Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hard Times, Painful Lessons

"I have come to believe, over and over again, that what is important to me , must be spoken, made verbal and shared even at risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. "
Audre Lorde
There are times in your life when you need to sit down with an older wiser soul and be handed a cup of very strong tea and some strong wisdom.And this summer, I am indeed at such a point....and I stumbled onto this quote and it suddenly put many things in perspective. As a mom I try hard to teach my son that his words and beliefs are valuable. As a mother I also have taught him sadly there are times you do have to stand up for what you believe, as well as know that there may indeed be consequences.And yes, sometimes the consequences are painful. We study and read alot of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King,because they were the Masters of Troubled Times. They were the ones that knew when and how to speak and how to say what needed to be said. We have have no such Voices today to Lead or Guide us through these Dark Times.

Alot has to do with the Times that we are living in , Bullying has become a respected "Art Form". And bullying of women,minorities and people that are suffering is condoned and often even embraced with glib pride. Elizabeth Edwards attempted to explain this on Hardball to Chris Matthews a few monthes back as she battled Ann Coulter. She tried to explain to Chris that the Battle is that we live in a Culture where Certain People have empowered themselve with Hate. And I heard her loud and clear, it is dissappointing that we even are seeing it in the Progressive Side of Life. We need to be able to look at each other with eyes of compassion, not judgement.

I have had all parts of My Being called into question this year, and not just by Repugs. A Neighbor, a liberal informed me that my pacifist Buddhist side was not helpful in fighting this Regime, and this was told to me with a great degree of Anger. I was stunned. And she also went on to condemn me as an 'inadequate protestor", because I do not go to rallies or protests, the "Ones that Matter, the BIG Ones." I tried to explain that Not all people can go due to Health reasons or Financial, but that there are many that find other way to help Bring Change. I told her that it will take all of us finding our own abilites and gifts to make the Needed Changes happen. We all need to look in the Mirror and see who we are again, and that we are no better or worse than our neighbor.Yet we all are suffering and struggling.

We are indeed in hard times you can be called into question for being too "liberal" or not "liberal" enough. Or if you raise Concerns and your "Motives" can be questioned by people that you thought were on the same path. This is concerning and yet I think this is what the Bushco Regime wants, chaos on the playground. They want People not able to play or work together, because they are too busy looking and judging the Differences and not embracing What we all have to Work For or Towards. Divisions Created by the Cultural Shift created by this Greedy Regime. We must Embrace What Matters again, listening to each other, taking the time to find Empathy and Compassion.

My Grandmother used to say "Pick Your Battles", and pick them carefully, and you can "fight with words, but you don't always have to yell, you can speak softly and sometimes you can say nothing at all ....As long as you are true to yourself and what matters". All of us have been on a Hellish Path this past 6 years. But somehow we do have to find a way to Walk Together Again. Unity is about having enough empathy to know that we need to navigate the treacherous path together and not judge each other's shoes or trekking skills. And I say this because we have Miles to go....

[Please Click the TITLE it is Bono &MJ Blige again "ONE", it is a song about "Unity" Listen Very Carefully to MJ's Part it is Powerful]


Tina said...

Not liberal enough because you don't go to rallies? WTF?
Say what you want about the Repukes, but from the wingnuts to the moderates, they do seem to have unity.
I recently experienced something similar. I said to a friend that yeah, I'm not happy with Hillary in many ways, but c'mon... what choice do we have if she is our Dem candidate for President? Are you telling me you'll vote for ANY of those 100% insane, corrupt, evil, and/or wingnutty GOP candidates in the running now? Or will you just toss away your precious vote for a 3rd party candidate that will NEVER get elected?
I'd hold my nose and vote for Hillary ANY day of the week over ANY GOPer.
I was then informed what a GOP-lite candidate she is and how I am just as good as a Republican if I vote for her.
Me... a Republican if I vote for Hillary because she is our only Dem choice???? Wow. THAT is a leap if I've ever heard of one.

Lulu Maude said...

I agree with Tina's observation on Repugnican unity. There's even an eleventh commandment: thou shalt not speak ill of another Repugnican... or something like that.

We progressives are too fractured for our own good. Your observation on your son made me think of prison mentality. We must not build our own prisons, neglect the sturdiness of our own bridges.

thailandchani said...

