10Jun

Elitism

Elitism is in Everyone

Elitism is the single biggest equality killer in the world.  Since recorded history humans have been practicing it.

Elitism is no more than a mind game, it’s what the millennials would call head-trash.  We think that we are better than others.  We believe that there is a reason that others don’t deserve as much as we do.

We tell ourselves it is okay for ourselves to have more because, we live in America and, after all, we have earned it.  If we didn’t earn it and we are just plain wealthy, we have a different story, such as, “I am entitled to my family’s money.”    The point is, that it’s all a story that we tell ourselves.

This kind of thinking works particularly well in America because we are all about rugged individualism and earning our keep.  If someone doesn’t earn their keep, we ignore them, or denigrate them.  If they die, oh well, not our fault.  Homeless are homeless because they want to be, or because they are drug addicts. 

Elitism is everywhere!  In politics, if you lose, you just weren’t tough enough (I’m tougher).  This is true in sports and, of course, in business.  Elitism is the process whereby we make our selfishness and greed okay to ourselves.  We tell ourselves whatever it takes to continue with our consumption behavior.  We don’t want to be wrong about how much that we purchase for ourselves and our family.  If we do feel guilty, why we can just contribute a little bit to charity and that takes care of it.

Elitism is what allows us to indulge in religious wars.  We have decided that our God is the best and so much better than others.  We believe that our culture answers all questions.

This kind of thinking has hurt us for thousands of years and it is time that we started a new way of thinking.  It is time that we acknowledge that we do not deserve wealth just because we have it. 

The Catholic church believes in it’s own wealth because they believed that they were closer to God than anyone else.  It is time to acknowledge that people don’t deserve wealth that is at the expense of another’s life or another’s well being.  An example of putting wealth and its acquisition above life and well being is healthcare in America.  It is not true that capitalism is more important than healthcare, and yet in America we have made capitalism more important than anything else, including people’s health and their lives.  One person dies every hour because of lack of healthcare, because of lack of money.  This is a moral failing of America.  It is equal to the Third Reich’s killing of all humans that they deemed less than the German standard.

In fact, Hitler began his murderous campaign by proclaiming that Germans were better than anyone else.  It was elitism at its most dangerous.

We imagine that we, personally, are not part of this elitism problem.  We are mistaken.  We must believe in elitism in a thousand little ways every single day.  What do you think makes it possible for people to cut you off in traffic?  What do you think allows a doctor to make you wait for thirty minutes in the waiting room?  Why is it okay for strangers to be rude to you when they have no idea what your situation is?  People are telling themselves that they know better, are better or have more privilege.

No matter where you go, or what you do, you will be exposed to elitism.  It’s the school secretary who looks down her nose when your child is late to school.  When you are at work, and your supervisor snubs you, or the manager tells you “we make those decisions” when clearly, managers don’t know how to make those decisions.  Elitism allows people to make these kinds of errors in judgment.

We don’t realize how pervasive and life threatening elitism is in America and in the world.  We would have to acknowledge our own elitist tendencies and then we would have to speak out against the thing that makes us feel valuable.  After all, if we are better than no one, are we good enough?

 

02Jun

We are All an Inch Away from Homelessness

Winter

Winter

I’ve recently read some statistics that say that anxiety in America is at an all time high of 20%.  Think about that, that is one in five people.

In this country, the poor far outnumber the rich.  To make matters worse, we won’t admit how poor we are, so we deny the reality that lives here in our country.

I think America is so much better off than any other third world country – no question.  It’s just that we don’t admit to our frailty, and our love for the feudalistic system of the Dark Ages.  The rich ravage the poor and own everything worth owning.

Americans pretend that we are all well off.  We are so good at pretending.  Fully half of our retail system is built around the concept of false wealth and looking like you have it, when you don’t.

We pretend we have power, we don’t use.  We pretend we have money we don’t have, we pretend that we are smarter and better, we are not.  We have been sold out by Madison avenue.  Let’s be clear though, we are the ones who bought into this falseness.

