The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
Terry Tempest Williams
And here we are, it is 2020 and the world seems to be teetering on a precipice hovering over oblivion. Do we continue our slide down or can we save ourselves?
Our bad habits are catching up with us. It’s time to fess up and pay up and work together to solve our collective problems. We do not have the time to entertain the self-serving and the idiots they control. Some deny that the house is burning but we are surrounded by smoke and others are sneaking out the back door with whatever they can get and leaving everyone else to burn.
Hopefully we have finally reached the bottom of this pit that we have dug for ourselves and now we can begin the climb out.
I pray there is not another bottom farther down we cannot fathom.
I have seen an ugliness in my fellow human that in my ignorance I hadn’t realized before. An ugliness I could never have imagined.
These revelations come on like waves, one right after another after another. It difficult not to give in to despair.
There is no time for despair.
We are seeing history in the making and our collective future depends on what is happening now.
There is a disconnect. Those who are in power are very adept at dividing us; we the people of the world. We need to band together and see beyond what years of manipulation and lies have done to us.
We can save ourselves because we must, we have no choice. What is the alternative?
Whatever collective ugliness we harbor pales in comparison to what could be our glorious potential.
Am I too optimistic , or too pessimistic to be realistic?
I have a feeling the eyes of the future will be judgmental. History will not look kindly on us, on our collective malaise, on our willingness to go along with the status quo. Leaving our collective mess for future generations will not be viewed lightly. For as much as our ancestors sacrificed for us, it seems we cannot do the same for future generations. They will curse us I am afraid.
I cannot avoid the feeling of guilt. The feeling of helplessness and the fear of a very scary and very possible future but I have hope.
I have hope and I’m not the only one.
I have hope the eyes of the future will able to see with a wisdom we relics of the past seemingly cannot.
I hope they will overlook our frailties and see that indeed hindsight is 20/20.
I hope they will see an awakening, a willingness to shed our past ways and embrace a kinder, more sustainable existence for us all.
I hope they will see us band together and work towards a common goal: our very existence.
There has been some backlash to a recent complaint made by the newest member of our apartment dwellers association. The complaint was regarding the sweet but pungent smell of marijuana that has at times lingered around our community and the wide availability of said and I may note legal marijuana products in our city of Potland, I mean Portland.
This has made “the mean looking guy upstairs” enemy number one in certain circles and a protest protesting the persecution and harassment of natural medicine enthusiasts, patients and supporters will be held today in the amphitheater.
I will be selling my homemade brownies to the participants to make some extra cash, stop by and pick some up while they last.
It began peacefully enough but when the protesters starting shouting “Free the Weed!”, “Free the Weed!” the amphitheater became swamped with crazed people looking for the free weed. FREE WEED!!
At first I was afraid. I was petrified as the crowd swelled to massive size! Quick thinking saved the day. I told them the marijuana was in the brownies and they cleaned me out of all 5 dozen in an instant, most of them tipped and handsomely too as stoned people are known to do. I walked away from the maddening but happy crowd with a few bucks to buy me some new kicks.
**Seriously, marijuana can be medicine and its consumption, medical and recreational is legal where I live and becoming legal in more and more places. Below are links to some interesting sites regarding the subject. **
“I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have ‘no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.’
They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…
We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”
Aug. 8, 2013, “Why I Changed My Mind on Weed,” CNN.com
Hey! It’s wide eyed cuteness giving you that come hither look, almost daring you with it’s abject innocence, it’s helplessness. it’s downright adorableness.
Its purr sounds so sweet, so smooth and comforting.
Eyes that speak to you, pleading.
You are my savior. The only one in the world that can help me. I cry out for you to love me, to protect me. I am innocent and small. This big bad world is much too big and bad for the likes of me.
How can one resist one such as this? Admit it, you like I are a sucker for a cute face and most of us are. Studies have shown that just looking at pictures of cute babies causes the release of dopamine, one of the chemicals released by the brain that makes us happy. Dopamine motivates us to take action and gives out a surge of reinforcing pleasure when we do.
We are awash in a sea of chemicals and emotions. Cuteness relies on this and demands our attention. And cuteness rewards that attention.
And cuteness sells. This is no big advertising secret.
People today spend more time looking at cute things than ever before. The internet is awash in cute images. A virtual zoo of furry kittens, big eyed owlets, cuddling otters and prancing baby goats.
We watch the minions bumble about on the big screen, buy Hello Kitty merchandise, or watch a Pikachu convention dance on YouTube.
The appeal of these characters may seem trivial, but it actually highlights an evolutionary force — one that can trigger billions of dollars a year of consumer spending.
