I have spent my life among them.
If they talk with each other, they cannot help but find agreements and slide their certainties together. They cannot think or feel all that differently from those around them. They are much more the mirrors of collectively-wrought thoughts and feelings than they imagine themselves to be.
If they would admit to themselves how much they are owned and operated by the people and systems around them, they would work much harder for wholesome community and good government.
If groups form and stop talking to other groups.
If they no longer have to converse with people with different ideas at church, in the neighborhood, anywhere. If they can retreat every day into a media that won’t buck their group’s worldview.
If they can largely wall off other perspectives and are pressured by their friends and family to despise what little other-thought they may accidentally here and there consume.
The echo chamber takes over.
I have spent my life among them.
I don’t know what to do here and now.
Because Donald Trump lost a fair election.
And while in power he had eroded checks and balances, good government, and faith in any possible objective and shared reality.
And a good way to destroy a democracy is to call fair elections shams while working to make the next elections less fair.
And is that not what we see now?
A storm gathering.
It is evil to undermine democracy.
It is evil to hurt a system that helps people peacefully, honestly, and openly share power.
And also foolish.
Because if you lose power in a functioning democracy,
you retire to a gentle landscape.
But if you lose power — and power never lasts forever —
in a corrupt state,
then you retire into the mire, possibly the dungeon.
Also all the while the nukes keep piling up.
It is only a matter of time.
I hear only us all shaking in the wobbling branches, hanging on for dear life and screeching angry certainties this way and that as the winds blow us hither and thither.
And you are too.
The primary job of the citizens in a representative democracy is to serve as a final check on madness in corruption in government. They do this by together agreeing to prioritize their shared fundamental values of honesty, clarity, accuracy, competency, effective kindness, gentle resolve, and shared joy. These are the values without which none of our worldviews means anything to any of us. How? How can we come back again and again to the beginning and work slowly and carefully up from there? We don’t need to pretend we have it all figured out. We just need to demand a setting where honest, open, fair, thoughtful government is rewarded.
But you see
There’s no trust
There’s just no trust anymore
There’s no trust that we can meaningfully share reality
There’s no trust that the other side can and/or will do the right thing
people are dangerous
only fools say that this or that kind of a person is dangerous and this or that kind is safe
what is safe and good and worthy is honesty, clarity, accuracy, competency, effective kindness, gentle resolve and shared joy. It is wisdom: thought and action bounded by the fundamental virtues and nourished by a constant push inward towards the Love within and outward towards the Love shining through each sentient moment: that is what is safe and good and worthy.
People are dangerous, especially when backed into a corner. They begin to justify all manner of violence. They’re doing what is right for them and their family and friends. The say the situation is hopelessly corrupt, so they have no other choice. This is the way down, down, down, and down. They are right that that is the problem with corruption: it rewards evil and punishes goodness. But they were wrong to scream fire in order to better undo those safeguards against the pooling of too much power into too small a space. That is evil, and that is part of what we citizens of a wobbling yet still essentially functional republic must carefully, calmly, gently, with our hearts and minds intertwined at that critical spot where they do in fact always agree push against.
Break your backs, why don’t you?
Pull your lungs out, why can’t you?
Beach me, beach me on her bloody back, why won’t you?
Of course we had to quit whaling.
It turned out it was cruel.
And cruelty, no matter how exciting the surrounding circumstances, is always dreadfully dull, boring, so boring, so very very boring.
Copyright: AM Watson