Just to bring everyone up to speed, I’ve spent the last couple of months dealing with the death of my father and helping to get my mother straightened away on being able to live as independently as she would like. All this while trying to get caught up on all of my projects, raising a family, and trying to get ahead at work so that I could really enjoy the vacation which we just took. (Incidentally, talking about one’s vacation after-the-fact on the old interwebs keeps people from knowing that one’s house is vacant for nine days…a fact which seems to escape some of you people…seriously, take note.) All of this with an apparently freshly herniated disc just above my spinal fusion. Fun stuff.
Taking care of the things that really matter did a great job of limiting my time on the internet and provided me with the “Cliff’s Notes versions” of all the issues that were being bandied about in all forms of traditional and social media. To be completely honest, I thought that what was getting through the time crunch filter was bad enough, but I spent a little time perusing the web this week and I have never wanted to sell everything that I own and move out West or adopt a nomadic existence than I have over the last several days. What I have been seeing is enough to make me just worry about my own family and let the world continue to burn, but then I thought that through and I don’t want to leave my kids to survive in a world which resembles a Mad Max film, so I’m going to give this one more shot. Hopefully you guys will share this around and maybe we can get some healthy conversation going.
I would like to restate for what seems like millionth time that we, the general population, are being guided/coaxed/manipulated by the media in all of its forms and by giant corporations and by our respective governments to do the following:
- Buy things. The movie Fight Club got that single thing right.
- Be at each other’s throats so that we don’t rebel against governmental systems that are exploiting us, while failing to provide adequate services or respect our basic or constitutional rights. If we are busy fighting each other, then we can’t unite effectively against a common enemy.
- Buy more things. I sense a theme.
- And finally, be calm, placated, productive citizens…all to the benefit of corporations and government.
If you want a quick primer, please go read George Orwell’s 1984 and then watch the news cycle for twenty-four hours. Then it is okay to go hide in bed and pull the covers up over your head. Trust me, you will want to do that very badly.
I know that I’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so I’m not going to attempt to do an overview or even an outline. Today, I am going to start with one simple fact: When we are watching the news or looking at the internet or reading a newspaper we are talking about other human beings. I can not state that more simply or seriously enough. We are talking about the lives of other human beings. If we can’t take that seriously than we are beyond all hope.
I am going to give you a list and everyone that reads it is going to agree and disagree with some of the people and groups listed, but I want everyone to take a deep breath and really think about what I am trying to do. I don’t want my two children growing up in the world that is left by the next great war or having to be a part of that war.
- When we talk about refugees, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about aborted babies, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about illegal aliens, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about executed law enforcement officers, we are talking about human lives.
- When we are conducting drone strikes in Syria, we are talking about human lives.
- When we read about Christians being beheaded in by Islamic State, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about suicide statistics, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about drug reactions, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about war in the Middle East, we are talking about human lives.
- When we talk about floods and earthquakes and storms, we are talking about human lives.
- When we are talking about domestic violence and human trafficking and orphans, we talking about human lives.
Humans lives means other human beings just like my kids.
Just like your kids.
Just like your nieces and nephews.
Just like your parents and grandparents.
Just like your friends and family.
Just like the people who look like you.
Just like the people with whom you attend church or synagogue or mosque.
Just like your friends from the bar.
Just like the people with whom you tailgate at the big games.
Just like your work associates.
Just like you.
What you think about the Pope’s latest speech or how he delivered or who he delivered it to does not matter. The same thing goes for the President of the United States. Your trendy hashtag does not matter. Your political views and affiliations do not matter. What you think about the Clerk of Court in Kentucky does not matter. None of these things really matter until we start respecting and valuing human lives…and I mean that in a for real, get your hands dirty, get off of your couch, get-involved kind of way.
Hashtags don’t help people. Tweets don’t help people. People getting active and loving other people in a real, hands-on way helps people.
We need to turn off the filters and throw away the selfy-sticks and forget about whether or not we need the need an Apple Watch or McDonald’s product or Starbuck’s coffee. We have got monumentally serious human crises all over the globe and those have always led to two things when left unaddressed for significant periods of time: Revolution and War.
You may have read this post and think that I’m all “conspiracy theory” or “gloom-and-doom,” but I suffer from only one problem: I read history books. I paid attention in every history class that I ever took and we are fools if we don’t start paying closer attention to the things that we do. If we don’t make change, it is history who will be the judge.