THE MIGHTY POWER OF CUTENESS
Cuteness has power, never forget that. And never turn your back; cuteness can attack. Cuteness tends to be underestimated and it has much more power than it leads on. Those same cute little fuzzy paws can have retractable claws capable of ripping us to shreds. Be careful.
The Slow Loris:
Irresistibly cute. but dangerous. The only living poisonous primate on Earth. They have glands on the sides of their elbows. When slow lorises are threatened, these glands would release a foul-smelling toxic fluid. Then, this primate lick some poison from the gland and mix it with its saliva and bite the one who disturbed it. This poison could cause allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.
They may be our favorite stuffed toys and animals really don’t come much cuter than bears. But in reality they are also one of the most deadly and will not only kill humans, but will actively hunt them down (they are one of only a very short list of animals known to do this). Grizzly bears and polar bears are considered being the most deadly, but all large species of bear are potentially dangerous to humans… even pandas.
Poison Dart Frog:
The frogs’ poison is found in their skin, making them too toxic to touch. While most species are considered toxic but not deadly, they are distasteful to a predator and can even be fatal. The poison can cause serious swelling, nausea, and muscular paralysis.
Big Cats: They look so soft and cuddly. And they do remind me of my cat Mocha. I don’t have to tell you that if you encounter a big cat whether it be a lion, tiger, cougar, or just a stray panther in your neighborhood grocery store. Don’t pet it. Admire it from a distance. And try to refrain from flash photography.
What is cute and could I be cute already and not know it?
According to the Urban Dictionary.
(What us young and hip and happening young writer types use. )
attractive, esp. in a delicately beautiful way; pleasingly pretty; affectedly or pretty or clever; precious; mentally keen; clever; self-consciously cute mannerisms or appeal.
Konrad Lorenz’s Kindchenschema, or baby schema, as defined in the Nobel prize-winning scientist’s 1943 paper on the “innate releasing mechanisms” that prompt affection and nurture in human beings: fat cheeks, large eyes set low on the face, a high forehead, a small nose and jaw, and stubby arms and legs that move in a clumsy fashion. Not just humans: puppies, baby ducks and other young animals are included in Lorenz’s theory. ( Neil Steinberg for theguardian.com)
Often cuteness does not recognize itself and this is part of its appeal. And sometimes cute doesn’t even want to be cute, this generates even more cuteness. Odds are that you are in fact very cute and just don’t know it.
Do people ever say “awwwwww” and pat you atop your furry head? Do children stop and talk to you in sweet little voices reserved for dolls and animals? Can little old ladies resist pinching your cheeks? You just may be adorable indeed.
And what if you don’t have a furry little head, or whiskers or a bushy tail? It does help to be cute on one’s own but everyone can harness the power of cuteness not just babies, little furry animals and people like myself.
I have been called cute on more than one occasion but seriously, it doesn’t hurt to have a little backup cuteness in your back pocket.
Last summer I was walking around downtown in the sun. A crowd had gathered around a band on the street corner. Three or four twenty something guys, not especially cute. Garage-ish sounding and not special except for the littlest member; someone’s little sister doing basic strums on an over-sized guitar, now she was cute. Everyone loved them, their jar was overflowing and the spectators were happy.
And what if you don’t have a cute little sister or a kitten in your back pocket?
We can all harness the Power of Cuteness!
Being adorable does not require a certain something beyond an attitude of adorability.
Simply put: You are as cute as you feel to be and don’t accept anything less. So get out there. Be cute. Be powerful. Know that in being yourself you can rock whatever you set your cute mind to.
Have an adorable day!!
Cute is when a person’s personality shines through their looks. Like in the way they walk, every time you see them you just want to run up and hug them.
I think people should look cute all the time.
Everything looks cute when it’s small.
I myself never feel that I’m sexy. If people call me cute, I am happier.
Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.
“There is a distinct evolutionary advantage to being fuzzy, as much of the mammal kingdom had discovered, particularly when you wanted a human to scratch your back.” ― Jeffery Russell
I wasn’t always so sunny and happy. People were always telling me to smile. I have noticed that my face will typically give me away and that when I’m lost in thought, which is often, it looks like I am angry. I’ve made it a point to watch this. I have also made it a point to watch my thoughts.
For much of my life insecurities and doubt have plagued me. I have hurt myself with negative messages that became my mantra that ran constantly inside my head. This made me miserable. My negative energy attracted even more negative energy from others. I struggled with not being understood but it never occurred to me at the time that I also needed to try to understand others.
