to rise from our midsts to show us the way. We already know what to do. When ordinary people raise their voices and speak their mind it is a powerful thing. I recall in Chile the people were oppressed by General Pinochet. He was a ruthless dictator that was put into power with the help of the United States. The people of Chile spread the word to everybody with a plan. The idea was that if you were against what was going on in the country at a certain time you were to go out and bang your pots and pans. I recall the words of one person who went along with the protest. What they found most remarkable was that their neighbors too were out there banging their pots and pans.
There is more of us out there who detest the evil things that are going on then we realize. It is up to us to raise our voices and make ourselves heard. An individual alone can make a difference in the world. United a whole community of individuals can change the world. The call to righteousness transcends politics, philosophy, and religion. Hatred is not something hard to identify and when evil manifests itself it must be opposed.
This upcoming election in September promises to be a very interesting one. There is all of this talk of a ‘blue wave.’ There is talk that Trump is a fascist and that he must be stopped at all costs. While I feel that the United States is sliding toward fascism to blame Donald Trump is incorrect. Instead, there is a whole deeper movement to an authoritarian society and the Democrats are at fault as well. To illustrate this I have only to show you the list of Democrats who voted for the bloated military budget. Our politicians, both sides of the crooked aisle, chose to invest in war rather than things beneficial to the people, such as healthcare, education or our infrastructure.
Understand that the wicked fist of fascism the United States wields has long been smashing countries in the vicinity of the Middle East. I don’t think the people in Iraq or Afghanistan noticed any difference in their countries under Bush, Obama or now Trump. To them, the hellish nightmare has been frighteningly real for quite a while. Where was this grand progressive movement of a blue wave when Obama was in power? Why didn’t Obama end the occupations and ‘endless’ wars?
It all begins with a conversation and conviction. With a resolute voice saying that I have my neighbor’s back and that we are all human beings and none should be oppressed. Then we need to act.
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