One of the things I found most useful years ago comes from an offhanded remark made by someone I knew at the time.

We all do the work our own way.

Whether or not one goes to a rally or not is irrelevant. How we live is what matters.

From a Buddhist perspective, your friend could be challenged on the issue of attachment.

(Not that I'm being competitive.. it's just that I don't think it's useful for any of us to tell another how to do their work, whatever it may be.)

I don't get involved in US politics. Couldn't care less. My spiritual alignment and soon my physical alignment will be to/with Thailand.

And the best I can do is live my truth on a daily basis. The integrity of truth has value in and of itself, regardless of how it manifests.

Just my sorng baht :)



LET'S TALK said...

This is very deep to me enigma4ever. I've been told that I do not speak my mind enough and I am sometimes confusing on what I say.
For the sake of not hearing arguments for no reasons I just hold my peace. If I've learned one thing, it's that others have their view and are not easily taken from that view because of what one says.
Some people argue for the sake of argument regardless to how shallow the argument is.
As you stated be true to yourself, know what you can and cannot do because of financial reasons, time or belief.
Life I have found is very short and we cannot continue to mass in negative comment or feelings toward you. We must strive to bring joy, love and happiness to one another. Any thing else is just negative matter that slows or waste a part of life that could otherwise have meaning to you and those that seek the same.

Larry said...

We all protest in different ways with our own limited means.

Because one isn't arrested each week doesn't mean that they aren't as passionate.

Maybe protest through blogging may be more powerful, as more will read your words, than hear your voice at a protest.

enigma4ever said...

Larry: I hear you and I do as best I can try to use my blog in a way that is effective...I also know that many with children, or working , or economically challenged, or even elderly or ill can not go to DC ....( yes, some of this was about a dicsussion about the sept 15th rally)....but I also think we are in times when we need to think of different ways to make Change happen...

LET"S TALK: I appreciate what you said that this deep for you....I really do, it is deep for too....And it is not just about the protesting.,.it is about how we as a "community" are treating and talking to each other and problem solving...and working towards Something Anything Different...and HOW do we get There...and how do we effect Change...I am silent when I have to be, and I speak when I have to...but I realized this summer I have been having to defend my Voice more than ever and that worries is a shift that is of another many ways it feels like the 1950s...or worse 1930's Germany?....and it is not just about Politics it is about Culture and have we as a Culture lost our way...our Humanity and our Empathy....

Chani: Some of what I wrote above to Let's Talk also applies to your thoughts and comments....that something is very wrong here...and I am trying to figure out how to move forward even though everything that I ever believed or was taught is now being challenged every you get to know my blog you will see I blog on different issues every day, and sometimes I blog to sooth others or examine issues....but it is always done mindfully....namaste...thank you for visiting.

enigma4ever said...

TINA: I hear you...and I have been seeing that happen as well...and yes I too have experienced it...the same thing...I just feel that I have been being challenged all over by this mindset..again it is that judgemental quality......and politically once I did not GIVE anything this spring to any of the dems ( because frankly they don't at this point deserve a dime from me) I have been dropped from most mailing lists...except Obama and Kucicnich....but others no.But I am sorry that you are seeing and experiencing it tooo...'

LULU: you actually came up with the perfect analysis- FRACTURED that is it exactly...and that is worrisome...we need to unite , esp now of all times...and I don't know HOW we do that...I wish I did...

thailandchani said...

Enigma, I'm not sure of how to move forward within the context of the market culture here. When everything is for sale, it's hard to create change when the national media, the propaganda system and the socialization process is all designed to create a particular type of person with a particular mindset.

At the risk of "ranting" in your comments forum, I can only say that the only solution for me was to remove myself from it as much as possible, to somehow separate myself from the negativity and find refuge with likeminded others and in my spiritual practice.

The culture in this part of the world became unbearable to me many years ago.

Just a few thoughts. :)



Gryphen said...

Your neighbor is a person behind the times. It has been mentioned by the media that there are not the great protests against this war like there were in the 60's. But they are wrong.

We are protesting. You are protesting. Back in the 60's when somebody wanted to be counted they stood as a faceless minion in a crowd, their individual voice drowned out by the shouting of the others standing beside them.

