Life Matters !
Does not all Life Matter? It is just a question that reverberates through my mind every now and then when I hear one special interest group or another spout their unique form of hatred, as they selfishly, and specifically, self-promote their own versions of ‘freedom’ and what matters, but only to ‘them’. I continually ask myself, what is it really that they are looking to accomplish? If and when you see a segment of society that is not being treated fairly, it is a noble thing to try and rectify the situation. To fix a problem that does indeed exist. But it seems that they are never looking at the big picture, and the inevitable ramifications of their own actions, when they demean and degrade the very people that may in fact be indispensable to bringing about that solution they seek. When you attempt to achieve something, specifically for yourself or a particular group of people, and you do so at the expense of those that are not a part of that group, you are actually working against your own self-interest, especially when you need the support and agreement of those ‘others’ to ever hope to reach a successful resolution to your issue. It does not matter if we talk about Black Lives Matter, or Feminism, or Poverty. If we preclude groups such as the entire white population, the complete male sector of our society, or all successful businessmen from the conversations, how do you ever hope to accomplish your goals? Especially when the vast majority of the people in those groups would actually support the efforts for change, if you could only try to include them in your efforts, and ask for their assistance, and listen to their views, and accept their words, instead of demanding they acquiesce and capitulate, with no chance or ability to add a different perspective to the discussion.
Yes, the reality exists that there are individuals and groups of people in America that do not respect the minority populations. Some dislike just our black brethren, while some fear, and yes, even hate, all minorities. But you must recognize and acknowledge as well that a similar distrust, dislike, fear and hatred exists in the minds of those very same minorities, and it is directed towards the white section of our society, as well as against many of the other minorities which share the same challenges and transgressions as they themselves experience. Mankind has long had difficulty accepting that which they do not understand, or see as different, whether it be color or culture. This is something that may very well never change, and surely not in our lifetimes. The Palestinians and the Jews have had a mutual animosity for over a thousand years. It does not change. And I for one, do not see much differences. But I guess hate is in the details. Their controversy continues, and the refusal to even discuss the issues has brought them nothing but incalculable pain and suffering through generations. So much for resolution. But the fact remains that the issues within the black population of America are real, although maybe not exactly as expressed by the protesters we see daily. And what is just as real, and even more important is the fact that all of the rights and benefits they enjoy today, rightly so, would never have been possible without the support and consent of the vast majority of the white population to bring about such a reality. One of their primary concerns is against what has come to be called ‘profiling’ where we use stereotypes to define individuals, many times unfairly, with attributes that may or may not be true. Do they not stereotype white America? Are they not as guilty as those they decry? The answer is obviously a resounding yes! It is obvious that most people believe the validity of their concerns. It is undeniable that there are white citizens who agree with the need to change, and proven by the numbers of whites who demonstrate side by side with them. So why do they demean and demoralize those people and the opportunity to garner support from those that have not taken to the streets? There are thousands, if not millions of people who agree with their ultimate goals but will refuse to support groups created and built on hatred and violence, and that will make it that much more difficult to ever hope to bring about the change that we all envision.
It is much the same with Feminism. How in the world can you make a statement that describes men as hating women? It would be laughable if it were not so tragic, and dangerous to the future of our society. Every man has a mother. Most have wives, and daughters and sisters, and countless friends and relatives. Do you really expect anyone to believe that all men hate all of those women without question? If I was to make an educated guess, it would be that the percentage of men that do not respect women is very close to a similar number of women who have little or no respect for their male counterparts. And strangely enough, or possibly not so hard to believe, they are the very ones who developed and direct the whole feminist movement. Curious. Men love women. Not perfectly, but they do the best they can. They have been caring for and supporting the women in their lives forever. Most men adore their loves. Most men have never touched a woman, unless it be with affection, and they have never taken love, unless it was offered. And most cherish and respect their partners. And if you do not realize and acknowledge this, it may be that you need to look in the mirror to find the source of your problems. We have many individuals on both sides of this issue that are over-educated and yet lack the basic intellect and empathy to understand the issues from both sides. They lack the integrity and more importantly, they lack the philosophy to deal with what may be the largest issue we may ever confront. The humanity of mankind. We are all human. That is not a choice. We are all flawed, with many exceedingly so. There are more than enough mistakes and blame to go around. Our egos lead us to a level of hubris that at times is without equal. And, much the same as our questions of race within this country, the women’s movement alienates a huge amount of support with their message of outright hatred and lack of inclusion of those that have concerns and questions as to intent and possible intolerance. In many instances this involves women as well as men who have grave concerns as to inflamed rhetoric used and destructive agendas. Many women have respect for men and are conflicted with the need to confront the challenges women face, and yet do so in a thoughtful and considerate venue. Again the efforts to create change are prevented by the very people who claim that very change as their only goal. We all must always deeply question motive.