I decided to be kind to myself and forgive myself for being so very imperfect. I thought I could change my inner dialog to something positive and I looked for the good in me and told myself good things about myself, even if I didn’t believe them. More importantly I took this same love and understanding that I was finding for myself and turned it outward. I made it my “job” to reach out and say something kind or supportive to people especially those who seldom hear that sort of thing. I made sure my compliments were honest and true. I learned that I could find something encouraging and positive to say to almost everyone.
Not that this is easy all the time for everyone. I am a naturally shy introvert. It has taken many baby steps to get to where I am today. I have tried to plant tiny seeds of sunshine wherever I go.
And more and more I find these seeds have sprouted.
By spreading the love it comes back, absolutely.
I don’t mean to sound trite or come off with some well worn out syrupy platitudes. I have heard people complain about the unauthenticness of the idea that thinking happy thoughts and that an attitude of gratitude is a cure-all. It is perfectly normal; healthy, in fact to have a wide range of emotions including sadness. Emotions are colors on a palate and life is art. We as artists can make our lives masterpieces when we use a full range of hues.
That being said:
I find touches dark blues, patches of deep purples and deep black hues to be in beautiful contrast to the soft pastels and sunny oranges and yellows, it is in that contrast that I find beauty in, but a little of those darker shades goes a long way. Life provides us enough of those. If I can, it is the sunshine I will spread. Makes me happier anyway.
I can make the conscious choice of letting the darkness that hits me in life stop at me. This is how I cope with the crap that hurts me; with my refusal pass it on.
I am so blessed.
So if I seem a little pollyannish or silly remember I didn’t start out that way and that really, no one can be blissfully happy all the time. Happiness requires the decision to be happy. Just the simple act of smiling is powerful magic in itself. Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can boost your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
I think to stay happy we need to spread that joy around like it’s the damn plague especially on those days when we do feel like crap.
So get out there and plague everyone you meet with joy.
Watch its boomerang effect come alive.
We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.
I have always felt an affinity for the extraordinary, the misunderstood lone marcher to a different beat. I want to be an advocate for the underdog. A champion for the unique, the quiet, the humble and the meek, for the underestimated and under-appreciated, for the kind, for the strange and beautiful, for those who feel out of sorts, out of time and out of place, for the anxious and the disturbed, for the sad but hopeful, for the awkward and the shy, for the anxious and the brave, for the deep thinkers and sensitive souls, for those who feel the system is rigged and life is unfair…
For we who feel voiceless in this loud world. Fate has not forsaken us.
We not alone… We contain multitudes…
It is through alliance and unity that we the unique can make a difference as a force to be reckoned with. It is up to those of us who have a voice to speak up!
If I accomplish anything with my writing I want to tell all those who feel that society looks down upon them for their uniqueness that you are not alone. There are others who may be different from you, others from different times and places, others who who may be different in every way but share this same longing, the doubt and insecurity, the same fears. The same need for love and understanding and for peace, a need for a place to grow in the sun and become more.
There is that great untapped potential that many of us still have hidden deep inside. We all have our treasures. They should be encouraged to come out with exuberance like Spring and cultivated like exquisite orchids. Like fine art this wonderfulness should be shared with everyone.
Society gets hung up on the package and not the contents. We are a judgmental lot. So much gets lost in the roar of the crowd.
It is up to all of us to be there for us all…as they say we are after all just walking each other home.
We can help each other. It is through alliance that we the different, the unique and the misunderstood can make a difference. We are a force to be reckoned with. We can celebrate our uniqueness and that of others. Our strength lies in our diversity, our unity and our willingness to speak up for each other.
There are many more of us than them…
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” ― Walt Whitman
These are the times that try us. We can be broken. We can fall down. We can walk down a path of darkness but that does not mean we will never see the light. That doesn’t mean we will never walk in the sun again.
To be hopeful in bad times is not stupid or futile or simply in vain. To be hopeful in bad times is essential. This is our foundation. This is the beginning.
We have been taken on quite a ride lately. Our “normally” crazy world is insane. Our society is sick and we are running a fever.
I am a mix of emotions in regard to our current situation in the United States and the world. I am passionate in my belief in equality and kindness, in peace and understanding and inclusiveness.
I like many others believe our country is going to hell in a hand-basket. The words “fascist” and “dictator” are floating around paired with “dangerous”. People are angry and sad…and scared. I have wondered what it would have been like to be a German citizen during the rise and rule of Hitler. Watching the changes, living with the results…
I also am very conscious of the fact that the status quo has much to be desired. The deck has been stacked against we the people for quite some time.
