I really don’t think this needs to be explained, but I’ll give you a hint:
1. We’re taught to be conformist;
2. We can’t fix our problems using the same ideology that got us into this mess;
Let’s pick up somewhere near where we stopped this past Friday.
Humans (us) think it’s normal to be born on a planet, but pay our fellow human (that lives somewhere unknown to most) to live on/in our own home. Does ANYONE think like me on this? Does ANYONE see this being similar to a Mafia extortion racket?
“Hey! Pay us to protect you and we’ll keep all your enemies away from you!” Your reply should be, “But you’re my enemy!”
“Yes I am, so pay me and I’ll leave you alone until I want more.”
Oh!!! I get it! Humans are fearful of their fellow-man and think it’s better to pay the big bad wolf than to build a big brick house. It’s better to live in fear of what might happen than to face your problems. Of course, now the problem is too big to handle isn’t it?
Or is it? Shouldn’t we have let Hitler, Stalin, Joseph McCarthy, all who sought to rule with fear, run the world? It’s easier to salute whatever flag they give us than it is to have liberty, freedom and justice… it’s easier to give away what our forefathers fought for as recent as World War II… isn’t it?
We may never know… it’s easier to cower in fear and the supposed safety of your imagined invisibility than to change from the victim – the hunted to the intelligent individual you fancy yourself to be.
We’ve believed for SO long that “someone else will fight our battles for us”, we’ve forgotten how to be the individuals we were born to be – it’s safer to be in a crowd… a group that has similar fears and beliefs than it is to be one that’s not afraid to stand up and say, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Because living in fear is NOT a life! Even Benjamin Franklin stated, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.“
How about we look at life in its true perspective: For the indigenous people who live in the U.S., or any other so-called third world country, it’s often stated that ‘someone discovered your home, when the reality is, for example, “Christopher Columbus discovered that there is land west of Europe and it was already inhabited by other people. He did not find an uninhabited land.
But hey, humans believe the darnedest things…
… just more thoughts –
As a race of beings – the human race – from birth to death we are taught daily what someone wants us to know. We are not encouraged to think our own thoughts, nor are we taught how to think. It’s a strange paradigm: we celebrate the free thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Ernest Hemingway, Galileo Galilei and others, but few encourage us to be free thinkers. Why is that?
I like to include artwork with my posts, whether drawings or photos, to help with the thinking process, and of course, for those that won’t read anything without pictures, but all humor aside: while I was searching for some pictures to include in this post, I noticed that there were many photos making fun of the “self-taught.” This has been a paradox for me since I was very young. Why do our societies belittle the self-taught? Somewhere, somehow, someone had a thought and made it become reality. We have computers today because someone thought of them, how to make them and how to make the existing electronic components do what they had in mind. Once they’ve been created, that same self-taught person had to teach someone so they could teach others. In religions, it was the same way; some people made some observations of their times, came to some conclusions and in their own ways, found God (or gods depending on the religion) in a way that makes sense for that person – then he/she taught others.
The harm I see in all of this is, in a question, why do we seek to narrow our thoughts, our views of life, our experiences in a way that separates us from others? Do we as humans deny ourselves the independence as individuals for the safety and comfort of like-minded thinkers? Is conformity worth the sacrifice of who you really are? Please don’t misunderstand this line of questions… of course we need to have social norms for each others safety, but beyond that?
"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." BERTRAND RUSSELL, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish
As a student, I was always uneasy with being taught fear (product of being made to go to religious schools). Now as an adult and having been a teacher not only in the U.S., but in Mexico and short stints in other countries, I still see others that exhibit the need to be followers – yes, followers! People seem to be comfortable when they’re in the company like-minded people. These are the people who are easily led, and will justify the beliefs of the whole, not their own. Is fear of being alone in their beliefs and thoughts so horrific that they’d rather relinquish their sovereignty to “belong”?
