The Illusion of Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in interesting times with one foot dragging behind mired in the memory of a gilded past and the other poised to go off the edge into a dark unknown abyss. It’s preferable to focus on the comfortable illusion of sameness, ignoring the obvious signs of change especially if the change is not so good.

Our planet is in trouble and so is our spirit and our collective soul.  In a world with a swelling population and dwindling resources it’s easy to zone out on the meaningless and glaze over that gnawing feeling with yet another distraction and there ate plenty distractions to keep us occupied.

 

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“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” ― Noam Chomsky

We are bombarded with messages everyday, bits of information, much of it totally useless that invade our minds on constant basis. Most of us are used to this constant stream of stimuli. Some of us thrive on it, and depend on it.

These messages are unimportant useless fluff that disguise themselves are dire. They cover up what is truly important. They lull us into complacency, we are not required to think, they do that for us.

They provide our heroes. the dreams and the ideals that we as responsible consumers should aspire to.They also tell us who to point the finger at and there are endless sources of blame to go around.

They give us our scapegoats. They prey upon our fears which they too have cleverly crafted.

 

Credit: Banksy
Art by Banksy

We are managed and manipulated by a system that has become rigged against most of us to benefit a privileged very few. Our lovely planet that belongs to all of us is becoming more and more privatized and profitized used to feed an bulging worldwide economy with a hearty appetite that never stops being hungry.

We are told we must have endless war. That we are not safe.

We are told that the worthiness of a human life is measured by one’s assets. We are told a lot of things.

They distract us. They divide us. We are told what and who to fear. They are very good at this because they have been doing it for so long.  They provide the illusion of choice.

 

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Treated like children we are presented with limited choices, usually two. This team or that team?  Coke or Pepsi? Red or Blue? Republican or Democrat? Left wing or Right?  When in reality it’s the same damn bird.  They who control what we see and and hear they would let us believe these are the only choices but they are not, far from it.  We do have real choice and we can make the world a better place for us all.

There are forces that would polarizes us. They divide us with their illusion of choice.

They want to keep us from finding common ground. Pitting one side against another, distracting us from our common enemy. Because as drastic as that sounds there is an enemy and it those who pull the crooked strings, those in the shadows, the ones that have the game rigged.

 

 

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They manipulate everything they can. There is no pie they haven’t already eaten most of and they are still very hungry.  We are being forced to share what little is left. They distract us with this and that. They divide us. And they are very good at it.

Most of us exist on the bottom of a great pyramid where those very few on the top live on the backs of those on the ever widening bottom. The very top depends on this arrangement and pretty much always has, we the people are waking up to that illusion of choice; that our much touted and much admired democracy is an outright and blatant lie and has been for a long time.

 

pyramid-dollar

 

 

 

Art by Banksy
Art by Banksy

 

consumerism
“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” ― Philip Slater

 

Together we are powerful.  A force to be reckoned with. And we can remake the world into what we want it to be. We can heal our planet and ourselves. We can take back what rightfully belongs to ourselves and future generations.  We can refuse to play, to go along with the idiocy of the day.

We need to focus on what we agree with not what do not, this separates us. We need each other; divided we fall but united we stand strong.

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“We can change the world with every thought we have and every word we speak.” –Alberto Villoldo

 

We can get back to basics. Turn off the damn TV. Go outside. Go for a walk and leave your car behind.  Talk to your neighbors. Grow some tomatoes.  Don’t buy anything you don’t really need. Open your mind. Open your heart. Question what you are being told. Speak up and speak up for others who cannot.

Topple their false idols and render their marketplace a ghost town.

How did this become our God?
How did this become our God?

 

Perhaps we can break out of the illusion and make our own choices. I do think we do have a choice and despite what one may hear about rigged elections and the like, I know for a fact that money talks. Don’t buy what you are being sold. Question what you are being told. Listen to what your inner voice tells you.

Encourage free thought. Listen to those who may have a different view that you. Seldom if ever is one side 100% right or 100% wrong for that matter. Listen to those who may be supporting a different presidential candidate than you. Many of us have friends and family members who fit that category and it is easy to be confused at their choice or their lack of choice at all but there can be found nuggets of universal truths and wisdom everywhere and in everyone, seek that out. Let us not be separated from each other at a time when we need each other the most. In reality we are all on the same side. No matter who is elected to any public anywhere. It is we the people who matter and it we the people can make a difference.

 

~NLM

love-peace-art-street-graffiti“Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.”

