Be Good To One Another

Fear brings out some interesting emotions in us all. Organized religion has known this for a long time and has had a pretty good handle on how to make it work for them.

Perhaps we all respond to stimuli the way our natural DNA tells us to. Some has to be cultural, but I think our gut reaction is from our spirit and how we relate to the world.

With the grief and sadness over the recent attacks in Paris and other global points, it has been interesting to see the responses on social media as well as National media. A portion of my belief has real frustration with the news and the bombarding and continuous pounding of points that they want to make. All the more frustrating when they don’t have all the facts, but they continue to repeat those points, and then the fire is started and everyone runs off half cocked on social media.

As a country I wish our heart was in to a crisis as much as our heads were. It seems we are in a host of places that we don’t need to be or at least at that point.  We don’t have to be the worlds savior and it’s healthier for everyone for those that can take care of their own problems, do so.

I’m all for thinking globally and helping others out, but some of it just isn’t our business. I’m not much of a political thinker. I try, but the more I seek the less I seem to know or believe.

That being said I have my own difficulties personally even trying to lace up my faith and my humanness in close proximity. At the heart of the worlds major religions, from my Muscogee faith and my journey with Christ, to all the others, love, peace, balance and harmony are the tenants. Man has done and continues to do horrible things to his fellow brothers and sisters and my gut reactions are not pretty. But then I look at a statue of Buddha or Christ, or Black Elk, and the tension amps up quite a bit.

As I face East every morning with sage and feathers for morning prayers, all I can do is try to connect with the Creator and be thankful. I hope whomever you pray to , you are asking for much of the same thing. And that we all try to lace up our faith with our humanness to somehow resemble a single mind and heart for peace.

Aho and Amen! be good to one another

Music for the writing of this blog post was Bob Dylans, ” Everything is broken”, “God on our side” and “Change my way of thinking”

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Thanks a lot Mr. Media

This morning  I saw the latest installment on the Ray Rive video collection. How many more videos of this awful night are out there? The question and frustration that hit me right off is why we aren’t seeing everything at the same time? Who is controlling the release and what is their motive or agenda for piece mealing this out to us?

This was a horrible incident and one that deserves attention, conversation and a reconstruction in our society. But if I’m to have a full opinion on this night, if I’m to understand it comprehensively then I need to see all of the evidence. It wouldn’t take away any desired punishment for the violence, but it would allow me to see it from all sides.

The media wants to be the bringer of news. The informer and creator of conversation, but I can only feel like someone has an agenda, either politically or monetarily to show us a video, we make a opinion, then they show us more, we reshape our opinion, and still another video and another shaping of our thought.

Maybe they could treat us like adults, show us the whole thing and let us talk about it then. A lot of you are probably thinking this is how it’s always been done and what rock have I been living under. That’s all probably true, but there is a moment in all of our lives that everything we’ve been told and every thought that has lived in the back of our minds, finds a way to freedom and the light of day.

Maybe this was mine ! Nobody likes being a puppet. And maybe I shouldn’t really expect more from morning news shows.

Free To Say ?

free speech

Let me get a few things out of the way up front. I write an occasional blog. Not even a full time blogger, far below professional standard, and even more below good, true  journalism !! I may even be a part of the problem of too many people talking. I’d like to, and it is my intention to evoke thought, mostly within myself.

So is anything free? Has it ever been? In thinking about freedom of speech, is there a cost. I suppose if you said to someone “I love you”, that there isn’t a “price to pay”. But when you say controversial things, should we consider the price? I am a  Patriot, and a full believer in freedom of speech. I’m very thankful to be living in a country that allows and revels in freedom of speech. At the same time I can’t get out of my head the words of my raising “If there is any doubt or if  hurting someone is a possibility then you probably shouldn’t say it”.

So this leads me to the film “The Interview”. While they have every “right” to say and make a movie about whatever they want it just seemed like a bad idea. How many people had to sign off on the movie as “yes, this seems funny and great”. They don’t even altar the name and country. They go for one of the most volatile places and leaders in the world. Perhaps I’m missing the point, but while I’d expect everyone to back our right to free speech, I wish I’d have seen at least one Hollywood person, say, even in hindsight, this was a bad idea from the start.

My Mother used to say “how would you feel if it were done to you”, and this rings true for me in this case. If they had made a big movie about us and any of our Presidents, we would be really mad and offended.

Any thoughts? What am I missing? Are we thinking about it from a full scope or a narrow lens?