The truth is that we are embarrassingly poor and poverty stricken in this country.  We actually don’t realize how much money our society wastes on non-humanitarian endeavors.  We don’t need any more nuclear bombs, but our country has committed itself to continually enriching the one per-centers.  It’s the one per-centers who are bomb makers, and oil company owners.  You and I don’t have that kind of influence and money.

HOWEVER, we want to pretend that we do have that kind of money.  We want to be on the Trump side, because that’s the side of the wealthy.  Ivanka sells bracelets for $10,400.00.  Isn’t THAT the group that we want to be part of?  The heavy hitters who can afford anything?

In the meantime, I struggle to pay for healthcare.  Yes, I have health insurance, yes I have an Health Savings Account, and still, because I am sick, I can barely afford my healthcare.  I have to buy a prescription that is compounded and because it is compounded, my insurance won’t cover it.  My physicians are specialists, so I must always pay the higher rate to see them.  My procedures are always paid at 80%, and any SMALL and SHORT procedure costs us several thousand dollars.

Republicans talk about how Social Security is not enough and Americans should be saving for retirement.  To keep myself working, I have to spend approximately $500.00 to $1,000.00 a month for health care.  I have been spending this much for about five years now.  How do I save money under these circumstances?

It maddens me that at least 30% of this money goes to enrich healthcare executives.  It’s not for healthcare, it’s for profit and for the greed of those one-percenters.  The reason for this is that our Congress in the United States of America, is for sale.  This congress are retiring as millionaires because the healthcare industry has paid them off.  After all Viagra is very, very lucrative.

I don’t understand this.  What I really hate about it is that in other countries, politicians and capitalist executives are likely to admit that they work together.  It’s only in America that we pretend that capitalism is a good thing.  We need to admit that although capitalism has value, it has run amok in America.

Back to anxiety and the prevalence of anxiety in America.  Americans may be in denial, but something inside (intuition) is telling us the truth about capitalism in America.  We are all an inch away from being homeless and America has no safety net for us.

Because our culture believes in “rugged individualism”, most Americans believe that if you don’t work hard and pull yourself up by your boot straps, then there must be something wrong with you.  Because we believe this about ourselves and others, it can be devastating to lose a job.  We believe that this is our own fault.  More devastating still is the idea that we cannot then find another job to replace the lost job.  America is changing rapidly, printers are out of business, paper newspapers are out of business, factories that make records, tapes, and CDs are out of business.  Americans blame it on themselves when they cannot create financial success, even when the entire industry they work in has been demolished by change.

We know, we Americans know that nothing will save us.  There is nothing in America to help people survive.  Churches are trying and don’t make the mark.  Food stamps have always had limited application and now trying to attain them can be a nightmare.   Americans are dying at the rate of 5 per hour because of lack of healthcare, tens of thousands of Americans are homeless and our own children are often at risk of hunger and going to bed without dinner.

We have anxiety.  We know that we are not okay.  We know that we are at extreme risk.  America is brutal unless you are wealthy.  Comfort is difficult to attain, often, it is only the young who have not the left the security of their parents home that feel comfortable and live without anxiety.  The only other source of comfortable is for the wealthy or the ignorant.

Being aware of the brutality of our home country is a source of anxiety for millions of Americans.

We have to find a way to regain our hearts and souls in America.  We must regain a safety net.  If we can’t do it politically, we can do it by stopping blaming ourselves for things that are so much beyond our control.  We can take back America by believing in ourselves and by supporting each other in our best efforts.  We cannot do this by being “rugged individuals”.

We can be more realistic about our beliefs.  People with money are not necessarily smart in any way.  They haven’t done anything better or more meaningful than anyone else in America.  The single difference is money.  Then one must look individually for other differences and put all presumptions aside.  Let’s not give away power and wealth by allowing this country to be managed by the greedy and the cheaters.  Let’s reclaim America.

Spring

Spring

 

25Jan

We Have to Decide: What is Truth?