"Father, O father! what do we hereIn this land of unbelief and fear?" WILLIAM BLAKE, The Land of Dreams
Sovereignty? Sure! Let’s think of another issue, your inherited sovereignty. I’m willing to bet that you never thought of your life in this respect before. What do I mean by “inherited sovereignty”? In simple form, you were born on planet earth; no matter your belief to how we as a race of beings got here, this planet is our home. Who do we own for our existence?
"The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear." EDMUND BURKE, speech on conciliation with America
We pay someone, some company to live, eat, drink… but this is OUR home. Why do we continually give our rights to others to exist? Companies seek to privatize everything we have – and given time, they’ll try to privatize the air we breathe. Companies have already tried to privatize water in the country of Bolivia – wonderfully, they lost that battle. In the U.S., there are few places that one can drink water from a stream, but I wouldn’t try to drink straight from any river these days. We pollute our water supplies so now the only way to get clean drinking water is through a company (State or private company) that has cleaned what they have either polluted or allowed to become polluted.
"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." NELSON MANDELA, Autobiography
I have one more thought for you, in the way of a question: why do we seek to repair a system of life that has shown us how it DOESN’T work? Just a thought I may explore in my next post.
There’s an old adage, “There’s safety in numbers.” As I grew up, this meant that we should try to either get others to go with us (as my father tried to get me to do when I decided to go hitchhiking around the U.S. in the early and mid ’70’s), or to follow the crowd. For some, doing just that, ‘going with the crowd’ is what makes them happy, and if you’re like me, don’t knock those that find security in doing this, not everyone can be free-spirited.
At an early age, I learned to depend on myself and one far more superior to myself. Yes, I’m a theist and I’ll leave it at that. However, the belief in myself and Patron has taken me to MANY places that others – that have told me – have been envious of… others that have the “follow the crowd” mentality scorn me to this day. For those that can not, or will not accept my individuality, my freedom… I kindly say, “I’m sorry, but I’d never give up the adventures I’ve had and will have merely for security and a sense of belonging, when the comradeship I’ve witnessed is false.
Because I am a theist, and through my many experiences, I’ve come to know a security in Patron and in self that only others such as I have experienced.
Life is a journey. Journey on friends!
From my perspective, we live in an era that demands that we conform to the norms of the day. Those that exhibit anything out of the norm – those that very from the accepted rules of society are usually deemed to be “dangerous” (or some other adjective or adverb) that puts them in a category as unacceptable.
While most of us non-conformist are far from being anything but peaceful, we have been labeled unjustly by those that do not take the time to understand individuality that may not be intended to separate us totally from others, but just enough to remember who we are, to accomplish our goals and find a balance within the world we share.
In encourage all reading this to find and nurture your courage to be that balanced and strong individual that we all are… and help others to be themselves!
All the best!
In my lifetime, I’ve heard and read seemingly endless stories and descriptions of what love is and is not. Even the cute little cartoons titled, “Love is…” which ran in newspapers for… years, attempted to describe love. Movies from all genres got involved… is there any wonder that the world is confused about love?
To make it even more confusing, try to get people to describe “unconditional love”. People can’t agree on what love is, so why trust them to describe unconditional love?
I’ve come to know that there are simple and easy explanations for most everything, it’s when we think about something too much and/or try to make ourselves, “important” in the eyes of others that the simple becomes difficult and oft-times, corrupted. So, let’s go back to basics:
Unconditional love: This is the most basic love. It’s what makes babies of the animal kingdom so precious. No matter the animal, human or man-eating tiger, babies accept anyone and everyone unconditionally. We commonly call this type of love, innocence… mainly because it is – innocent. As we age, as we get older and supposedly wiser, we lose that innocence, and don’t understand why love has become conditional.
