Surrounded.

Posted: June 22nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Figure 15 from Charles Darwin's The Expression...
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We live in a time that is dominated by fear.  A fear that is different and more pervasive than any living generation in our country has ever encountered. A fear that is characterized  by incongruence. Being both real and imagined, stemming from both emotion and intellect as well as being identifiable and unknown. It is nefarious, It is subtle. And it is surrounding us.

The systems and institutions that have formed the bedrock of our society appear to be collapsing all around us even as these same entities make every effort to keep themselves intact. In cities and towns across our nation, individuals that have followed the rules, lived their lives in moderation, paid attention during school, diligently showed up every day at work, missed some family events for the job, paid ever increasing taxes and participated in the political process by voting feel betrayed, used and discounted by the very political, corporate and economic systems that they have been taught to trust their entire lives.  And the fear spreads like a wildfire as these hard working men and women stand witness to the ineffectiveness of self-serving misguided policies such as  ”too big to fail“, even as the daily existence they have known, the future that they have been promised appears to be crumbling right in front of them.

This is what happens when you worship false gods. When you do things for the wrong reasons. When you give in to the ends justifying the means. When you stand idly by and accept something that you know in your heart to be not just untrue, but simply wrong.

Life, your life is not a series of endpoints, it is an ongoing process. It flows, without beginning and without an end. It is an evolving dynamic experience that provides one with the opportunity to engage a continuum of emotions. And despite what we are taught, despite what innuendos are propagated in popular culture and our modern day mythology, no one stands alone. We are all connected and collectively responsible. Life is not about amassing power and hording wealth but about loving others and the joy of sharing. Life is not about holding on and maintaining the status the quo but about letting go and seeking something more wonderful through a journey into the unknown. Fear breeds greater fear. Love inspires greater love.

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Guilty. Guilty on all sides.

Posted: June 3rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 22:  In this handout...
Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThere is more than enough guilt to go around in the unfortunate and quite avoidable incident that played out Monday morning in the Mediterranean Sea.

There is more than enough guilt to go around in the unfortunate and quite avoidable incident that played out on Monday morning in the Mediterranean Sea.

Yes the Israeli government is guilty. Guilty of being politically out maneuvered. Guilty of being played in the world press. And guilty of being bated into using deadly force.

The organizers of the flotilla are also guilty. Guilty of precipitating an international incident by attempting to run a declared blockade in an internationally recognized war zone, guilty of endangering the lives of those on the ships and guilty of provoking the Israelis.

Turkey is guilty of supporting the flotilla and its intention to violate war zone and the blockade of an ally. The US, Russia, China and the UN are all guilty of allowing these events to unfold, without making any efforts to proactively diffuse the situation.

The Israeli government, as well as the rest of the world, was well aware of the flotilla before it launched. Whether the purpose of the venture was for humanitarian aide or purely to bust the blockade is debatable, but the point is that the flotilla and its destination were all publicly known in advance of the incident. The flotilla had the implicit backing of the Turkish government. Was a public appeal made to the Turks to intervene? The flotilla was intercepted in international waters. Was a public appeal made to the UN to intervene? Turkey and Israel are both key regional allies of the US. Was an appeal for the US to support some kind of intercession made? Both Russia and China have aspirations to become global powers, why were they both silent?

Had any appeals for intervention of discussion been made forcefully and publicly, perhaps the flotilla would have been diverted. Perhaps the humanitarian supplies would have arrived to those that need them. Perhaps no one would have been put in harms way. No one would have been injured. And most importantly, no one would have been killed.

This incident is just a small part of a larger situation that is inflamed with humanities darkest passions and emotions. And that is precisely the problem; the base emotions of those on all sides obscure meaningful dialog and constructive discourse. Empathy and passion are drowned out by hatred and bias. And rational thought is displaced by impulses to react mindlessly, and most regrettably, sometimes violently.

If humanitarianism and peaceful coexistence are the true goals, than these ideals should be clearly visible in all words and actions. Meaningful progress won’t happen until all sides admit their guilt.

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Pacifism makes sense (if you actually want to live)

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
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pac·i·fism [pas-uh-fiz-uhm]
–noun
  1. opposition to war or violence of any kind.
  2. refusal to engage in military activity because of one’s principles or beliefs.
  3. the principle or policy that all differences among nations should be adjusted without recourse to war.

When it comes right down to it, war is pretty stupid. Even “just wars”, which some may very eloquently, intelligently and convincingly argue that we are morally bound to engage in, are in the end stupid. As are wars over resources, ideology and religion.

Some may argue that we humans are “hard-wired” for conflict. That may have been the case 50, 500 or 5000 years ago but it is not necessarily the case today. It is a documented fact that the brain is “plastic” and re-organizes or re-wires itself based upon internal thoughts and desires. If we want war to cease being an option than we all need to truly believe war is not an option. If we want the cycle to end than we must end the cycle. And that starts with us, as individuals.

I have mentioned this before, an incredibly wise man once told me “do not fear the evil in the world, just concentrate on doing good.” Concentrate on doing good and it will change you. I challenge you to experience this wonder. You may be very surprised how life looks on the other side.

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