The most pressing challenge for America is how we will determine truth.  Will we believe the computer screen in front of us?  Will we believe the advertisers on Madison Avenue?  Will we research and do the work of truth?  Will we settle with what is served to us as truth?

This is such an important question as it determines the future welfare of America.  If we believe that our leader is telling the truth, when in fact our leader tells no truth at all, we end up supporting someone who leads us to doom. 

We believe the press is a place for lively discussion as well as the ability to disagree, however, we will only watch news that we agree with and that we enjoy or like.  This means that we look only for what will make us happy and will agree with our own opinion.  We refuse to examine truth, or worse yet, get angry when someone gives us a truth that doesn’t agree with our own truth.  As we muck about trying to determine a future for us and our offspring, we can do great harm if we do not at least look at what could be lies, and what could be truth.

The thing is that it is an effort to see the truth.  Some truths are harder than others, as some truths can violate how we see ourselves.  If I see myself as a strong and hard working person, I may be resentful of those people who do not work.  The only belief that I will support is a belief that strong and hard working people are good and people who do not work are bad.  It doesn’t matter to me why people don’t work, I just believe they are bad.

It would be no surprise that I would ignore any news that gave people who don’t work *the face of humanity*.  If people who do not work, are okay, then I am just an ordinary working human, not better than anyone.  This may be an unwelcome thought for me.

Let’s go further and talk about advertising (Madison Avenue).  Somehow advertisers have been able to get men to believe that having a gun and being dominant in relationships, is the correct way to express masculinity.  Additionally, advertisers have convinced women that they need no less than 14 shades of eye shadow and uncountable shades of lipstick.  For anyone who watches TV (everyone) the “right car” is fully automatic and will start itself even if you are 25 feet away.

I know that we continue to follow what is popular, whenever I go out, I notice that everyone dresses the same (even myself).  Women wear leggings, men wear cargo pants, kids wear jeans with the phone stuffed into the right rear pocket.  It is no different no matter where I go.

Society has spoken and while we must be special, special means a very specific prescription: dress according to designers, drive according to Madison Avenue advertisers, live according to Facebook, Pinterest and every other advertising means that works in the media.

So how do we get at the truth?  We can’t seem to trust experts, they are for sale.  What used to be police officers protecting our welfare, now are robots who must collect a certain amount of traffic fines in order to gain raises for themselves.  Now we have a congress and a senate that has sold itself to large corporations and billionaires.  They have sold out Americans as well.  We have been sold to wealthy entities because of our inattention to what is true.  The price of our inattention to the truth is huge.  We make our once pristine world filthy and we continue to allow wars that kill and maim our young people.

What will it take for us to get to caring about the truth and making & defining our own truth instead of that which is sold to us?  What will it take for us to make our country great again?  How do we make a country built on equality for all humans?  How do we make a country that will be healthy today and tomorrow?

We must-must decide and define “the” truth and then we must stick to it.  Back to the simple: Thou shalt not lie…

30Nov

She Thinks She Knows Everything

Cadence F5E4F86C-76B0-40BD-B991-E01F03088653 AD383B8A-E189-430B-A03E-D4517F497421 67B15615-7638-4D98-934D-F4FDA95C9B90 7CC16644-729A-4F82-A910-B71D640B2D67 A96AD6F8-8EF9-4783-AC44-5FCA02031301 5BE24DC8-DDFC-4471-B933-4EAB0C1E43E4 17E71E81-FFA3-4652-9045-4CE43A0B384D 3678D167-D957-497D-B35A-8BE22E640BD3And why not, she has certainly earned it?  She is not the simpering miss telling people what to do just to prove power.  Instead she is a strong and experienced woman, who does know.  She knows you.

Yes she understands you, and yes, you are even a bit scared of her.  You are scared of the depth of her understanding.  She reminds you of your mother, or perhaps your grandmother.

Maybe she is prettier than you, or smarter than you.  Maybe she is successful and has power.  Perhaps she has more money than you or a handsome husband.