Suzy Kassem

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In Search of Good News

I have been finding myself in deep thought as of late. Time has slowed down for me and that has given ample time for refection. At first this made me depressed, as life has been throwing some major curveballs that have been hitting me right in the face. As I looked around I found more and more depressed people…angry people, the worn out and the frightened. This only confirmed my suspicions that the world is going to hell and really anyone can see that. Some even think the end is coming. It certainly does appear that way…while I don’t think the end is near, I do think it is changing…and fast.

I think it can be unsettling to people…the conditions of the world today; the world at large and the world right down the street. It is overwhelming and it overwhelms. I don’t need to list it all here, besides being a significant undertaking it just spreads the contagion.

Contagion

Yes, I do think it’s a contagion, this crazy despair. The media feeds it with sensationalism. I can’t blame them, that is what they do and I suppose they are doing a fair job of distracting us from what’s really important…and there is much to be distracted by.

I feel a prevading sense of desperation…and fear in the air. It seems people on the whole are less hopeful for the future. It takes effort not to get caught up in it.  Is this how it feels to live in a civilization that’s in decline?

This I cannot accept….I feel the helplessness, the creeping unease, the feeling that you are in a boat with a hole in it and you better start bailing before the water gets any higher.  There are a good many souls on this boat, this “ship of fools”. And while we point the finger at each other and squabble over nonsense, the ship is going down. We know it….we can feel it sinking…we can see the now blatant obvious signs.

I want to hide in my garden, among the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and think lovely thoughts…I want to write beautiful words and pour my soul out on paper but the unease grows.

I pace and look out the window and a million ideas run through my mind; the good….the bad …and everything in between …. I try to record them all but they spill out into a pile on the floor and it becomes hard to focus.

Until I write and write and write. This unease disappears and I feel that in my own miniscule little way I am doing something.

I have been talking to people, some very smart people and I have been given all sorts of advice but one piece has struck a chord in me. At first it seemed so simple but as my mind ruminated on it the more I came to understand the deeper aspects.

I complain about the media and spreading the contagion of negativity and sensationalism.  I lament: “Where is all the good news?” Surely there are people out there doing good things…somewhere.   I ask, and rather loudly: “Why aren’t we hearing about good news?”  It can get depressing to hear all this doom and gloom…

And as I lament, a wise person mentions that in some small (very small) way that I, strawberryindigo, the blogger, am a part of this same media that I, Nancy, the person complains about and then she asks me:

 “Where is your good news?”

This has permeated me ever since…

…And it was there  that I stopped. That was about 3 months ago. I stopped because I was literally stopped in my tracks. This revelation set me back and it was this that told me to abandon everything I had written and focus on some happiness instead. It is easy to share one’s despair but it takes work to share happiness especially when you are not happy yourself. The world is unhappy enough for me to add my misery so, I chose not to finish or publish the above words at that time.

…and really, I didn’t have an answer…I still don’t in all honesty…but I’m looking all the time and I’m finding that sometimes it’s not the world that’s the trouble, it’s the way I’m looking at it.  I lament: where is the good news? where can I find this mythical land of good news.. and then like a flash of lighting it hits me.

It’s been here all along.  The good news is everywhere. It is all around.  I just needed to open my eyes…

 I found the following quote:

“Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Desmond Tutu

Inspiring words to be sure. Simple and true and sometimes forgotten. I guess I needed reminding…

Goodness can come in many shapes and sizes and good can come from the oddest of places. I am finding the more I look for it,  the more I see. 

What I am finding so amazing is that this goodness typically starts out small, so small and slight that most of the time it goes unnoticed. These seemingly small gestures we do for each other from time to time, tiny interactions between strangers… there’s magic in these tiny incidents. This grows and spreads like a contagion.  We hardly ever hear of these small incidents of good, they are not sensational or exciting. Mostly they are mundane and seemingly unimportant but they can be quite beautiful.

All are important and important enough, in my opinion to acknowledge and tell others about it. This is the stuff of inspiration, this is the good news that I seek.

From time to time I will be sharing pieces of good news; real life stories from inspirational people I meet or hear about. I will be sharing with you happenings and events, tiny miracles and good things as I try to do a little spreading of my own.

                                            

 I have come to appreciate simple acts of kindness more and more.  I have found that we all need some kindness now and then, and in places we’d never expect we’d be. I am impressed by this sort of thing and I believe it is good news that needs to be shared.

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Have any good news to share? Please let me know, better yet write a post about it and let others know too. Let’s spread some good news!

Peace and Happiness to YOU

Strawberryindigo.