Thursday, September 19, 2013

the moral high ground

It’s been a long time since I’ve ventured into talk about anything remotely political. To tell you the truth, I have intentionally extricated myself from the incessant chatter of cable news, a thing in which I used to partake on a daily basis, frequently adding my own voice to the cacophony of dissenting ones out there.

Oh, it’s not that I don’t care anymore. Quite the opposite. I care too much. I am incapable of not taking to heart the part of our nature that can perpetually turn our backs on human suffering or, in fact, create more of it, whether by virtue of our actions or our inaction.

You see, I made the mistake of tuning into This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday to see the interview with President Obama. It’s Thursday now, and I don’t have the foggiest recollection of what was said, but I haven’t been able to shake the visual of the children lined up in body bags in Syria.

I’ll be honest with you – I don’t have the answers for how to effectively put a stop to people killing each other anywhere in the world. But I know very well what the answer isn’t and that is adding to the carnage.

Our righteous indignation at other countries’ barbarity would be a whole lot more convincing if we would put a stop to the mass murders committed every day in our own country at the hands of gun toters. No matter how many mass shootings we seem to have, no matter who the victims, their ages, the location or how preventable they are, we do not seem to collectively give a damn enough to get rid of the guns. And that is an infirmity.

Yes, I believe we must “be the change we wish to see in the world.” So to that end, I haven’t vacated my participation from current events in order to ignore their existence, but rather I’ve been making a concerted effort to offer up a version of myself that embodies the love and peace I’d like to see in the world. How to reconcile that with the crazy we’ve got going on right now, I haven’t quite figured out yet. But here’s what I think: we’ve been operating under the misguided notion that being successful looks like one side overpowering the other’s beliefs, ideals, way of life, or form of government. I think true success would look very much like a pot luck supper, with every differing body coexisting side by side at the same table, offering up their unique delicacies while maybe tasting someone else’s for a change.

I realize the unlikelihood of this type of banquet coming to pass in my lifetime. But I am, at heart, a dreamer, filled with grand ideas of worlds not yet thought into existence, daring to cling to both the innocence and optimism that would ask, “Why not?” as I valiantly charge toward the unknown.

In reality, I am a writer taking a few moments off from writing songs and a book in order to say it should not be okay with us to watch the body bags amass anywhere. Nor should the term “collateral damage” be acceptable. There is not a single person on earth who does not bear some responsibility for that which occurs anywhere on this earth. Every soul’s suffering is our own suffering…or rest assured, it will be in time.

I think it is incumbent upon us to show the same degree of mercy to each other that we ask God to show us. Then, maybe we can legitimately claim the moral high ground. Until then…thanks for stopping by. 

Peace and blessings to you...

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