I will not mention his name, never, in any of my writings; in my blog, on Facebook or on Twitter. He is not my president, that damn and damned orange menace.
Never before have I seen such division and hostility. Our dear leader is showing us how to conduct ourselves and it is downright nasty. It is not who we are. I refuse and I resist.
We are the descendants of immigrants and revolutionaries. Right or wrong, our country was built on revolution, sacrifice and blood, sweat and bitter tears. It was also built with certain ideals, ideals we have lost to greed, vanity and indifference.
These ideals are etched in our hearts and minds. It is our diversity paired with a belief in equality and fairness that makes us strong. We are united in our common love for life, our families and humanity. We are the strongest when we are united and united behind a common cause.
I believe we have our cause…
It has been said one needs to hit rock bottom before one sees the light. I believe we are waking up. It has taken a shaking but I believe, hope anyway, that we are sufficiently shaken for the magic to take effect.
The common enemy; I don’t mean that orange menace exactly. Our true enemy is our collective selves. We have allowed this to occur; this what some would call a coup, a misstep or a stupid and dangerous mistake. Somehow we have someone in office who most of us didn’t want doing things that most of us do not like, do not like at all.
Lots of people have marched and ranted. Some have destroyed. Some people I suppose must be glad if they paid attention and believe and wanted what he promised, he is dong those things; as fast as he can. An agenda that obviously been planned. He is checking them off one by one.
Every day a new outrage.
And everyday more and more stories of unity. Maybe if we can unite behind a common enemy we can unite behind other issues.
Perhaps we had to hot rock bottom to finally ‘get it”. I know from experience that in order to have a different world a shaking up in the status quo must occur and seldom is this easy or peaceful.
Yes, to be hopeful in bad times is essential and this time is no different. I have hope because people on a whole do care and I do believe they are good at heart.
This is a time to dig deep and not turn a blind eye and just go along. What this means; listen to your heart, to your soul, it knows the way…it knows the truth, we all do.
For now I am holding on to hope, trying to be calm and kind and more understanding and to keep a smile….
…time to write something funny for the next one…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…
“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” ― Bill Watterson
Just another winter’s day, just another icy commute in the dark. You can hear the shuffling of footsteps on the frozen ground. No one speaks, no one smiles, we all just keep moving..
People waking to and fro, many in a hurry, most of them with the same look; that same glazed over gaze which extends beyond the person right next to them as if the other person, the fellow human is not there at all. It is a tunnel vision of sorts, it could be more of a selective vision. It is an acquired ability. We are not born with it; this talent for ignoring the obvious.
It comes out of necessity and takes practice. In this rapidly changing world, many of us are getting a lot of practice. If you live in a large urban area you probably know what I mean…
I know you’ve seen them: Their swelling number are almost impossible to ignore. The tents and blue tarps under bridges, the huddled sleeping figures in crowded doorways. It’s not just in my city or yours, it’s everywhere.
And it scares the hell out of me. And I shiver. From the cold or that icy fear or both I don’t know.
Last night in my city of Portland, Oregon a newborn baby died possibly from exposure, sitting in its homeless mothers arms. This would be the 5th person to die from the cold in the last 2 weeks here.
What kind of people are we? We forsake our most vulnerable citizens. It is a sickness I think this indifference. One of ills of our society and one that just seems to be growing.
We are told those less unfortunate deserve their fate. It is easy to want to believe that. That means if I work hard and toe the line and do what I am told. I too won’t be one of those less unfortunate ones, it is tempting to want to believe this; it feels safer.
At least I think it does…
I think of all the people in the US who have just lost their health insurance. Again I could be indifferent here, I have mine. To me, seeing a doctor is not a luxury…yet.
I have a warm home and enough food to eat.
Why should I worry about these strangers? Many of them are probably drug addled or mentally ill. They probably want to be out here. They like living on the fringes of society. No bills , no responsibilities. Not my problem… Right?
The man at the bus stop with the unkempt beard and the wild eyes. He is hard not to notice; wrapped in a tattered blanket he is shouting obscenities at the sky. My pulse quickens; I am scared and I tiptoe past him hoping he doesn’t notice me, I walk down to the next stop.
Nothing is all black or white. But we are all human from the innocent babe to the wild man at the bus stop. We are all part of the same human family. I admit it is easier to care about the pretty, the untarnished, the salvageable.
