Saturday, November 21, 2009
Although I left my punk-rock past long ago (give me Texas country ANY day!), one part of it has always stuck with me: it's insistence (in theory, if not always practice) on individualism and thinking for one's self. That came increasingly in conflict with my goose-stepping adherence to the Liberal Religion. Then 9-11 happened. I felt one with my nation. I ran across the book "What's So Great About America" and wondered about that. I read it.
The other thing was that I reached a point in my life where I felt good enough about myself not to have to cling to the illusion that what I did and how I lived was always ok. I didn't have to struggle to always hold the illusion before my eyes that I was enlightened and good-no-matter-what.
I realized that my tireless work to have the government change the world for the better and take other people's money to do it was a convenient excuse to ignore the dirt in my own life. Hey! I was a community organizer, I was trying to make the world a better place, so I was a good person, regardless of how I acted in my personal life. I could act like a dick and still pat myself on the back and feel superior.
But then I started to see the effects of what I did and realize that changing the world was MY responsibility, one person at a time, not the government's.
I was finally able to accept that the world is messy, that people are made of both good and evil and that perfection can not come about through legislation.
You can not legislate hearts.
So how to bring about change? What makes people feel so insecure and weak as to have to hold onto such destructive illusions and bring the rest of the world to destruction with them?
I think part of the answer is that there are segments of society that have internalized the idea that they are just crap, people vilified for their differences, as well as the society-wide loss of the idea that the most precious thing in the world is other human beings.
The only answer I can find? Jesus.
With the decline of our Christian roots people are free to see others as objects, for profit, sex, what have you. True, there has always been and will always be that way of seeing others, but once upon a time it was tempered by the idea that every person on earth is equally valued by The Creator and precious beyond measure.
Does it help to treat a person with a fragile ego engaging in lunacy to get by like the crap they have always been told that they are?
No. Hence that increasingly difficult command to "love your enemy." It is the only way to change the world and it only works on a personal, one on one basis.
We watch our enemies destroying everything we love, and yet, we are to love them.
Really messes me up. Here I am, railing against "idiot moonbats" and yet, when I work with them and encounter them, I can't bring my animosity towards their movement in general to bear on my interaction with them one on one. The least reason is that it's counter-productive. They just dig in. Another reason is that as horribly embarrassing as it is, I always need to bear in mind that I was once who they are, and on top of that, I still carry around a copious amount of fault and sin.
Sucks. It's hard. But it approaches the true and real. It's only the way to change the world through freedom instead of slavery.
It's punk rock!