So you hate her and you want to hurt her.  She has done nothing to you, except to be.  You will try very hard to destroy her .  You don’t need evidence that she has committed a crime, All you need is your own fear of her.  You are afraid that she knows you, you are afraid that she is “better”than you, so you will not forgive her.

You will do anything to destroy her and remove her, how dare she be better than you, how dare she be better than a man?

Her name is Hillary Clinton.

We can do better, as women, we will do better.

It’s time, we must take back our power and we will.  We will take back our power by working together, by supporting each other and by believing – in each other.

 

24Sep

An Egomaniacal Personality Makes You a Liar

In the world, when we are mindful, we cannot help but be aware of what is wrong and more important, what we have done wrong.  It can be as simple as buying the wrong dish towels for the kitchen.  It can also be as important as hiring the wrong assistant, one who hates you and spends all day, every day, trying to destroy your career.

We make mistakes, we are, as the poets put it, only human.  If you are mindful, this information about being human, can also keep you humble.  It is not as if you are less than any other, it is not as if you should bow down to any other.  It is only that we are, as human beings, all of life’s possibilities.  No one person gets to have all of what is good, or fun or bright.  We all must carry our burden, we all must make mistakes and we all will make very wrong decisions.

If we are single, bereft of family, our faulty decisions are of little matter to anyone but our own self.  However, if we are influential, then our own decision may be of some import to others.  The more influential, the higher the import, the more who will be affected by our decisions.  Again, sometimes, these decisions can be very wrong.

If you are egomaniacal, you will not believe any truth which disparages your perfection.  You will deny all which denies your perfection, often fabricating lies to prop up their own point of view.

Take “Papa John”, he loves capitalism and won’t hear a word about interdependence.  He believes that his ownership entitles him to using other human beings as indentured servants.  He lives in a 40,00 square foot home and pays his staff 7.25 per hour.  He thinks that he is entitled to every single profit that his company makes.  He has threatened to pass the costs of “Obamacare” onto his franchisees.  It does not occur to “Papa John”  that his wealth is dependent upon the sweat and hard work of others.  All wealth ‘belongs’ to him.  It does not occur to him that his well-being is a reflection of interdependence with the rest of the world.  He has adopted the rule of capitalism and will defend it to his dying breath.  Why?  Because it allows him to take all, without the guilt of greed on his conscience.  He believes in capitalism and will fight for the right to pay his staff poverty wages and to ensure that his staff cannot access health care.  He has made this reality his right as an American in a capitalist culture.

He will never admit that he creates poverty.  He will never admit that the family members of his staff die because they do not have access to health care.  He will never admit that he has created undeserved wealth for himself using unethical laws in a country that does not care for the weak and poverty stricken.

The egomaniac knows only his own truth.  It does not matter to the egomaniac that his truth is singular, it is his truth.

26Aug

The Pressing Need to be Better Than

This universal pressure here in America permeates everything, in almost every way.  People have a need to be better than someone, almost any one will do.  Most of the time, this need manifests itself blatantly.  Men who buy the biggest truck, they may have no need for a truck, but they must display the largest truck.  Women who spend an entire paycheck at the spa, getting manicures and pedicures, as if to say, I don’t have to work, look at my manicure: perfect.  In these situations, for the most part, it is a matter of successful marketing and is harmless, except perhaps to the wallet.

However, there is nothing harmless about the crushing need that certain sectors of our society have to be better than entire races and cultures.  This “being better” ideology allows a belief system to justify harsh and hate filled judgment of others.  This harsh judgment separates humans from each other and consequently allows cruelty to proliferate.

What I don’t understand is where does it come from?  In almost every conversation, particularly in business and social settings I see the conversations slipping into comparisons of wealth, status, intelligence, to say nothing of displays of wealth and privilege.

Not all societies have this need, and certainly there are gradients to the need.  This need is causing more destruction than can be counted.  One-up-man ship is a relationship killer, so we can readily acknowledge what it is doing to the melting pot of America.  Throughout our short history we have punished and denigrated all new cultures, indeed, beginning with the genocide of the American Indian.