I imagine the man with the wild eyes was that too once; pretty, untarnished, salvageable. Now he is just part of the wreckage left behind to lurk in the shadows, in the cold doorways, watching everyone look away…
Something to ponder on…
“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
― Stanley Kubrick
Kindness is magic.. It is a warm glow that uplifts the heart and nurtures the soul. We are social creatures and we rely on the milk of human kindness. It is simple yes, but too eluding in this world. It is all too rare and oh so beautiful like a lone purple wildflower among a sea of indifferent green.
As I’ve grown older I appreciate simple acts of kindness more and more.
There are two sides to kindness; the giving and the receiving. Both teach us valuable and distinct lessons and at some point in our lives we will have experienced each side to varying degrees.
I have found those who have suffered the most, endured the most, to be some of the most understanding, generous and kindest people I’ve ever met, but that road is not easy, these are the exceptional ones, the stronger ones, there are others, ones that have fallen by the wayside. The ones that society is all to eager to overlook. There are those with hard outer shells forged out of fear, the ones that seem too tough to crack. They may be gruff, indifferent or just plain mean. All of them are human beings and nine times out of ten all they need is some simple human kindness. One could say that there are those who don’t deserve such a precious commodity as kindness. I say they are the ones that need it the most. It’s not easy to be kind to some. Be the stronger one.
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.
To openly express empathy for someone else, especially a stranger is sometimes looked upon as weak or at least eccentric in our society. How off the mark is that? It requires strength to practice compassion. Being kind is not always so easy. It often requires putting aside our natural selfishness to put someone else first. It may involve some sort of sacrifice however small or large, and no one said it would be easy. We have all heard stories of great kindnesses done upon others. It makes my heart sing to hear of these good deeds but it is those simple kindnesses; the one’s we do everyday unto each other, the one’s that seldom get noticed. To me, they are the most important, the most crucial in adding some peace, love and understanding to this eclectic mix of lifeforms on this lovely planet of ours.
If we as a society can collectively decide to put a greater focus on kindness and it’s cultivation, our world would be a kinder place. Kindness is an asset to our civilization and it should be treated as a precious commodity.
Empathy and kindness should not only be encouraged in schools but taught. We are not born being kind. It isn’t until at least the age of two before we show our natural capacity for empathy and it isn’t until four or five before we exhibit a theory of mind, meaning that we are able to understand that other people may have feelings and beliefs that are different from our own.
We learn kindness from others; by how we are treated and our experiences. We are shaped by this. Those of us who have experienced kindness, gentleness and love in our lives, especially in our younger years are more apt and more able to express those very same emotions and sensitivities to others. It is our young people who will form the world of the future. It is these same people that are being exposed to constant messages of civil unrest, violence, bigotry and hatred. Our society tells us one thing and does another. The civilness of what we deem a civilization is eroding at the edges. I fear we are being desensitized to the suffering of others–there’s so much of it. The media puts this suffering on center stage dressed up as infotainment and presented to us through the safety of our screens. It’s easier to be indifferent, it’s easier not to care.
All the more reason to care…
I am compelled to make up for every little pain I have endured in my life, every unkindness done to me, through indifference or pure malice. I try not to take the acts and attitudes of others personally. I’ve found most of those who strike out in anger do so not out of hate for the victim but out of a hatred for themselves. Hurt travels. It is infectious; a vicious cycle of contagion. This is something I try not to succumb to.
It is kindness that I like to spread as my defiant act against a cold and heartless world. For every unkindness done to me, I try to do a kindness to make up for it. That warm glow is priceless my friends and it feel so good. Simply put: Doing good makes us feel good.
This is the stuff that can change the world. We can change the world! One smile at at a time, one act of kindness multiplied by seven billion..and then some and then some more..until those acts of kindness cover us all and heals the hurt that ails us.
Music effects me like nothing else; pure sound melts into my body and fills my every pore. It travels down deep through my veins and capillaries straight to the heart then to the soul where it lingers a while, resonating like a fine wine. I am intoxicated. Even amid what may seem like chaos one can feel those fine melodic tones pushing through to the surface. They cover me like a soft blanket of warm sand. They scintillate and tickle me, tantalizing my arm’s and legs. I feel a rush of joy like a child in the sun. I am warmed and revived. Music does that to me. Good music, harmonious music.
I carry this with me, in snippets of memory; in songs that get stuck in my mind and play as a soundtrack to accompany parts of my day. This inner soundtrack lifts my mood and encourages me. It strengthens my spirit and resolve. It calms me, makes me happy but also allows me to feel a million moods from sunny yellow to deep stone black. Through music I hear the song of the singer. I feel their thoughts and hear their dreams, even experience their heartbreak in a small way. I hear their soul singing out and I hear a hundred million others.
Music is that powerful.