Conditional love: This is what we come to know of love as we gain knowledge, but forget wisdom. There isn’t anything wrong with conditional love, as a matter of fact, it’s necessary in our world. We love our girlfriend, boyfriend, husband wife… conditionally. Why? As long as the “other person” allows us to be ourselves with her or him, we’re happy – and as long as we’re happy with that person (condition), we love that person. When that person ceases to let us be ourselves and our happiness no longer exists with that person, our love starts looking for that lost happiness – if not found, we experience a heavy loss and great emptiness, thus ending the relationship. Does this mean that unconditional love no longer exists?
If you can understand that unconditional love is your innocence, that you can love someone unconditionally as a being that deserves love and respect, then you know unconditional love. If you can love someone, even if the person(s) is/are harming you… even if you have to kill the person to save your life, or the life of another, not killing for pleasure (including revenge or any sense of personal satisfaction), but only as a necessity to preserve the life of someone who has done no one harm, this is an example of how I see unconditional love expressed in adults.
I hope these simple examples help.
Keep it simple – love yourself, love others, and be loved
All the best, always!
I normally don’t comment on, or about current events, but this past Saturday a long-time friend that’s originally from the Denver area and I engaged in a conversation about the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
There has been a lot of conversation about who should take responsibility for the crime and who is to blame (a favorite American past time, finding fault with someone, but this subject is a thought for another time). Along with all of this, not surprising, conspiracy theories.
One of the largest issues that I’m aware of at this moment is the issue over firearms – an age-old subject in the U.S. Should citizens REALLY have firearms? What kind? How many? Should there be a limit on the caliber of the firearm?… and the list goes on.
People focus on the item more than they focus on the person (seeking) to buy the items. Is the person mentally stable? Does the person have a criminal record of violence? What is the intent for the purchase? Does anyone consider asking for accountability? I’m sure someone may ask why someone should ask for accountability for firearms when no one does so for… a car. The obvious assumption here (I’m sorry to use the word assumption, but unless you want to be answering questions all your life, let’s assume this) is, you’re buying a car for transportation: you’re buying a firearm to shoot something – or someone, unless of course you’re a gun collector and you’re buying (usually) a vintage firearm.
Having been a firearm owner once myself (for occupational purposes only), I had to take a course, practice loading and unloading, aiming and firing the weapons. The State insisted that we continually practice at a shooting range, and yearly we had to qualify our skills. There are those of us that think all firearm owners should have some similar standards to live up too. If you have to take drivers education; a drivers test and be licensed to drive anything from a motorcycle to a truck, even a forklift – all of which are designed as non-lethal, why not for something that was made for destructive purposes only?
If you’re thinking that these thoughts would restrict gun ownership, then let me ask you some questions: if you place a gun of any kind on a table – loaded or unloaded, will it fire on its own? If you place a hunting knife on a table, will it kill someone on its own? When a firearm has the ability to make itself and its own ammunition, load itself, aim and fire itself… I’ll move to an island where machinery does NOT exist. If any of the firearms in these pictures have the ability to fire on their own, everyone in the range of a firearm – loaded or unloaded, in the hands of a human being or not, is in imminent danger of physical harm or death; even the photographers risked their lives to take these pictures.
If you tell a fourteen year old child that he can’t go swimming after eating; if you tell him that he can’t enter the pool without a lifeguard present; if you put an eight foot high chain-link fence around the pool and a padlock on the gates, but the child eats lunch, goes to the pool and climbs the fence, dives into the pool to swim, gets a muscle cramp and drowns… whose fault is it? If you say it’s the summer camp’s fault, then tell my long passed friend that he was justified for breaking all the rules and bypassing all reasonable restraints to keep him and everyone else safe: tell his family that the camp they sent him too wasn’t responsible enough… then the next time you go on vacation, don’t be surprised when you find hotels no longer have swimming pools available to the general public, let alone leave them unattended in the night: All beaches will be accessible only when someone is willing to take responsibility for your actions.
Before this world will see any peace, everyone will have to stand united, speaking with one voice and accepting responsibility for their own actions, and inaction’s – realizing that WE are our own greatest enemies.