Long term world peace is a real goal.  The attainment of such peace must begin with the individual who is willing to be equal in rights and privileges to all other individuals.   That can be a scary thought, as we can’t seem to imagine the abundance that is enough for everyone.  We want our own wealth and an assurance of survival.

As long as America grants person status to corporations and idolizes wealth and the wealthy, we will struggle with equality.  That is shameful for a nation founded on the tenets of equality and emancipation.

18Aug

Disturbing and Worse, it Continues

I think John Kasich said it best, when asked why no one is taking action against Trump “Well he’s the president.”  Under that simple statement lies a plethora of beliefs, some of them American and some of them Feudalistic.

I watch the news, I read the news, I hate it, but I do.  There seems to be universal agreement that we have made a mistake electing Trump and allowing him to stay in place.  Yet, there is no one to step forward and do something about this travesty.  We listen to Klan members telling us why it was justified to kill a 32 year old woman.  We listen to Trump justify the actions and the words and yet, here we sit.

The clinical side (and thousands of therapists have banned together to make these statements), is that Trump is a narcissistic man, with a disregard for humanity and a never ending interest in self aggrandizement.  The “duty to warn” case law is very clear, if a therapist can realistically predict harm, then the therapist must act to warn those who are in danger.  America, we are in danger.

For whatever reason, we allow this monster to proceed down a path where human life is inconsequential and his own comfort and pleasure are monumental.  Two things, our capitalist culture  values wealth above human life and admires wealth as if it is meaningful in some way.  This is part of the reason Trump’s dynasty has continued.  Trump is seen as a Demi-God, after all, he is wealthy.  Of course the fact that he is president stops us from taking action against him, and we must.

Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a selfish, antagonistic childish man who does not deserve American respect.  He does not deserve admiration for his wealth, he is neither responsible for it, nor responsible with it.  He is a sexist, power hungry, nasty little boy and he needs to be removed from office.  This is America people, not North Korea, we have the right to require that our leader be humane and compassionate.

21May

If You Are Uninformed/Ignorant, Stay Out of the Conversation

If you don’t care enough to look past the PR campaign and search out the truth, you are irresponsible.  That’s important and I’ll tell you why.  We are living with a crazy president, we are not buying soap.  Your ignorance is causing my life problems and that is unacceptable to me.

PR is okay for purchasing cereal, it’s not okay for running a country.  Just so we are clear here, PR is ‘public relations’ and is most usually associated with lies and fairy tales.

We have a responsibility as human beings to know the truth about the people that we trust with our lives.  If the leader of our country is making billions of dollars by cooperating with a foreign government on oil deals and other commercial enterprises not available to a private citizen, that is criminal.  It is also a way to sell Americans for the evil of “the love of money”.

We Americans are unhappy and we have every right to be.  We live in systems that take advantage of us.  No matter how much we work hard and earn, there are mechanisms in place to break us: minimum wage, the price of healthcare, racism, sexism, bigotry, and the big one, greed.  Greed creates political systems that steal from us, Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.   Another recent example includes fighting in wars that protect oil wells instead of human beings.  These governmental activities cost money and we forget, that we pay those bills.

As Americans we need to know when politicians legislate for their own personal profit.  We need to know when our trust is betrayed.  This requires work and information.  As Americans, we must sacrifice our ignorance to a greater good.  That good is to know when we must act, and that time, the time to act, is now.