According to string theory, absolutely everything in the universe, all of the particles that make up matter and forces, including you and I and my cat Mario are comprised of tiny vibrating strings. Because of this some have likened the universe to a symphony.
Michio Kaku the famous Physicist once said ” We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.”
Playing the song of the cosmos I suppose…
I think that is how we are connected and why music holds a universal appeal with us. It’s something we can all share. It is a ancient connection that’s been wired into us since the beginning. It is the ultimate in communication.
I’ve had musicians tell me that playing with others in concert operates on a very intimate level and that doesn’t surprise me. I have felt similar feelings when engaged in a slow dance with a partner. I think most of us possess the ability to connect with others through music and with music itself.
This makes me think how life on earth is like a orchestra and we are all members of that orchestra. We hum along, creating our own music in everything we do, think and feel. I can see how imbalances could cause the music to distort and become unpleasant. Only when harmony is restored are we whole and playing beautifully once again.
I believe we on the planet are in a state of extreme disharmony. There are too many voices that sing songs of hate and exclusion, inequality, indifference and greed. Songs that disrespect and pillage our planet, songs that kill the soul and lull desire. We need to sing together for the common good; for peace and love, for kindness and understanding in concert with the earth and with the universe itself.
Most of us go about our lives encased in a hard shell that we have developed from our own personal experiences of being alive and living in the world we do. Many of us hide our true thoughts and feelings from each other and to an extent I think we rarely realize, we are all connected by circumstance, by fate and by our very atoms themselves, down to those tiny vibrating strings but we act like strangers to each other. I think society teaches us this; that we should be wary of the different, have disdain for the unusual and mistrust the independent minded. Our mutual fear of each other causes misunderstanding and disharmony. Children have a natural affinity for other beings. They don’t see what adults have been trained by society to see. We share so much and yes we are capable of singing a beautiful song in harmony made up of beautiful voices, of varied colors and hues of thoughts and ideas.
Together we are the song of the universe.
And as I go about my week I am going to keep this in mind and try to remember that we are all connected, even those that may disagree with me. We all share the same needs, wants and fears. We can attune ourselves to the same frequency if we listen and find some common chords.
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” ― Alan W. Watts
From our earliest beginnings we as a species have striven to become more than what we are. It is inborn within us and it is more than the simple will to live but to thrive and dominate. This is us; what we come from. It is by no mistake that we Homo Sapiens rule the world and all life upon it. And it is by no peaceful means either. We fought hard, tooth and claw, to get on top of the food chain. Our mutual family history is littered with war upon war, conquest upon conquest. We have erected (what we deem) civilization built on a culture of want, propelled by the rampant machine of consumerism and paid for by we the people and our children.
It’s easy to be judgmental. Pessimistic even about the human race and it’s future. I have heard a rumbling dislike for our own species from some. I do not echo that feeling. I cannot hate my own kind which would include myself, my children, my family and friends and basically everyone. This is defeatist and makes no sense to me. We are all in this together.
If we are to be judged, are we to be judged not only by our faults but by our graces as well? We are an amalgam of the worst and the best of us.
And so we begin at the dawn of man. We Homo Sapiens were not the first humanoid. That honor belongs to Australopithecus Afarensis and there have been many. The exact number has not been agreed upon. Here is a link to a list.
We alone survived. Our last competitors, the ultra-hardy Neanderthals died out about 40,000 years ago. We scaled that evolutionary ladder higher and embraced “civilization” instead of living a marginal existence by the whim of cruel nature. We overcame it and become masters of our fate.
We strove to succeed in this way and progress; onward and upward. Nothing stood in our way. We were out to conquer nature and each other and we have done so and most infamously.
Whether what we have put together constitutes a civilization I am not convinced. I look at the world at large and the small goings-on in the microcosm that surrounds me and I have my doubts. It seems that we are losing ground as well on a whole and as time goes by and resources grow scarcer if we are not careful we will stray even further from the path of true civilization.
Civilization is the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced.
When I read Webster’s
Simple Definition of civilization
The condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.
A particular well-organized and developed society.
I realize just how not civilized we are. This brings to mind Gandhi’s famous reply to being asked the question of what he thought of Western civilization.
I think it would be a very good idea. Said Gandhi and so do I.
We are like a clever child. We have harnessed great power, we have made great strides, and cured many diseases. We have extinguished much suffering in the world, but we have also caused much of it too. We do not yet possess the wisdom required to wield great power. We have squandered a lot of resources. We have raped and pillaged the planet and now we stand on a precipice staring into an abyss and instead of jumping over the cliff , we need to walk away from the edge and get to the business of saving ourselves; that is what our business should be. Like any child who has a messy room, we need to clean it up but there is no adult around to make sure we do it. It’s time for us to grow up and become that adult. We have remained a child far too long.
