Archives for July 2015

19Jul

Elitism is the Murderer of Humanity

Anytime a society allows members to believe that some members are more important than others we invite our own demise.
Our society, particularly here in America, believes that money cures all evil. Now if you speak with an American 1:1, that is not the tale that an American will tell…
But I come to you with the mundane, not the grand gesture of philosophy that would allow you to hide behind yourself. When we read about people who commit spectacular crimes, we pretend that their wrongness does not exist in ‘regular’ life. We hide behind the glamour of the news report saying to ourself, “that evil exists over there”.
It does not, evil exists in every body and the most common evil is elitism. Elitism is the conversation of your own ‘rightness’ over another’s ‘wrongness’. We tell everyone how our own point of view is the correct one and, indeed give a convincing and innocent argument of suffering. It is this innocence that perpetuates the evil of elitism. We use this belief in our own superiority to allow others to suffer…
“He deserves to be fired, he is a know it all!” “She deserves a dressing down, look how pretty she is!” And so the punishment goes until we find a way to justify what happens to others, as long as it does not happen to us in a personal way.
We must examine this need within us to be more important than each other. We must find a way to see all with equal importance. If we do this, we will change the world.

14Jul

As Much as We Want to Live in the Present

It is impossible at times to keep perception narrowed to the now. Today is Bastille Day and my children’s father’s birthday. My kids’ father passed away in 2007 from his one and only heart attack, he was 54 years old.
My new husband is a widower with 2 daughters, they lost their one and only wife and mother in 2009.
These events are indelible in a way that no other events in life are. They are simply uncontrollable and grief will not bow to the wishes of any person. Grief comes upon you with a will of its own.
After bearing grief in life, we eventually learn that we must march on. We may not want to, we may not like it, but we have to keep living.
As we grow and prosper beyond our loved one’s death, we may feel guilty, as if without our loved one nearby, we do not deserve happiness. These can be difficult emotions and thoughts. We bear them, we feel them, and we do not know what to do with them.
My mother and my kids’ father suffered from sudden heart attacks and died very quickly, early and unexpectedly. They were the seminal moments in my family’s life and did not bode well for the health of either my family of origin, or my nuclear family.
I worked very hard and certainly relentlessly to bring my family back from the edge of darkness. I know very well that my new husband made Herculean efforts on behalf of his family’s wellness. It was one of the things that attracted me to him; dedication with limitless depth for the well being of his family.
And so, we are here and now, married for a couple of years and sharing parental responsibilities. As the result of a heart condition I was scheduled for a procedure today and for whatever reason, on Sunday, I started having chest pains and became light headed. The ambulance rushed to the house and transported me to the hospital.

I dearly wanted an answer to explain the chest pain. As my husband and I sat in the emergency room, he reminded me that I had failed to explain my health issues to the kids – at all. We stared at each other. Tears rolled down my cheeks. We are the last parents our multiple kids have. We are fiercely committed to surviving. It is our wish to see our grandchildren at their weddings. At the bottom of it all is the hope that our kids will not have to endure anymore tragedies that will cause grief and despair in their lives.

I have surreptitiously listened to the kids talk, they are proud that they have loving and caring parents, it’s important to them.

I want to survive this encounter with the hospital and because of my pending procedures I am scared.
I do not want to talk to our kids, each of them has endured so much, to be the source of pain and fear is a bitter reality for me. We must speak to the kids, each of them. We know that in some cases it is terrifying. Nevertheless, we must say the words: cardiac, emergency room, hospital stay…

To be clear, our youngest is a 28 year old man. To be clear, I lost my mother when I was 37, at the time, she was the center of my world. Our kids are strong, smart, handsome people who work hard and accomplish much. I do not speak of babies or idiots. I speak of right-thinking adults that I trust and treasure!

Still, there is something important about the surviving parent.. There is something important about the sharing of family history. There is something important about knowing that no matter what, there is someone in the world who loves you no matter what. Parents love beyond reasonableness and always will. That is a treasure beyond measure.
This is what we wish to be for the next 27.5 years: the source for our kids unconditional love and the source of their abiding strength.

01Jul

Dividing You and I With Condescension and Rudeness

When you are rude or condescending you are really telling that person: “you don’t matter to me, I don’t care how you feel and I certainly don’t want a relationship with you.”
Rudeness begets separation, a distinction between me and you; it is a dividing line that says we are separate with no hope of being anything else.
If you are foolish enough to believe that you are superior and therefore *pay no price* for your rude behavior, be warned, everyone pays a price for rude behavior. Rude behavior can be compared to a loose cannon on a ship on a stormy sea, once it is loosened, there is no way to tell how much damage the big, ugly, heavy cannon will do by rolling uncontrollably around the deck of the ship, up to and including sinking the ship or killing sailors.
If you are rude because you are angry, then you have allowed your anger to run away with you. Perhaps you believe that mistakes should be punished ruthlessly, and perhaps that is the way you live. Can you say then, that your traffic ticket should be charged to you at the highest possible rate? When you make a mistake do you punish yourself ruthlessly as you would do others? Of course not.
If any of your relationships include careless behavior that includes rudeness, condescension and a general lack of respect, then you will not enjoy that relationship to the fullest extent possible. The person who takes the brunt of the bad behavior will dislike you, resent you or dismiss you. No matter that the person may act differently than that. You cannot easily rid yourself of bad feelings evoked by someone who is disrespectful of you. So you must be aware that you foster a difficult environment.
Perhaps you are the boss, or in some other way economically dominant of those people that you would scorn and disrespect. Perhaps you believe that your position gives you the right to demand compliance from others. Of course, justice is a human construct, so you may never see justice. You may never realize what you have missed either. You may not know what kind of relationship is available to humans who are loving, giving and kind.
We are not a society that prides itself in honesty. We lie profusely and often. You may never find out what others think of you because your behavior is ugly and mean. You might end up going to your grave thinking that you were a “good manager” or “wealthy” or “successful”.
And that is truly what we would call an unconscious life.