Today I am frustrated. I’ve heard too many whining hypocrites and unfounded emotional diatribes. I’ve listened to dueling newscasters and politicians, read facebook posts and heard angry rants on the radio. I’m sick of rich people who think they are entitled to have others work, sweat, bleed, and live in poverty to pay for their lifestyles. I’m tired of being asked to agree with bigoted viewpoints based on ignorance. And, yes, I’m tired of reading friend’s posts stating “if you don’t like what I have to say, unfriend me” or “if you don’t like what I post, just deal with it.”
All of those people have missed the point.
Life is not about everyone thinking and saying the same thing. That’s not agreement; that’s totalitarianism.
It’s not about who has the most popularity and wealth. That’s just insecurity and greed.
It’s not about whether a certain sacred text is right or wrong — especially when the people arguing believe in the same god. That’s just absurdity.
Life is about responsibility, compassion and consideration. It’s about being grateful for what you have and helping those you can help. It’s about communicating, compromising, and working things out.
Can’t you understand? In this world, we can no longer be defined by the old labels. We are not Christians or Pagans; we are not Muslims or Jews. Christianity, Paganism, Islam, and Judaism are just part of what we do in these lives. Just as we learn to cook or drive or sew or sing, we might be parents and we might not; it’s part of the journey of life.
We are learning to be human. We are struggling to become healthy people. We strive towards becoming balanced and harmonious, happy and fit. We are people struggling to learn how to be human. “Human” means we are humane, caring, and balanced people who live in coexistence with the other beings on the planet. Becoming a human is why we have these lives. We are not born human; we have to earn that title.
Yet, just like pendulums set bouncing by a shove, we cannot find the unbiased neutral point. Without that neutral point, we’re just spinning in the void.
Many of us are lost in traps of greed while many more struggle to find a way out of poverty. You believe in trickle-down economics. I don’t see it working. You buy a new car every year or two. I drive mine until it is so beat up that the junkman thinks twice about taking it. I have a decent job (thankfully with benefits); you whine about giving raises to minimum wage employees.
Which one of us is more important? Remember the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street? Who would be missed? Is it just bigotry? How do you value a life?
What do your prejudices get you? Do they earn you the door to a mysterious new level in the game of life? Do your illogical arguments against human rights (or the economic policies that ignore them) bring you a raise? When you cannot sleep well at night, do you think about what you might have done differently? Do you think about the homeless beggar you passed on the street? Do you worry about how you treated the check-out clerk at the grocery store, the waitress who brought your lunch or the secretary who actually handles the work for you?
What do our differences really tell us? I’ll tell you right now: they don’t tell us anything unless we try to understand each other. In truth, none of those differences elevates any one of us over another person. Really, the differences are fun, interesting, and sometimes confusing, but they don’t make anyone better than someone else. They just make us different.
By the way, if you don’t like what I have to say, tell me. Give me reasons why you think I’m wrong. Don’t just quote someone else: think about what you believe. Then explain it to me.
All of those religious labels and political arguments really don’t matter unless we manage to sit down together and work things out. We can no longer act like silly children fighting on the playground. We are in this together. How can there be financial security when some have no drinkable water? Where is civilization when children starve in the richest countries on the planet? While the polar icecaps melt at triple the rate of 5 years ago, people quote meaningless political catch phrases that they hope will counteract the evidence for climate change. Do you really believe sound bites will change the problems of the world?
The Earth can do fine without people. However, people will die without the Earth. Without the land’s bounty and the water’s gifts, we are nothing. We need the Earth. Despite watching NASA send people to the moon, and despite enumerable Star Trek episodes, we can’t move to another planet. Let’s start taking better care of the one we have.
Acknowledge Mother Earth. Without her, our religious and political arguments are worth nothing.