Sunday, July 30, 2017

Essay: Some Thoughts on Fear and Sorrow

This was written one year ago and never published.
The killing still goes on: citizens killing citizens, police killing citizens, citizens killing police.

Trump has proven himself worthy of the fear we had on his election. “Give the man a chance,” people said. NO, he has proven, in my opinion, that he did and does not deserve a chance as he continues to demonstrate that he is not worthy of the office of POTUS and is a misogynistic, anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic, incompetent, unqualified, egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic, dishonest, lying bully.

His TWEETS and failed orders have done much damage. His representatives have demonstrated the inability to answer directly, questions put to them, perfected the art of “spin,” and has worked at discrediting the news media. He had strengthened “Fake News” and fake “Fake News” to the point that so many American’s don’t know what to think or how to decide!

He appoints incompetent people to man important government posts or people whose history points towards their not supporting the work associated with the post. He has unsuccessfully (with his Republican supporters their fear of alienating) tried get rid of Affordable Health Care instead of trying to making it better, has been throwing punches at the LGBTQ Community by trying to repeal their hard-won rights, tried to eliminate NAFTA, reduced or gotten rid of measures meant to protect the environment and our national parklands, revoked Obama’s fair pay and safe workplaces orders, and tampered with immigration laws, among many others.

His lack of intelligence and his vanity has helped him create many faux pas with other world leaders and caused the United States of America to become less of a world power because of his leadership abilities or lack thereof.

Investigation after investigation have been thwarted, investigator after investigator have been fired, and the public have been bamboozled regarding Trump’s past actions including among others his relationship with Russia, his family’s and supporter’s relationships with Russia, and his business deals past (and present even though he has stepped down and turned his business ventures over to his children.)

So with this update of a year, the following is the essay I wrote a year ago on “Fear and Sorrow” including a look at out of control gun violence, white privilege, hatred, discrimination, poverty, and POTUS matters, among others.

• • •

I think I might just leave my Facebook Profile Photo, a tear, permanently. Or change my name, as a few friends previously have done, to include the word Equity, as in Michael Equity Horvich. Until things get better.

This post is motivated by the news of more revenge killing of innocent people. Three police officers dead and seven others wounded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I cannot begin to list all the deaths, white and black, citizen and official, which have taken place over the last months and years.

Whether POLICE or CITIZENS; black, red, yellow, bronze, white, pink, green, etc, whatever. Due to religious beliefs or none: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, etc, How can we justify or even tolerate our killing each other, whether one at a time or on a large scale.

All these people are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, lovers, etc; both the killers and the killed; the killed and the killers. Where is the sense in this?

Yes, I am White, healthy, educated and doing ok financially. I have a roof over my head, a clean bed to sleep in, warm clothes on my body. I know where my next meal will come from and have some money left over to help others through volunteer work and charitable donations.

Many others do not have these abilities. So, yes, I do not suffer what so many others suffer or experience. I do not have much personally over which to rage, as do those who are treated inhumanely without respect or have unnecessarily lost those whom they love. I am not Black, will never be Black, and therefore cannot truly understand what it must be like to be Black … but as a fellow human being … I can empathize. Nor am I Latino nor an immigrant. Nor am I Transexual.

I do not feel that makes me feel privileged. While I am not of the world in the same way as some, I am in their world and I empathize with my less fortunate, aching, hungry fellow human beings. I am no better and no worse than anyone. If any one of them is in pain, so am I.

Perhaps I feel should feel lucky that I was born into a better world than so many, but that does not make me feel privileged. I feel that I can still speak out against the horrible state of things, state of the union, state of the world and to try to make a difference. We are ALL personally affected, whether directly or indirectly. Being “privileged” is more a matter, in my opinion, of one’s negative actions and beliefs against those less fortunate and further contributing to their difficulties … not on which side of race, or financial stability one finds oneself.

I am frightened as I know so many of us are. And yes, I need to throw in my fear of “TRUMP/PENSE” and so many other national and local politicians, religious and community leaders, common folk and those who see themselves as privileged, as well as those who see themselves as oppressed, etc, and who are fanning the flames of hatred and discrimination and death through their beliefs, statements, and actions.

I am frightened of those who feel it is OK to take a life to settle an argument or as payback. By those who cannot control their anger and go where only God should go. For that matter, I am frightened by countries and governments that feel they can take lives through execution or war.

What are these people really doing to make things better? What can we all do? What can I do? It helps to air one’s feeling and thoughts with friends but it feels like “preaching to the chorus” as for the most part one’s friends have similar beliefs. 

It seems, at least in the United States, that we are a people splintered, divided, suspicious, angry, resentful, and ready to strike out when what we need to become and to feel is unified, accepting, loving and ready to help, listen, experience, feel, empathize, grow, and change as necessary.

I do not purport to know the answer to gun control, one way or the other. It would seem that other than personal protection or hunting (neither of which I personally embrace) guns should not be available without strict background checks. Guns should not be available that are able to kill so many so quickly from such a distance. Mentally unstable people should not be able to get a gun.

I do know that the problem is much deeper than possession of guns. People choose to kill each other; whether in anger, revenge, insanity, or in un-thinking; because it is easy. But the ease of obtaining wartime or assault weapons in the hands of private citizens or public officials (police) is unnecessary. One argument given in that "people kill NOT guns," but that skirts the issue.

I believe that stopping the ability and the temptation to kill so many so quickly might be the place to begin and that will enable us to take a closer look at the "cause and state of things." Then we will be able to begin to work on figuring out who we have become as a nation, as a world which enables individuals to feel that it is OK to kill, to take another life and how we can work at changing that.

They say in bad times; things get worse, hit bottom, and then finally rise from the ashes. I dread the ashes. I am usually optimistic about life and believe in magic but it seems like the darkness is going to continue for some time to come.

Meanwhile, I vow to work at imagining and working for a better world, perhaps this action on my part will help put the right vibrations out into the universe. I will work at becoming a better me, unearth hidden personal biases, and cultivate a better attitude towards all living things.

If enough of us work at this, perhaps things can change, sooner rather than after the Armageddon.

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