What good is a blogger who doesn’t blog? Have I run out of things to say? Doubtful. But, I’ve had nothing to write about. No coherent message is banging around in my brain and I think I have finally figured out why. Some things are not as I thought they were and that can leave one wondering, “What do I say, now?”.
I’ve spent the past 6-8 months studying things that I knew very little about: religion, spirituality, meditation, belief systems, etc. In doing so, I’ve cracked open some doors in my own value system that have been closed and locked for a long time. I’ve written about this personal exploration on my blog and what I’m now noticing is a subtle shift in how I view the world. Actually, maybe it’s not so subtle; I’ve actually changed my mind on a couple of issues that I thought were settled for me. Realizing that some of one’s opinions may have been misguided for years can be scary, disturbing, annoying and liberating.
In undertaking my own study, my own journey, I’ve had to admit that a lot of my beliefs, education, opinions and values leached into me, via what OTHER people told me. Those who’s views I aligned myself with were force feeding a lot of ‘information’ that I had swallowed over the years as ‘the truth’. Not so fast. “The Truth” is slippery and elusive and can’t be distilled down to a few sound bites or pronouncements. But, it’s so much easier to just listen, swallow and then regurgitate, than to actually study, think, analyze and come to your own conclusions, right?
Let’s come at this from a political perspective, which is so polarizing right now. I’m as guilty as anyone of consuming and repeating ‘the party line’; I’m still of the same persuasion, but I do have some significant differences of opinion from many of my tribe’s elders. Too many of us think that we MUST support every hare-brained idea, pronouncement, policy, law, proposal, opinion, belief, etc. of our party’s tribal elders or we’re not team players. We don’t. We are allowed to think and speak for ourselves, despite the fact that there is always someone ready to shout us down, picket, call us names, accuse us of ‘hate’. We need to realize that for nearly all of our so-called leaders, spokespeople, pundits and talking heads, there is a very strong motivation to keep us on their team: Money and Power. And I’m talking to my brethren in the ‘other’ party as well. Don’t think I’m going to swallow your tribal elders’ nonsense and neither should you.
At the risk of sounding like some nut-job conspiracy theorist I am fed up with the constant ‘us against them’ fights that are trumped up and spewed via the media and the internet. Democrats against republicans, men against women, straights against gays, whites against blacks/hispanics, Christians against non-believers, blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah, I’ve been there in a couple of those fights. I’m ashamed of it. First thing to do: educate yourself. This kind of conflict comes from ignorance. Much of the media/political parties/religious groups/etc. thrive on fear, suspicion, hatred and intense emotion (most of it negative). Stop buying into it. Stop half-listening.
I’ll give you an example from my own life. I had never read the Bible; never really knew what was in it, other than what I was told by others who I figured were far more knowledgeable than little old me, on religious matters. Here’s what I learned after reading it cover to cover: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you (or as accepted in some Buddhist circles: Do not do unto others, as you would not have done unto you) AND one from J.C. that really hit home with me: “Why do you look at the sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?”. Meaning that none of us are without sin, right? Well, then shut up about everyone else’s behavior or orientation. Pray for all of us sinners, but realize that not everyone sees or lives in the world based on your (sometimes bastardized) rules. Don’t do unto others and deal with your own plank(s). Churches are FULL of sinners, every single Sunday and your obsession with prioritizing which sins require your constant attention is tiresome and I dare say, NOT WJWD. (What Jesus Would Do, for you heathens:).
I am not calling out one religion because all of them have their issues because we are HUMANS. We have poor judgment, get caught up in emotion, don’t take the time to listen and understand other viewpoints and are force fed crapola 24/7 via the information superhighway (before anyone calls me a hypocrite: yes, I’ve been on the radio for over 25 years and am blogging on the World Wide Web….I get it). I embrace the information that’s at our fingertips thanks to technology. I think it’s marvelous and can make all of us so much smarter, more tolerant, better educated and more well-informed. However, we must actively read and sift through all of this information, in order to reach my utopian ideal of a more informed humanity. Don’t just sit and listen to a bunch of people with an agenda who want to fill your brains with their narrative; go online, read opposing viewpoints, read ACTUAL laws, books, or whatever will give you both sides of an issue and THEN decide your own views.
Now, sock it to me. Here we are, gathered on the information superhighway, where you’ve read my thoughts. Give me yours and we’ll all keep an open mind. Deal?