Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Rambling Christmas Essay



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Standing on the precipice staring into the abyss for too long wrapped up in our collective fears and prejudices our humanity is stretched beyond the breaking point. The animal instinct to view the stranger, the unknown, and the different overrides our better angels and we only see the world as a place of horror and danger. In this state we all too easily abandon our compassion and our conscious for the easy rationalization that only our small group holds the God give rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or even worse, come to believe that we are God’s only chosen people.
Such justifications have allowed every nation, tribe, or religion to subjugate and enslave those weaker than themselves. Such actions only result in a bitter harvest because those that dominated now will in time through inherent human weakness only fall from power and change places with those that were once slaves. This cycle only feeds on itself condemning our children to a continuous reign of terror where only the names change.
When the world was much larger and people were fewer such cycles could be contained but the world has changed and our numbers have exploded and our new toys have become a danger not only to the human race but the earth itself. But our ways have not; we are still the same violent and ignorant race that only a few thousand years ago looked out at the night from the cave fearing the darkness and what demons lurked beyond the safety of the fire.
Figures through history have warned us of our primitive and destructive ways; only for those messengers of peace and love to have their words bent to serve the needs of those seeking power and dominance not only of their fellow men and women but of the earth itself.
Still we go on clawing our way on top of each other sacrificing the many for the benefit of the few. The words of peace and love curiously both strained to serve our own purpose and ignored when they become inconvenient to what ends we wish to justify, the greater glories of creation forgotten for the shallow and tepid joys of material goods and to serve our egos.
It is hard not to see warnings in the wind with a few worried people crying out that we can’t go on very much longer like this. A few understand that it is our time to grow up and learn that we are no longer a scattered band of savages struggling to keep our small group safe from the dangers of a world we did not understand. That denying the basic rights and needs of others for reasons of power or to please a distant and quiet God does nothing but seal our own destiny in sadness.
Despite our intransigent ways change does come, although the pace is slow with setbacks and blind alleys as we fight with ourselves over which changes should come first. Let’s hope that the second decade of the twenty-first century can be a time of changing the course of our violent history, realizing that while we cannot change our nature we can begin to understand that it can be controlled and channeled for more productive results.
Such efforts to tame the worst aspects of our nature are by far the most important task we can undertake. But we have no other option; we have to answer this challenge because we say we love our children, that we hope for them at least the happiness we enjoyed. But such happiness is everyday more tied to the lack of happiness of some lost soul on the other side of the world living in fear and need.

Failure will only result in the eventual fall of us all. To change and alter our history for the better we will have to embrace the stranger, the unknown, and those far different than ourselves. Words will no longer suffice, actions and painful efforts will have to take their place but truth be told this has been known all through our civilized existence it’s just that the stakes have never been this high. In the end its more than just about simple survival, it’s about being the people we have always wanted to be, it’s about finding that spark of the divine God created inside each of us.






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17 comments:

sunshine said...

I agree.
Change is HARD though and not many of us want to change.
We want more more MORE!

Hopefully, before it is too late.. we will be able to change our lifestyles and thought patterns.

The world is such a beautiful place. Sadly,most of us will only see the area in which we live.. or not far from it. I think that has a lot to do with selfish thinking as well.
Someone like you that has traveled the globe has a greater understanding of thinking globally.
I'm glad you're here to remind us that it's not just about us..ourselves but others and the earth itself as well....

((Hugs))
Laura

sunshine said...

Sorry if that was a bit scattered. Mass kept saying "Mom mom mom mom" the whole way through... not wanting anything but still... it throws me off... ;P

SJ said...

You wrote:
"To change and alter our history for the better we will have to embrace the stranger, the unknown, and those far different than ourselves. Words will no longer suffice, actions and painful efforts will have to take their place but truth be told this has been known all through our civilized existence it’s just that the stakes have never been this high."

I say those words of yours should be read aloud at the United Nations, the Senate and House, the WTO and IMF's next sessions and in churches, mosques, synagogues and comic book conventions moving forward.

Well, as Robert Plant famously sung, "Ramble On..."
Ramble on, and a Merry Christmas to you BB.

-SJ

David Barber said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours BB.

All the best for 2010, David.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Merry Christmas, BB. I enjoyed and aligned with this post... much so. Happy holiday to you and your family and friends. I hope you have a real fine celebration, much to be thankful for in one anothers' company and that you are safe and you remain prosperous. Sounds so damn formal, when really, dude, it's just exactly what I thought! :-) It's been a better year for reading the Life & Times of a Carolina....what was that? LYAO :-)

Cloudia said...