It’s time for us to stop finding reasons to divide each other and look for ones that unite us.
We need to work together and stop the destructiveness, the pettiness, the greed.
That is being civilized.
We who can harness the atom are in the process of shaping our world; the world we’ll leave to the future.
What will we leave?
One of our many brilliant strengths as a species is our ability to adapt. Events play out in a fluid motion; constantly swirling and changing. Nothing is forever, and we have not only kept up with the changes, we have thrived on and benefited from them. Our rise would not have been possible without the downfall of the previous rulers of this planet. The Dinosaurs dominated for more than 180 million years.
No matter how terrible that “Terrible Lizard” was, it had it’s day and we are having ours.
The dinosaurs couldn’t adapt, but we can. We have it within ourselves if we can take our collective human cleverness and temper it with some good common sense and painfully acquired wisdom that we can glean from our current challenges. Circumstance forces us to act not in our time but it’s own.
That time is coming I’m afraid, we all know it.
We can be our own worst enemy but we are also our own greatest hope.
Of course change is not new and every generation faces it’s own challenges, some more than others. Climate change is our challenge but that is only part of the picture. We must change ourselves and put aside our childish ways because the way we’ve been doing things just isn’t cutting it.
We can’t stop the planet from changing. We have no choice but to adapt but we will grow stronger and wiser because of it and perhaps one day we will be truly civilized. I am but one faint voice, there have been many before me and there will be many after me, this I believe. This is the one constant.
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth. Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.” ― Howard Zinn
“You can present the material, but you can’t make me care.” ― Bill Watterson
Some say the world will end with not with a bang but a whimper. I say ours may end with the dull and empty thud of indifference.
A blatant apathy lies thick like a hazy cloud over our populist culture. It’s cool not to care. Johnny doesn’t give a damn and the indifferent world doesn’t bat an eyelash.
From the time we are children, society teaches us not to care too much or at least pretend we don’t. To act in such a manner is a sign of childish insecurity, it’s not only foolhardy but too trusting and stupid. We are encouraged to develop a sense of skepticism and mistrust especially when it comes to people we don’t know.
The world is a scary place. I could write a thesis on how frightening it is. I think we shut off a little of ourselves bit by bit as the inevitable blows of life hit us. By the time we are grown adults we have lost so much of that beautiful trust, that loving nature and natural compassion children feel and openly express. We are taught to see differences in each other and these differences are not good. This polarizes us.
I think people tend to wrap themselves in a protective cloak of apathy. It’s not only easier not to care, it also hurts a lot less. When we care we are vulnerable. It makes perfect sense to want to close off a wee bit and tone down those emotions.
Distractions come easy and going along with the stampeding crowd is understandable given the alternatives. It’s better to conform. In many ways it’s essential if we want to live in a civilized society.
It is easier just to go along. Right?
This world is sick and we all know it. My eyes glaze over when I watch the nightly news which I admittingly cannot watch much anymore. I see pics of starving children and burning forests and war. Our brains can only take in so much information. Our hearts can only take so much pain. We become desensitized, it’s a survival mechanism. I think that’s why on a collective whole we seemingly don’t care, or we care more about stupid meaningless distractions. I think we’ve reached a saturation point. It’s all too much and if I don’t notice maybe it doesn’t exist and I won’t have to do anything about it.
Why should I care? Why should you? Why should anyone? We know life is not fair. It’s a hard lesson that still stings. We are savvy enough to realize that fairy tales typically don’t come true and that life is not only not fair it’s a bitch too.
I can see how people especially the ones who get the short stick may get a little angry with the world and society in general. I can see how easy it could be not to care for someone who doesn’t care about you. I can see how one could get caught up in inevitable feelings of futility; why should we care about a world that doesn’t care about us? I ask again why should I care? I know that I am but one small voice in a sea of millions so I better shout it out:
I care because someone has to care, dammit!!
If there is to be any meaning in my insignificant scant-of-a-minute life it’s this: that I made a difference however small on the side of good and that I took whatever sad, nasty or indifferent thing that came my way and turned it into something wonderful, however small. I cannot expect anything more or less. I want to leave this world a little better than how I found it.
I want to live in a world where people care about one another and I want my children…I want all the children and their children to grow up in such a world. There is too much ugliness, too much to tolerate. I suppose the way I cope with it is by not only ranting about it, but living up to the ideals I’m ranting about.