Unless they coordinated a chant, or sang a song, or held up a poorly lettered sign, they might as well have been scarecrows lined up to signify numbers.

But today we can speak in a voice that may differ slightly from the rest of the group in which we find ourselves grouped (Lefties in our case), but when taken together have shown the ability to bring attention to things overlooked by the media and challenge assertions made by our leaders. Do you really think that the things you have written have less impact then the small crowds that stand with signs outside the White House? I would have to disagree with you on that.

I missed the protests of the sixties and always regretted it. So when things started going so bad this time I desperately wanted to be part of the protest. But I live in Alaska. Nobody can see my placard from here. But the internet allowed me to say express my outrage, and to connect with all of you brave soldiers for truth.

You tell your neighbor to log onto her computer and be amazed by the clear voices raised in protest against this administration and this war. And she can clearly read each and every opinion if she so desires. We are each unique individuals and our words have power. And together they are going to make a difference. In fact they already have.

So Enigma, my brave Valkyrie for Peace, you keep right on speaking your mind, and never doubt that we are listening. And so is the world.

enigma4ever said...

Well gryphen ....You once again left me stunned, becuase on every count you are right...SO RIGHT...And yes, One of the reasons that I include you on Roundups is that I want people to know and HEAR your Voice up there...and yes, I should have thought about what OUR voices are doing and doing daily...It is so different than the 60's... My neighbor and protest issue was just part of it, the ways of creating Change are for ALL of us with the Heart and the Courage to figure it out...

Now about the Blog...She looked at it- said it was "nice" but that she did not have time for "blogging"..( this happened a while back- because believe me that was the first way I tried to educate her...yup).....

thank you again..and you are so really are...

Chandi: You are so right, it is a Culture of Let's Buy it..and if it can not be Bought Right Here and rigtht Now...then people lose interest..MLK noticed this even back in the 60's, who knows what he would say about it now!! He said that people expected immediate gratification, immediate results...that they were not patient enough to work together to walk together to share hardship and pain...but with honesty and clairty...
I am very much drawn to cultures that are peaceful and mindful...Thailand is one of the countries dear to my heart...but that is a story for another day ( it involves the Tsunami)...peace to you good woman and thank you for in your own gentle way pointing out a signifigant problem that yes we do have in the States...

an average patriot said...

You are entirely right! Not all even care but those of us that do, do what we can and what we are best suited for. Do not concern yourself with what someone else says or thinks about what you do. That is your business and you are not stupid.
You nailed it on the division and I probably told you already but divide and conquer are the politics Repugs practice for their gain.
They are part of the Rove taught 3D politics (divisive, deceitful, deceptive, politics). I hat the fact that they laugh this off, lie, and just continue the games.

Josie said...

Pick your battles. The best advice your grandmother ever gave you. You guys have a battle ahead of you. You indeed have a dragon to slay. You need to muster all your strength to do it, not just for American's sake, but for the sake of the whole entire world. It's a huge responsibility you have, and everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that you get it right.

Newsguy said...

Enigma, we can only do what we can do. It may seem sometime that our little voices are ineffectual against those of Karl Rove or Ann Coulter or any of the rest of the reactionary elite. But it is not the goal that counts. It is the process.

The process is important for our own mental health. You realize that with your studies of MLK and Ghandi. And with your posts here. And with the process we create Good Karma that ripples out into the world in so many ways that we may not realize. It is like the butterfly in North Carolina creating a hurricane in Brazil.

And finally, the process of so many like you and Josie and Peacechick and Gryphen and Average Patriot and Let's Talk and Larry and thousands and thousands, millions! of others that finally comes to create change.

Because it is our side that is the creative side. It is our side that is in tune with the Natural Order of Things. Why do you think it is Lefties who drive the environmental movement and Bushies and their ilk who laugh at it and denigrate it and try to do everything they can to slow it and stop it? It is because they are truly not in tune with the Natural Order of Things. Right now, they are creating Bad Karma for themselves and it is beginning to melt them down. You can see it happening. They are destroying themselves. Karl Rove and Dubya have poisoned the Republican Party for generations. The Repugs are scurrying away from both. And we are on the ascendent.

So just keep on truckin and don't be Against the War. Be For Peace. Just be our own Positive Enigma. Just keep generating that Good Karma in your own special way. The Process will bring us Peace.

