I tried to give it a go last year, but just wasn’t able to pull together the 2012 rant. I was too angry about much of what was going on to put anything constructive together. I’ve simmered down enough this year to at least string a few thoughts together.
“What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?” Nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I used to pray for peace. Now I demand it, or at least I insist that it seriously be considered. We seem to be living in an age in which we are addicted to having enemies. We have them abroad as well as here at home. Here’s a thought. “When we all do better, we all do better.” This seems a bit trite at first, but take a couple of minutes and contemplate it.
If you extrapolate this idea from the micro to the macro, the domestic to the global, you will find that it is quite a multidimensional concept. What is an economy for? Are we to serve it, or is it to serve our society as a whole? What if we weren’t spending billions of dollars a month on foreign wars, occupations and weapons development? What if we stopped defunding arts, music, and physical education programs in K-12 schools? How about halting the movement to cut teachers’ salaries and the drive to privatize our education system? What if we weren’t shackling our young people with enormous student debt? This debt now surpasses the total credit card debt of the entire US. What if our health care and health insurance industries were not driving people to the poorhouse? Then there are the issues of the bank bailouts and home foreclosures, our condoning and practice of torture (see the Bradley Manning case) and the big magilla of climate change, along with the need to develop a greener economy. I’ll pull up the flaps and stop there. The point is that if we thoughtfully examine the basic premise upon which we are organizing our society, it becomes clearly apparent that we are in need of major changes.
The problem is that we lack the collective will, knowledge and compassion to take focused action. The consciousness of peace is essential to this process of change. Within this mindful field of energy there is wisdom and open ended thought beyond the lower forms of judgment. We have to have the courage to entertain challenging ideas; ideas that we may never have considered before. A close look at the system shows that it is rigged, and not in our favor. Are we going to just stare at the back of the person in front of us and blindly march to the tune of the corporations and bought off political ‘leaders’, or are we going to open our minds and take a stand?
Jonathan Kozal, one of our foremost thinkers on education, says, “superb education is the root of change in society”. One doesn’t have to think too conspiratorially to see that the direction of our educational system is headed to a narrowing of parameters, with the intent of training worker bees. This is especially true in the lower income areas of our country. Superb education that produces creative individual thinkers, is not beneficial to the corporate idea of an orderly society. Fundamental to an invigorated educational process is the need to decouple political ideology from facts. Facts, by their nature, are not political in and of themselves. We are now at a time in our culture when almost everything is politicized. This has created an environment in which truth and objectivity are moving targets. Everything is not relative, and every one’s opinion is not equal. Some viewpoints are actually more informed that others. The mantra of “that’s just your opinion”, is indicative of a climate in which outright lying is just shrugged off.
It’s time to take fate by the throat and remove ourselves from the false narratives of ‘us verses them’, ‘we’re all on our own’, and the big daddy of them all, American Exceptionalism. There is much to be said about this, but basically we must realize that from the individual to the geopolitical, we are all in this together. We need to get with the program and give it a serious go. What can it hurt? Heck, I’ll bet we even make quite a few friends along the way.
I’d like to send us forth into 2013 with some inspiring words and energy via Cornel West (1:02:15 to 1:18:28). He is one of the premier intellectuals, and social thinkers of our time. His writings and speeches are well worth looking into. He’s got the street cred to tell it like it is. Please have a listen. The winds of change are upon us.
Peace, Love, and Light,
The Campbell Clan