Kindness begets kindness and if more people gave a damn more people would give a damn. We all could use a little more kindness And so there it is: My spiel for the day. You can only do what you can do….
“The earth was overwhelmed with beauty and indifferent to it, and I went with a heart ready to crack for its unbearable loveliness.” ― Josephine Winslow Johnson
When I think of strength I think of my Dad. He wasn’t the bodybuilder or lumberjack type. He was a man with little education who came from another country and started a small business. He always provided for his family, he was there and he never wavered, even after he and my mom broke up when I was 11, even after my brother, sister and I had grown and moved out. He was the steady rock of our family. He never complained, he carried a mirthful attitude with him wherever he went. He had a smile and a kind word for everyone despite living with decades of chronic pain. I am ashamed to admit I never really noticed this until after he was gone…funny how that works…funny how my image of what it is to be strong changes as time goes by…
Big muscles don’t always equate with strength, there is also another kind of strong. The inner strong. A person’s will, resolve, resilience; that which endures and continues. It is a quiet and powerful. It’s sublimely subtle, not flashy at all. It declares itself not. It just is. It’s what enables us to hang on one second more, hold out hope one more time and this very thing can save us when all else fails. It is born of necessity and it grows in jagged stages marred by pain and shaped by experience.
We grow stronger by allowing ourselves to be weak, to fail, to fall. We gain strength by getting up again and again…and again. Our eventual redemption is not only made of this, it depends on it.It is at the bottom of that dark abyss of hopelessness that we can find that very hope that can sustain us. Those who have been thrust into this abyss know full well there is a light in the dark; it is wondrous and strong, it is beautiful, it is divine and it is in each and every one of us.
We are stronger than we believe. We need to believe this. We need to be honest with ourselves and listen to our hearts–therein lies strength; it is in the almighty power of love.
Strength does not lie in oppressing others, or by putting them down. The illusion of superiority does not make anyone stronger or better or more deserving than anyone else. Good fortune and adversity alike mold us into what we are today. The “protection” of privilege cannot purchase anything of any true value. This must be earned by our experiences and our reactions to circumstance.
To show compassion and kindness is strength.It is the strong that are big enough to see beyond themselves to the greater picture that includes us all.It is by giving away that we gain. It is by being the steady rock for others to hold on to we can find the strength to hold on ourselves. I am learning this slowly, like a rock.
“Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity. When you don’t think you can, hold on.”~James Frey
Every action or non-action we take have repercussions that run like ripples in a still pool, constantly moving and changing. Out of randomness comes a chaotic sort of order we call life.
Life is a journey with twists and turns, offshoots, detours and about-faces. We skip merrily, or unmerrily, planting seeds along the way.
Some seeds get blown away and never come to fruition, others find the right landing spot and with a little luck, care and attention erupt out of the ground bursting into life, red, ripe and beautiful like a shiny apple.
Most of the time we don’t know where they go. A small kindness is a seed that can travel far, farther than we realize. I’ve learned to appreciate the small and the seemingly insignificant.
Seeds are like that; small and seemingly insignificant. We all know that looks are deceiving and that a seed however tiny can pack a wallop. The potential of one tiny seed is incalculable.
“We can count how many seeds are in the apple, but not how many apples are in the seed.”
We are always planting seeds whilst we know it or not. I like to think that every action I take however small and seemingly insignificant most likely has repercussions: good, bad or somewhere in between. The results of some of our actions are immediate, other results take longer, others longer still. Seldom does life work on our timetable, nature works on it’s own and we are a part of that greater whole.
We are a part of the web of life. We take part in the dance of the seasons; springing forth with a rush of light and energy. We burst up through into the living world, bright, trusting and full of potential thrust into the wilderness of existence, a life with gardens and tigers and people and trees and owls…so much beauty and wonder…
…and indifference, greed, Monsanto and war…
The world is our garden, the garden of our making. We grow here and there is no other place for us. We must take care to plant the right kind of seeds.
If we plant seeds of love and compassion and altruism and trust, if we plant a respect for all life and the environment, if we plant peace and understanding and tolerance with care and watering, luck and a lot of hard work, we could grow a beautiful garden with enough wonderfulness to sustain us all.
Of course this is all so easy to say….so lovey-dovey and some may say unrealistic. Yes, I know the world is an ugly place but it is also a place of beauty. It’s up to us to cull out the badness and plant the goodness. If not us, who? And if not now when?
Any farmer will tell you the best time to plant is yesterday. Get those seeds in the ground and pray for sunny days…the more seeds we plant the better.
“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.” ~Steve Maraboli