Sacrificing the individuals who have sacrificed for us.

Posted: August 2nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
A New York City fireman calls for 10 more resc...
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Last week the house rejected a bill that would provide medical care for residents, volunteers and rescue workers whose health has been impacted by the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. A New York Times Editorial categorized this inaction as “Feckless and Cruel”, and while I hate to resort to name calling, that characterizes it pretty well. Think back to 9/11 and the days that followed, ordinary men and women descended upon ground zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA, looking not for retribution, but for the opportunity to help. They were and will remain inspirational in the hearts of not just Americans but of people all over the globe.

While the Republican partisanism (is that a word?) of the 111th congress’ role call on HR 847 speaks for itself, the Democratic majority is not without blame as they insisted that the bill be subject to a 2/3 majority vote in order to pass rather than to a plurality vote where aspects of the bill may have debated on the house floor.

Democrat or Republican, on September 12, 2001, I have to believe that all members of the 111th Congress were equally moved by the scenes of rescuers digging through rubble, the pictures of missing people pinned to walls and the image of a tattered American flag waving atop a mountain of devastation. These are images that I will never forget. I am saddened that the memories of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been dulled by political agenda.

Perhaps the delayed tragedy of 9/11 is forgetting that brief moment when there were no Democrats or Republicans, we were all simply Americans.  Americans whose only goal was to help each other in our collective time of need. Honorable members of Congress, I ask you to put aside your differences and remember that day. Remember the ordinary men and women who became heroes. They came to our aid when the country needed them. Today, they need you.


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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When the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

Posted: January 8th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Our society is built upon information. The appropriate application of information can drive an economy forward, topple a government or save someone’s life. So it would seem natural that to be successful in our endeavors we should focus on acquiring more information. And acquire it faster than the next person. And react to it even faster.

This is our society; more and faster. Faster and more. A society that by definition is in constant transition yet is composed of individuals who innately crave stability. So is it any wonder that even in “good times” people feel unsettled? That they feel a need to escape? To self medicate? Or even abrogate a degree of self determination? Of course not, that is simply a consequence of being continually overwhelmed by a world that demands more and faster.

As we embark on the 2nd decade of the 21st century, how can we possibly cope with our own individual stresses much less advance our society when the processes we use were developed centuries ago? We  can mindlessly apply variations of the same things over and over again or we can re-imagine the future as well as our intertwined collective and individual destinies. We can continue to value ourselves from an an external perspective or we can shift our focus toward understanding ourselves internally. And we can continue to proclaim that we value life, free thought and liberty or we actually can. Its time to get some new tools.


Are we worth remembering.

Posted: August 19th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

How is a society ultimately judged by history? One criteria is by the art left behind and how its most helpless, most insignificant members were treated. Think about the massive monuments created by the Egyptians and the stories of oppressive slavery. Or consider the Romans with their great architectural and engineering triumphs created in parallel with the persecution of Christians, Jews and other “barbarian” slaves.

How will we be remembered? As I write today, I am less concerned about our art and literature, however I am deeply concerned about how we so casually, rationally and systematically marginalize or even worse, ignore the weakest among us.

In 2009 America, the richest, most powerful, most free nation in the history of history, how many kids, no how many people go to bed hungry? How many people go to bed afraid of violence perpetrated inside the family and how many go to bed scared of the violence from without? How many live with not just the fear of getting sick but with the fear of not being able to get help?

Will we be remembered as a society that could have been more? That could been better but chose to turn a blind eye to mercy, empathy and caring for our own? A society that allowed the larger broader concepts of real justice and righteousness to be  institutionally obfuscated until the issues could be lacquered over or just swept away with the election cycle rhetoric?

It is usually really hard to look inward and be honest. It is often painful and upsetting. And the thought of it may be foreign and scary. But looking inward with an unbiased eye is essential to grow and become better.  To become something worth remembering. To create a society in which it is truly worth living.