Present Tense

Love CAN win

love winsLove Wins. The celebratory statement after the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing marriage equality was handed down this past week. What a beautiful statement in a world that is, as it always has been, burdened by hate. Two simple words that, if taken to heart can transform our existence on this planet.

Which is why I’m here to co-opt that phrase for my spiritually evangelical purposes.

Those two words are what we are missing as we struggle to find our way forward in these very confusing times. The world seems to be exploding in violence and conflict. We are in the middle of another potentially explosive racial divide here in America.

Last week, 9 people died at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina when a young, white man who was motivated by racial hatred, shot them while telling them they “had to go”.

He spent over an hour with them in Bible study, where they welcomed him into their church and their group with open arms. When he was arraigned on these murders, various family members of the victims showed up to tell him that even though their hearts were broken, they forgave him and would pray for his soul. Love wins.

This is what religion teaches. These people live their faith in a way that most cannot or will not. Most of us call immediately for revenge before justice. We want to strike back at those who cause us pain. It’s all about ‘getting even’. Jesus advised turning the other cheek. Buddha said hate doesn’t dispel hate; only love dispels hate. Dr. Martin Luther King told us that only love can drive out hate. Yet, in times of great pain and anguish, we ignore those who we admire for their wisdom.

I honestly believe that some of the events of the past week may be the beginning of a tipping point toward love winning. I’ve felt such despair over so many global events and issues. I don’t even need to list the things that are happening that cause me to want to weep or vomit every time I read or watch the news. You know. You feel it too, but you feel powerless.

This is why this past week is so powerful. In just a few short years, gay marriage has become not only accepted by a majority of Americans, but it is now the law of the land. I know that many are not happy about it and try as I might, I cannot understand their opposition. How can allowing more commitment, more love, more families to form ever be a sin? How can allowing all of our fellow humans to have the same legal protections that straight humans have had, be a bad thing?

You can of course, remain true to your religious beliefs by following them. All of them. Because it seems to me that Jesus’ main message to his flock was Love Wins. In the face of anger, crime, bigotry, hatred, insults, misunderstanding, miscommunication, impatience, somebody cutting you off in traffic or irritating you by paying with a check at the supermarket, Love Wins.

That’s it. Two words that we all need to adopt as our mantra going forward. WE are the ones that have to fix what’s broken. Don’t rely on politicians or pundits or various know-it-alls who populate our media and culture. YOU. ME. We have to start loving our fellow humans, particularly when they irritate or insult or even attack us.

This is the hard stuff that we have to face as spiritual beings having a human experience. You can think and analyze and ask why, as I often do; as I constantly do. Let me do that for you, if you’d like; it’s a dirty job, but I’m happy to carry that burden. The bottom line is that we need to be more forgiving, more compassionate, more kind and more charitable to the other residents of this planet, be they human, animal, plant, etc.

This week gave us a beautiful lesson in the midst of tragedy and triumph for gay rights. Take this lesson and run with it. Spread it around. Re-think some of your beliefs. Share this blog post freely. Let’s start a bigger movement.

Love Wins.

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June 28, 2015 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Think. Question. Act.

questionI’m thinking a lot about conventional wisdom, mostly because I am rejecting a lot of it. Of course, conventional wisdom morphs all of the time, which makes it hard to even label it anymore. That’s actually a good thing I suppose because we do reject many outdated and often inhumane, oppressive or outdated practices.

But, all too often, conventional wisdom becomes tyrannical group-think.  One example is the continuing nonsense that prohibits women from earning their full potential, financially, legally and culturally. Conventional wisdom tells us that women must be very attractive because that makes it easier for the dudes to put up with our ‘crazy emotional side’. It’s all about being hot and sexy and just a little subservient and passive. Don’t be too strident or pushy, ladies. Unattractive.  And we gals are complicit in allowing this.  Shame on us.

Another bit of conventional wisdom that I reject is that our ‘leaders’ are smarter and more competent than we are. They may have a certain skill set or knowledge base that many of us lack, but they remain human and are often victims of the human condition, i.e. they can be bribed and intimidated. They often put their needs ahead of ours. They often help their friends or sell their influence. They protect other members of their tribe/profession/institution. We see this with most of our institutions anymore. How many bad priests, cops, politicians, corporate boards, teachers, doctors, military personnel, etc. have been protected and surrounded, in order to cover-up immoral and illegal acts?

It kinda makes you want to drop out of the whole system doesn’t it? How many times do you learn of these things and practically scream “What is wrong with people”? If you answered daily, you’re not alone. And yet, we go along to get along, right?

That’s what’s bugging me. Everyone is scared. Scared to go against conventional wisdom. Scared to speak out. Scared of the direction we’re headed. We feel as if we’re caught in the stream of history and can’t do a damned thing. I get it. And I think in a sense that’s true. My latest incantation to myself is “what’s gonna happen, is gonna happen”. Fatalistic. I’ve surrendered. Sort of.

A big part of me still believes that if more and more people start to wake up and question conventional wisdom and authority, MAYBE we can make a dent. Maybe we can start to expose the incredible corruption that is happening to pollute the planet and in turn, pollute everything on it. Yes, that includes us. We are swimming in a toxic soup, 24-7. Our food is toxic, medicine is toxic, our homes/work places/cars/make-up/cleaning products are toxic. Is it any wonder that our politics, global situation, discourse and human relationships are also toxic?

And yet, we float along believing that those who are ‘in charge’ are looking out for us, protecting us from harm. Even though there is a huge body of evidence to the contrary. So, when do we peel off this layer of apathy? When do we shed our fears and begin to reject and question what we are fed, day in and day out?

If you speak of peace and say no more war, you are soft; you are anti-military. If you stand up for the poor and unempowered, you’re a socialist or a nanny. If you question or point out flaws or bad behavior in any powerful institution, whether public or private, you are subversive, dangerous and are shouted down. You are called unpatriotic. So, we hunker down and live with this growing insanity because it’s just too hard to change.

Here’s your call to action and you know, it can be as simple as the food or products you buy. You don’t have to march in the streets, although I think we need MORE of that, not less. Speak up. Share your thoughts and your values and your solutions.

Sit quietly and clear your brain and you will find that many of your entrenched, clingy and often, wrong beliefs will begin to dissolve into more clarity. I know this from personal experience. It’s freeing, but frustrating. Because you will see so much that’s wrong. So much of our lives that are controlled by misinformation, money, power and yes, evil.

Most people are good. Most people are just like you. They want to be good, do good and see the good. Make that your goal. Short term, long term. It will change you. You will begin to look for and appeal to, the good in people. That is compassion and grace and we lack it within our institutions and conventional wisdom.

Question everything. It’s okay to be a pain in the ass. In fact, it’s imperative. Do it.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Musings | 6 Comments


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