Amen!



Aloha, Friend!
Happy Holidays


Comfort Spiral

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Just like you said to me about compartmentalizing, it seems to be a "species thing". This, in that, yes, whether it be over land, women, OR compteing perspectives, we always seem to be jousting over something. Hopefully, double b, we'll never take to projecting the big ones.

lime said...

may we work toward peace on earth with goodwill to all.

merry christmas, beach bum.

Cormac Brown said...

Well said, sir, Merry Christmas.

Beach Bum said...

Hi BB - despite all the shit going down, just wanted to stop by and say Merry Xmas to you and yours. There! Said it!

Beach Bum said...

Sunshine: We want more more MORE!

Tell me about it, all my kids could talk about was what they DIDN'T get.

SJ: You know, I've been to a couple of comic book conventions and people say politicians are disconnected from reality need to attend one of those things.

David Barber: Hope next year is a better one for us all.

Gwen: I'm just looking forward to get out of town in a couple of weekends.

Cloudia: Dreamed about Hawaii the other night, it was like Heaven.

Will: Yeah, although I've never heard of anyone losing a bet in which underestimate the intelligence of the human species. Just yesterday I saw a small display billboard for a church make some connection to the Free Masons and current events. I simply don't want to know the details.

Lime: Amen, and that we try overcome our darker natures.

Cormac and Beach Bum: May 2010 be the start of better times, no perfect, just better.

Malicious Intent said...

Beach Bum for President!

Malicious Intent said...

I mean, what else can I say...you said it all.

I do hate the holidays.

Wasteful spending, energy on lights, landfils with paper and trees...list goes on....

Others are starving, and we stuff our faces with food we don't need.

Hate. The. Holidays.

MadMike said...

There is a line in AVATAR, which I saw yesterday, and it goes something like this:

"...they killed their Mother."

The line refers to us, and how we completely destroyed nature, and in so doing killed the Mother of us all. I am afraid that prophecy is certain to come true. We cannot help ourselves.

Rhiannon said...

Well done post beachbum! I agree with everything you said in this post. I couldn't have said it any better than you did!

I live in a town and county that is very far right conservative and "small minded" like the town and county you mention you live in. It is not always easy for me to deal with such prejudice and the "I'm a God fearing man, woman, blah blah" type mentality. In the apartments complex I live in I walk down the enclosed hallways every day looking at the signs they have on their door apartments..things like "I'm proud to be an American" "I love my country and am God fearing"...it's so sad as I walk by this every single day and I feel sad for people that think this way. I feel that the "Pride" and "Proud" issue is the main problem. Like the ole Jackson Browne song says "My country right or wrong"...no no no no no no! This is the wrong mentality...because it gives so many excuses and "reasoning" to somehow justify all we have done or "Not" done. Also like you said "fear" stops a lot of people. Fear of others being different and not thinking just like them or having the exact same values. To put people in little "Niches" and keep the rest "out"...people looking down on others...others always looking "up" at people thinking they are not good enough because they don't have much money or "all the materialistic crap",etc..

I always think to myself "it starts right here within myself", I can make a difference by turning the other cheek and I have many many times. But also speaking up even when you know your are facing fear...moving beyond that fear makes such a big difference in every single individual in this world. We must not let fear control us...or we will fail at trying to make "Change" happen in this world. If you never speak up if you never stand up for the struggling ones, if you always look the other way because it makes you feel uncomfortable or you don't "want to get involved" than how can anything ever really change? It can't without facing a lot of our fears head on and that means "sacrifices".

Well, I didn't mean to go on but reading this post is like something I might write in my journal or poety.

I feel that we all can become "Visionaries"....if we really want to help "change" the world.

Many Blessings for "our better angels" and a new year full of courage and inner strength for us all in making the difference.

You are making such a difference beachbum you really are..you make people think and that is very important for our future.

Rhi

Beach Bum said...

Malicious Intent: There is a line form "The Fall of the Roman Empire" I love and carries real weight right now with the people in Washington.
It goes something like this after the hero saves the day and his girl and is talking with the Roman political stooges:

"My first decree after becoming Caesar would be to have you all crucified."

Given the ignorance and cowardice in Washington it wouldn't do for me to have any power...although the fantasy is nice.

Madmike: While the possibility of us totally destroying the biosphere is real I suspect Mother Earth will cull us in a few decades down to more manageable numbers.

Rhiannon: Small efforts have a collective effect that over time outweigh the worst of humanity. Its just a question of how much time we have left.

Randal Graves said...

Embrace the stranger? What are you, some kind of terrorist sympathizer?