And what of our fellow citizens who live each and every day in an environment of poverty? With all the limitations and shortcomings that exist within America, it is still the greatest country this world has ever seen. There is no country that opens their hearts, as well as their piggy banks, to help the less fortunate. With every natural disaster it is obvious that they care and they are willing to give both time and effort, as well as dollars, to help those in need. America has a great heart, and with all the hate on our streets and in our media, it is difficult to see why sometimes. Maybe we need to question the protests on the streets and the reporting through our media outlets. The fact remains that America is a giving country. We care about people and react accordingly. And that goes for those people who find themselves fallen on tough times.
There is more at work here than meets the proverbial eye. Little, if any of these protests have to do with solving an issue and providing resolution. In fact, it is quite the opposite. They do not really want the movement to achieve success. It is about power, plain and simple. Many of the protestors have made their issues a career, and if successful, what would they do if there was nothing to protest, and no one to blame? You can get caught up in the protest, and the agendas, of others, or you can take a step back and decide what is really important. Rethink the fundamentals. We all need to be people of integrity and character. We need to rely on our thoughts and our philosophies to bring clarity to a direction that just might bring resolution to an admittedly difficult set of issues. You must realize that we are not going about it in the right way. Somewhere deep inside, or maybe not so deep, you know that this is politics and the resultant hatred is not the answer. We all know the answer is much simpler than that. But we need to have the strength of character to confront the issues, and disagree with those who only want to hate, and we need to begin a real effort to create change for the better. We all have to simply do the right thing.
It’s ok to be a bit racist. It is a good thing to have pride and understanding of who you are and where you come from. It may be trite but you are also part of a bigger group, and one where it is always a good thing to be racist. You are part of the human race, and there is where your attentions should be directed. When you promote mankind, you not only elevate your own position, but everyone else as well. That is where true equality and justice reside. It is the ONLY way we will ever achieve that which we seek. Justice. And peace.
It’s ok to be a bit sexist. Again it is a good thing to have pride and understanding of your gender and your place in the larger plan for us all. But remember that there is but a single chromosome that separates you from anyone else. They are not different from you, but they are not the same. You are unique from every other member of your own sex, as well as every other human being. That is not something to distance yourself from. Embrace the individual. Revel in your own distinctiveness. We are all an integral part of the diversity of life. Have empathy for all those others, for in reality, they are not just like you, they are you.
It’s ok to want to be a bit successful. And finally, it is also a good thing to have pride and understanding of your achievements and your abilities to create both success for yourself and wealth to sustain your life. Your accomplishments are a testament to your resolve and tenacity, as well as your intelligence and your dedication to effort and learning. But in many ways, your life is a matter of happenstance, and your opportunities derive not only from your own actions, but the serendipitous events such as where in the world you come into existence and the current events of that place you call home. It is something to consider when you view those people. Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles, and their own demons. Enjoy your good fortune. You have earned it. You have no obligations to others, other than what you place upon yourself. That is as it should be. Please do not forget. And I am not sure it has anything to do with any gods, so I will paraphrase; There, but for the grace of, shall we say, destiny, go I. You may someday be judged by your success, but you will invariably be remembered for what you accomplished by the use of that success. Prosperity can be both a tool and a weapon. It is for you to decide. Choose wisely.
So the next time you see these protesters on the news, or speak to them wherever it may occur, we must have the resolve to counter their unthinking rage and single-mindedness with reason and thoughtfulness. Can’t we find another way to resolve these differences? It is what the vast majority of us wish for, and hope for. There are those, on both sides of the issue, which will never give quarter, or listen to that reason. Unfortunately, we will never convince them of the necessity to change direction and process. But we can voice our concerns, and deny them our complicity in their agendas. We can believe in their goals, and yet continue the struggle by way of another path until our battles achieve a successful result.
But there can be no victory . . . . until . . . .
All life matters!