06Mar

Lying, Truth and Covert Activity

Flexible lying, alternative truth, these terms are laughable. Philosophy is arguable, but the concept of truth is not. Your truth may be different from mine in matters of thinking and in matters of the heart, but “the” truth is universal.
I don’t speak of philosophy here. I speak of the objective observable universe that surrounds us.
In the “breaking news” parlance, a wiretap is a wiretap, an earthquake is an earthquake and the ocean current moves in an easterly direction, not a westerly direction. Five inches of snow is not one inch of snow and rain falls to the ground.
If you do not “like” something ~ that is your truth, it is not “the” truth. People in power have used their power to force others to adopt their own truth. So it is; if a person in power does not “like” something or someone, that person will also insist that all people who are subordinate to them adopt the same version of their own truth.
Forcing others to adopt your truth does not make a concept into “the” truth. Too often, managers and controllers do not understand this fact. Indeed, corporate culture is evidence to this. Anyone who does not buy into the boss’s idea of reality (personal truth) soon finds themselves without employment.
The next logical step is covert activity. When those in power insist that, we agree with them, our choices can be limited. Often team members will keep their own truth to themselves because of the power position of other team members.
However, the most common use of covertness is to trick others and use this trickery to take their choices away from them. The point of cheating on your spouse is to take your spouse’s choice away. If your spouse does not know that you have cheated, then they will not file for a divorce.
Such is the way of briberies to elected officials. Congressmen and women do not want anyone to know who is paying bribes to them. These bribes are paid in order to control the congressional votes. Congress put a law into effect allowing slush funds (PACs) so that they could legally collect bribes and do the work of the wealthy. An example of this is that the average American does not know that wealthy business owners have paid millions and millions in bribes to keep the minimum wage artificially low. We are not informed about which millionaires paid the bribes, nor do we know which congress-people voted against living wages for full time work. (We can draw this clear line with information available, but have not.) This is covertness at its best. Americans don’t know who to be angry with, they just know that they are being cheated in many and varied different ways.
Americans know that health care is ridiculously expensive and cannot be provided to anyone without insurance, but whom should we be angry with? Congress-people who have allowed drug companies to rape the American economy and Medicare? On the other hand, do they blame doctors for charging ridiculous fees for very simple procedures? Should Americans blame insurance companies, who cherry-pick the healthy, leaving the aged and poor to taxpayers for healthcare?
Covert activities that hide the truth: take our ability to choose, away from us in a very big way.
The internet has given us powerful tools to fight against economic oppression. The most useful tool to combat oppression is truth and transparency. With truth, we know who to communicate with, we know who is at fault and we know what to choose. Our reactions can be specific and guided. This is the kind of America that I want to be a part of: I want to live in a place where if others are doing bad things (lying, stealing and cheating) that there is a way to discover the truth, then act on the truth, and do so in a reliable and honest way. I do not want to be part of a culture that encourages lying and cheating because of wealth and money. I do not want to be part of a culture that keeps harsh secrets that benefit the few, but not you. I do not want to be part of a culture that condemns truth, just because that truth is damning.

02Mar

Psychopath

There is so much on the internet about the sociopath and/or psychopath.  Yesterday, I read another article about how to manage psychopathic behavior in your life.  This article was about “Psychopathic bosses”, how to recognize them as psychopathic and then how to manage the behavior.  The more I read the description of behavior, the more I think that it is “spoiled brat” behavior.  I don’t want to generalize; I just want to point something out to make some distinctions.  Selfish “me-focused” behavior is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture.

People who are only concerned with themselves and who will take negative action against others in order to have personal gain are more and more common in our culture.  It is our own doing, because we have clearly aggrandized the successfully greedy.  We have made people who do nothing and yet earn millions the most popular and “followed” celebrities.  It is clear in our admiration that we will follow those with money, even if they are greedy and mean, victimizing people in order to put money in their own pockets.

For the most part, we won’t even find out what kind of person we are admiring.  Papa John, who makes pizza, lives in a 40,000 square foot house, but pays his staff $8.00 per hour.  He is a thief of human well-being and uses capitalism as defense for his crimes.  Papa John is followed for his business acumen, but his formula is very easy.  Use your superior position to take advantage of others, as much and as long as you can.  Use your money to legislate in your favor, pay senators and congressmen to ensure that minimum wage is not increased.  Make it impossible for people to get health care, it is very expensive and as an American business man you will pay for nothing that is not for yourself or your own family.

On a therapist’s sofa the American business man would be diagnosed as sociopaths who engage in psychopathic behavior.

It is no surprise that spoiled brats run amuck in our culture.  Our role models are incredibly horrible examples of humanity.