Our world, and our country specifically is injured and bleeding everywhere. A poor choice in leadership can do more damage and a better choice can bring some healing, but our leaders are only a symptom of a deadly illness eating us up from the inside.
We are self-destructing.
We are where we are because of ALL of us. Every one. It is what it is because of all the actions we did and did not take, all the things we said and did not say, all the votes cast or not, all the choices we made or didn’t bother to make. It is what it is, and bitching about it isn’t going to change it. Blaming isn’t going to fix it. Yes, we must take the action, say the words, cast the votes and make different choices next time and the results will again be a mirror of who we are collectively.
Although I attended a parochial school growing up, I haven’t been to a Sunday service for more years than I can count. I’ve studied many religions and am deeply spiritual without claiming the practices of any. I believe there is a core of divinity in all of them that becomes bastardized once the hand of man gets involve in spouting its “rules”.
Just like every other good thing, it can be used for good or ill.
This being said, an old story from the bible has been rolling around in my head and it applies to now, for any race, religion, economy, or country. It is from the book of Nehemiah, chapters 2-4.
Then, as now, a people were scattered and divided. They faced enemies from without as we do from within. We don’t need any help from outside terrorists~good grief, we are practically cannibalizing ourselves. So his first step was to listen to his aching heart. The second step was to go out quietly and survey the damage to the place of his ancestors. Then each person (and his family members) mended and built and cared for the homes they were to live in and the city walls immediately outside. With each neighbor caring for himself and what/who was directly in front of him, sections of walls side by side by side were rebuilt and then each effort joined together to make the whole wall complete and secure.
Instead of years, restoration took 52 days (chapter 6, verse 15). They didn’t whine, they worked. It wasn’t in a far off land, it was in their own homes and what was right outside. When outside forces threatened their progress, they prepared themselves for defense and kept working.
Rebuild your heart with peace, and prepare to defend it. Clean up your home of rubbish, then your yard, then the neighborhood, then the walls of your city. Join your works to rebuild our country with your neighbors, and them with theirs and so on. Let your actions be a beacon for others to follow.
There are Buddhist monks in history that chose their peaceful, loving way of life and at the same time, trained in a defensive martial arts form that could annihilate anyone trying to take away their right to live. Some have been known to immolate themselves (actually burn themselves alive), a sacrifice to gain the attention and the hearts of those watching and those trying to oppress, stating that the power remains with the individual, no matter what army or ruler reigns.
If we want something different, maybe an America better even than before the mess we’ve created, we have to clean up our acts, our homes, our neighborhoods etc…we must rebuild our walls side by side and join together to create something beautiful.
The power remains with us. Each of us are responsible.
I’m not suggesting we set ourselves on fire. I’m suggesting that we release the shaming, blaming and hatred that has become a stench in our lives. Refuse to be contaminated by the poison we see and hear every day. Make sure our actions are from a place of integrity whether we march in peaceful protest, write to those who lead us or any other thing we are lead to do to bring our communities to a better standard of living.
When we change ourselves the world around us will change.
Instead of throwing stones let’s use them to rebuild something beautiful, a place we’re proud to call home.
Rebuild your wall where you are; I’ll do the same.