Saturday, December 15, 2012

What now?

Oh, the suffering, the hand wringing the blaming. The outrage. The despair.

It's happened again; mass murder by someone who seems to fit better as a victim than a perpetrator.

How do we stop this? Can't we put an end to violence? It's these guns and these video games and bullying and the government needs to do something about it.

Perhaps there is another consideration. What if government it doing what we want them to do about it? After all, we are the government. It seems to me that as long as it's the problem of the we, then the I is helpless. After all, i'm only one person.

But what if the problem can only be solved by I action. That may be right or it may be wrong, but if the 60's gad any lesson for us at all, it might have been that people cannot trust the community to conform to our standards, that individually we have to assert what i believe in order to help others see the light.

That means that after I write my congressman, if I'm in the right kind of state or district where my rep doesn't agree with me already, then I need to go the next step. Government is deadlocked. We made it that way because we don't trust them to actually do the right thing. So I'm sorry to say, ,the next step is individual action.

My truth is that as a human I am continually experiencing what are referred to as negative emotions. They are usually represented this way because they make me feel bad, and I want to feel god. Isn't that what life is all about?

So the automatic reaction to something that makes me feel bad is to ignore it. So if I'm sad I do something that makes me feel happy, and if I'm mad I try to do something nice and if I'm afraid I pretend there's nothing to be afraid of. So I have a drink or play video games or have pointless, endless conversation with my friends about how to solve the problem, come to no solution I can do anything about, give up, go home and wonder why I can't sleep.

It's time to realize that technology has dealt us a mixed hand. Before machines and electricity we worked from dawn til dusk. Then we stopped long enough to eat, then collapsed into a hard earned sleep. Yes, that a huge over simplification. No apology.

Now I have considerable more time to think and feel that I had back then. I also have access to more information than ever---and lots of that information freaks me out. Or in plain English terrifies me. Further, I have no idea what to do with these feelings.

I'm beginning to get some clues, after all, the President can cry in public. That means if you're one of those lily-livered liberals you can cry and own your grief about an event you wish didn't happen. Or if your a so-called conservative you can claim outrage that anyone would want to do something about compromising this killers rights to own an automatic weapon, or have his mental illness be treated by the socialist state. Both of these are admission of powerlessness. Both of these require something to follow.

The lesson I take from this is that I need to own my feelings before I kill someone. Or before I bite the head off a co-worker because the bank issued a surcharge on my account that they said they wouldn't. Or my neighbor didn't clean up the mess on his fron lawn. Again. Powerless. Impotent. Vulnerable. Afraid. And someone has to pay.

How can I learn what to do?

I don't know what you should do, but I know what I have done and continue to do. I meet on a regular basis with people who are looking for the same thing I am looking for. How do I deal with these feelings with something other than outrage and denial.

This has been more than long enough. If you want to read more about this, come back tomorrow.

I cannot change the past, but I will contribue to the future, like it or not. What will I contribute, and how will I judge that contribution?

See you tomorrow.