The Parking Lot

Wednesday morning. Early. Open parking lot. Traffic humming by on the street. One car pulls up and waits. A second car pulls in a few minutes later and a small boy emerges. As the man from the first car is making his way towards the second car, the boy is running. Arms wide open, excited and hungry for the arms of his Father. Hugs of a broken heart, of feeling what he doesn’t understand. Hugs with no concepts concerning time, where a week feels like a lifetime. Hugs of maybe not enough time to ever heal this pain and heartache.

The Mother from the second car gets out and patiently waits; giving the Father and Son their moment. No smiles or frowns from behind her big sunglasses. She just watches and waits. Part of her broken heart is in those tear-stained hugs of this sad weekly ritual.

The man and the woman talk. She points out how slim he looks. He pulls open his jacket to verify. He may be flattered but he also knows firsthand how sorrow can strip a person’s weight in a hurry. They speak briefly, exchange a few papers. Hand gestures but no anger from my silenced point of view. No waves goodbye, they just walk away ….again. They thought the first time they walked away would be the toughest, but now with the little boy getting older and clinging more, it becomes apparent that this new life is tougher. Heavy stuff. Sad stuff to witness and sadder still to be the one involved.

They have chosen this parking lot to make their weekly exchange. Half way I guess from the old place to whomever had to move out. They exchange the boy, the best thing they ever had in their world. The most loved. She tussles his hair and watches him get into the Fathers car.

I have chosen a parking lot such as this in past years. I have pulled up with degrees of resentment, pain and confusion. Blame for the other and just as much blame for myself. I have hugged so tight as if to never let go. I still don’t want to let go. It can still draw tears. Divorce doesn’t have to be the worst event of someones life but I will say without a doubt that when our children are involved it will be a wound that never totally heals. Perhaps we learn to live with our regrets and pains. We learn to mask and cope, but make no mistake, these sorrows shape us.

I hope you or I never have to choose a parking lot somewhere in between what should have been forever and what will never be again. I hope we can see the beauty of tending our gardens, and giving our children the best of ourselves. And if we do, I hope forgiveness begins on our own tongue and ends with the ones we’ve hurt. I will be looking for this family again next Wednesday. To see them is to see myself and to see myself is a reminder that hope and forgiveness loom large and are sometimes brought down to a single hug. A clutching moment in time where love is all that really matters, and the wish that this hug would never end.

What Happened To The Middle ?

The tragedy at the Sandy Hook School has left us with an ache so deep in our soul that we’re not sure what a recovery looks like. It is a hard shaping of our reality. The are small brush strokes with subtly shape us in a way that we don’t notice until much later. This awful tragedy is an immediate, hard chunk cut from our softest core. Where we crave for answers and none come and questions just bring more questions.

While the tragedy at Newtown has prompted much of these feelings, the world conversations of guns and amendment rights, fiscal cliffs, and so on and so forth have made me ask this question; what has happened to the middle? The middle, the common ground where I really believe most of us live. Are the only choices the ones on the far ends of the spectrums? Is it really “my way or the highway?”. Is it a take my ball and go home world? I don’t think it is. I think most of us in the quieter conversations can see more than just their side.

What has pushed us so far apart from each other? These are serious issues some would say, but really, haven’t they always been. Womens Rights, Slavery, Obortion, Death Penalty, and the list goes on and on. What we humans will do to each other is a deep hurt and simply amazes most of us; and that’s at the hands of people who aren’t in their right mind. What of the sane ones that try to run over everyone else? Ones who would rather scare the hell out of people so their visions of “rightness” will become the way the world lives.

I guess in the end if we are pushed apart and the distance grows and grows then the result will be that we can’t even see each other. If we can’t see then we can’t hear each other. If we can’t hear then we can reach out and touch each other. The closer we live together the less we have to scream at each other. The more we can sit together in this world we share and really try to put our minds together, so we can build a better world for our children. If we don’t we will become a sea of people on opposite ends, mostly manuvered by external input, yelling into the darkness and wondering why it isn’t getting any better.

It is with a heavy heart that these words are typed. Not only for New Town, but for Aurora, and the Mall in Portland. They are typed for the man in Rapid City holding Police off, and for all the painful situations in which we hurt each other. The missing children, the elderly of which some prey on. I pray one day the Master of Breath will shed a light where we can wrap some understanding around this earthly existence. Till then, I hope we can all hold our tounge and wrap our arms around the ones we love. That we somehow drudge up and live with, even if a little at a time, the Golden Rule.