Anon-Paranoid said...

Hi my sweet enigma....
I too get the same as you get. Mine is at my work and they think I'm nuts.

My boss whom I respect deeply don't believe that what I say can be true or happen here.

He believes that the American people would rise up if he declared Martial Law and shut down the elections. He really believes that and no I'm not kidding.

He don't, like so many others, think our country is in any serious trouble. I wish that the American people would wake up before its too late, though sometimes I feel it may be.

Your a breath of fresh air in a very stale environment and your words and message of hope helps a lot of us continue the fight for our Constitution and Freedom we have lost under Der Fuhrer Bush.

Keep spreading the word as we all need to hear it constantly.

God Bless you.

aballoflight said...

one stands quietly in the back row and applauds the words used by newsguy... from the chaos theory of karmic butterflys to the natural order process of creative individualities learning to coordinate their accumulating positive efforts to the stampeding tendancies of the red herd meltdown.
bravo... well said...

"... you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin' on.""

Enigma4ever, i was told long ago by a man i learned a great deal from that when ones actions and beliefs and method of expression are assailed that that one is on a true path. that the negativities and obstacles brought to bear against that one increase the closer one gets to the goal set.

Keep speaking and living your truth... it is effective and it is a powerful force for change.


D.K. Raed said...

I can only add one small observation to these wonderful comments here. As one who lived through & attended many of those mass protests in the 60's (LA & SF, never made it to Chicago or DC), I have to say that they did eventually degenerate into a carnival atmosphere which did little to advance the cause of ending the war. At that point, as much as they still got under nixon's skin & made for entertaining spectacles, they had lost their original purity of purpose. I truly feel that the real point at which the tide turned then, and is the point at which it is turning now, is when the vast middle class simply would not stand for it any longer. Not the wealthy elite, not the academic intellectuals, but the regular working american families who simply stopped supporting the war machine.

Your neighbors or other critics who think more physical protesting is the only way to effect change should read a little more history. Physical protests have an impact, absolutely, but to think they are the only avenue to effect change is short-sighted & unempowering. We all have different skills to help bring about change & need to keep our eyes on the prize, the common good.

Enigma, your voice is the most powerful tool you have & you use it to great effect. If it ever comes to a real battle, I would be proud to follow a voice like yours. ~~ D.K.

PTCruiser said...

Tell your neighbor to shove it up her ass.

Hmm...I guess that wouldn't be the peaceful thing to do.

I've GOT IT!

Bake her a cake and then tell her to shove it up her ass!

Mary said...

Well said! Empowering w/hate does seem to be very popular. It's hard not to react to it. I try to stay focused on what is right for me. If someone doesn't like it, oh well. The quote at the top also rings very true for me. Lately I feel it is important to speak out like never before.

Cee Jay said...

I am glad to see you post on this subject. Recently I have been feeling pressured to support some views that I do not agree with because it is the position of a group or organization to which I belong. We cannot let the dialog dwindle down to two opposing points of view. The very life blood of democracy is a plethora of opinions.

Gary said...

Wise woman that grandmother!

I believe that real strength will win the day over time...and real strength is based on integrity, love and inner knowledge - so it wins the day even when it loses...

Chin up! And let the dogs bark.

Larry said...

If the neighbors are so much more patriots, why aren't they following Cindy Sheehan around helping her protest?

TomCat said...

E4e, your neighbor has displayed the trait that is most prevalent in the people we oppose: intolerance. The entire point of progressive thought is that we all have value and need to treat each other with love, compassion and understanding. In the 1960s, I was in all the big demonstrations in the east. Hell, I helped organize them. I no longer have the energy, stamina and drive I had as a young man, but along the way I think I've made so many mistakes that I acquired a tiny bit of wisdom learning from them, which I share to the best of my ability. You educate and inspire people, and you are doing one hell of a good job at it!!! Don't let anyone tell you different. And don't let anyone call you down for being a pacifist. On the steering committee for Vietnam Summer, I was fortunate to work briefly with MLK on a few occasions. He was completely dedicated to nonviolence, but I have never met a human being with more strength. You hang in there, and when you run into people who lack the wisdom to recognize the quality that you are, don't let it get you down.