You okay?

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-05-16 - Opinion

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2022 - Cold war restarting, civil rights in jeopardy, spiraling inflation, shortages, racism and voting rights, neo-McCarthyism, voodoo economics. I feel like I've lived through this before.....

As a country, maybe as a world as well, we're headed in no good place. It's like the worst of the 50s, 60s, 70s all falling on us at once. It's so many many lessons of history not learned. For all the stuff leading up to this, Trump, Covid, racism, I sort of decided to just wait. I figured it would be gone soon enough. You don't just push aside 50 years of progressive growth in a country. But I guess you do.

I think about my parents and everything they stood for. Marching in the 60s for peace and civil rights. Teaching us to love our neighbors. Teaching us to stand up for others. Teaching us to cherish knowledge and work towards understanding instead of anger. Forgiveness, common courtesy, gratitude. How do I apply all those lessons now? We've become a nation ruled by fear and anger and greed. How do I apply forgiveness? Is it something I do irregardless of whether any good would come of it? Of course I do. And I despair when so many people don't.

In the end it came down to economics. The 60s ideals of peace, love and understanding were about us coming together to build on the promise of our founding fathers. Lifting up the downtrodden, pursuing justice instead of righteousness. But we've spiraled inevitably to a more feudal economy. We can vote, but we choose to vote against our best interests. And who do we vote for? The two choices are both crap. We're told we can all be rich. Just work harder. As if working two jobs to pay the bills isn't working hard. We can see the ivory tower, but we pretend not to see the nobility there laughing at us. It's the economy, and it's now for the few.

Most Americans support stricter gun laws. But we won't ever get them. Most Americans oppose making abortion illegal. But we'll do it anyway. Most Americans don't trust Facebook, but it's also where they get their news. Most Americans support Black Lives matter. Most Americans oppose gerrymandering. Most Americans say masks should be required on airplanes and public transportation. All of that goes nowhere because we're too busy hating each other for no good reason at all. We're too busy defending our own freedom by restricting the freedom of others. Covfefe is our fate. Flat is our planet.

"remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's." Even as an atheist I've always liked the Sermon on the Mount. Why can't we as a nation be more like that?

We've been conditioned to hate each other rather than work together. We've become a nation that hordes rather than shares. We trust our gut and reject science. Jesus, Muhammad, Gandhi all chose to live at the same level as the poorest in their community. Some of the greatest teachers of all time. Yet we choose to demonize the poor and lionize wealth and power. Not for our benefit, but as a distraction for our suffering.

All I know is 2022 sucks pretty bad so far. And appears to be going all in on the covfefe.

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