don't speak...don't speak!

Conviction or Confliction

I saw this the other day.

And I thought…unless you are kneeling because you believe that people like yourself are being disenfranchised or the target of discrimination, then don’t.

What if we took that at face value, considered that belief or cause and gave it the same value we give certain things WE take for granted? Freedom for one.

We all want everyone to consider our cause our belief. SOME want everyone to fit into their box of values, my values, my belief, my right and wrong.

Guess what…that can’t work. And I don’t like the word can’t. Turn the table and imagine the person in your site that you are saying should shut up and play, or shut up and sing…turns that phrase on you. Do you really want all freedoms to have limits, restrictions and have levels of acceptance or approval beyond what they are? Honestly, why are you or better, what gives you the right to tell them to shut-up, stand up and be silent? Would you heed their ask? I think not…I know not. The reason you would not kneel is your right. A question, have you read and truly dug in to even try to understand this opposition? I mean really, really listened to understand?

Sometimes in life hard decisions are made. I believe that decisions that are potentially, life changing or affirming for most, are not taken lightly and great consideration is given. I’m also not so naive that I don’t believe that there are a few that aren’t. For someone to risk everything for a cause. That deserves more than mine or anyone’s judgement. It deserve the same consideration I would expect for my belief. Nothing less.

I make decisions for myself based on what is right and good for me and what will hurt no other. I am very certain that there is at least half of the country who believes or feels that some of my decisions are wrong. For individual personal decisions, I don’t believe in right or wrong. Or maybe more, not for me to say right or wrong. Now when I say this, please do not think or feel that I am in anyway more than or better than. The decisions that I make, 100% of them come from my heart and a place of compassion that I can only hope others hold for me. And for those who do not know me, I don’t think you get to say who you think I am, what I am or call me names that are derogatory and in the vain of names that I am certain you would not like to be called. Rethuglican, Libtard, names wrangled to some unsavory version, Obummer, Drumph, tRump, even snowflake. I mean seriously…really? Sticks and stones…. It’s not 1817 or even 1917. It’s 2017 and we can’t go back. And I’ll take snowflake any day over the alternative.

I can only know my immediate circle of people. People that I engage with daily or weekly. I can’t know anyone outside of that circle, or bubble if you prefer, that I have not had direct contact with. I can’t know how any other person experiences life in their space, shoes, world, what ever you choose to call it. I can’t know the hurt that is caused by some of the decisions that some make when they take a stand for something they believe in. But if I call out that person or persons, not fully understanding or having some level of compassion for them, then anything I might say against them is a judgment that I am now, or should not allow myself to espouse.

Some financially support this group or that group. Some strike out and march or write many, many, many letters in support or in opposition of a cause. If you are so certain about everything that you believe to be true that you believe to be good, and that somehow adds to the dismissal of another, try to think of an equivalent for yourself. What might send me to a march or protest? What might send you to your knee?

I am not a person of color. With that I have been given certain liberties that many do not have, period. I do not know what it’s like to be a person of color and see red flashing lights in the rear view mirror. I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color and have someone follow me through a retail store. I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color and have assumptions made about me by people I have never met who cannot know me.

People say respect this inanimate object because it means this, or respect this group of people with no thought of who is being disrespected. Maybe even inadvertently. No one owns respect. But I do know that it is earned. Know one owns freedom more than anyone else. Know one really get’s it just because. But I believe that some do. To say or be disrespectful to someone who is doing something you deem disrespectful…who owns that? Who owns that contradiction? And what makes you the authority on their cause? I don’t see a lot of understanding here. I see no thought truly given to the topic, just lots of anger the hints true discrimination and dismissal. In my humble opinion.

We will never ever agree on everything. Someone said a while back, “slow down”. Stop, think, what is it that get’s your goat, get’s you fired up that you take a stand for? Dig deep. And why is it that someone else also taking a stand for something that has gotten them fired up, is wrong? Keep in mind, what is right for you might not be right for me and what is wrong for another may not be wrong for you. That is the world. We are vastly different, with vastly different experiences living in the same space. More or less. And unless someone else’s stand for what they believe is right for them and their family, if it does not physically, economically effect you; with the tables turned would you want them to tell you, you are wrong and how dare you?

Don’t know who said this, “Don’t you dare shrink yourself for someone else comfort. Do not become small for people who refuse to grow.” We unfortunately are not living in comfortable times. But we all hold the heart and potential to minimize that discomfort if we stop, slow down, listen and consider another with an open heart. Yes, don’t shrink. But don’t expect anyone else too and don’t be small.

don't speak...don't speak!

Am I a Neo-Communist?

I’d like to think that I’m just a human. But then I guess that unless we define ourselves into rigid oblivion how can we exist in society together? Sigh….

By doing this. Writing this, I guess I’m not much different from the people I intend to quote here. I’m hoping that I can write this in a way that articulates my thoughts and don’t pass judgment on the writer’s or the target of their judgement. Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away December 7.

According to several posts Elizabeth Edwards posted this farewell on her facebook page.

“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces—my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.
With love, Elizabeth

Blogger Donald Douglas writes; “Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards’ non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists,” he said. “Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn’t find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I’ve been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.” My question, is being a jerk cool?

Who knows? Maybe she did, but felt that aspect of her belief is/was personal and NO ONE, not ONE of us needed to have that information. Nor should we ask for that personal of a statement. Think about it, the rest of her life was out there. Maybe she wanted something for herself. Or for herself and her children. And not for Donald Douglas. But he made a statement, blogged it and several people commented. The comments are an extremely sad display of humanity. Who taught us to be so cruel. I can’t seem to comprehend the level of straight up mean cruelty that people will write in response about another human being. And so many commenting anonymously.

My first thought about all of it was, well who is she to think that she could ask that? For eternal life or a blessing. Like who am I to ask God to “bless Amercia?” Who am I to ask anything like that of a God or deity? An earlier quote of Elizabeth Edwards makes perfect sense to me. “I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God,” Edwards explained to an audience of women bloggers when asked how her beliefs inform her politics. “I do not have an intervening God. I don’t think I can pray to him — or her — to cure me of cancer. I appreciate other people’s prayers for that [a cure for her cancer], but I believe that we are given a set of guidelines, and that we are obligated to live our lives with a view to those guidelines. And I don’t believe that we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life, but because that’s what’s right. We should do those things because that’s what’s right.”

I went to the google for some definition to neo-communist. The Urban Dictionary says, A Neo-Communist is pretty easy to define and hard at the same time. Great, that helps! Along with; A democrat. A person who wants to tax YOUR pants off and give the money to bums, bindlestiffs, and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. And :a current liberal (progressive) espousing communism without using its name. 2:a liberal advocating redistribution of your money in the manner they themselves think best; neo-com money not considered money in this case. A neo-communist will take your wealth but not the wealth of the future neo-comm leaders. Who is behind this Urban Dictionary? Maybe they should call it, make up words and make up shit to define your made up words. I have no idea what any of that meant. If you do, please help me out. Make a comment below. Oh and anonymous posts will not be acknowledged.

Back to the point of this post. The old conversation in my head. Religion, what am I? Where do I fit in religiously, spiritually? To be honest. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone in many years speak so closely in such a short statement to what may give insight to my belief system. We should do things because it’s the right thing to do. Be fair. Be generous. Be present. Be descent. Don’t judge. “And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human.”

The last few months have been challenging. Many unanswerable questions. Denial, denial, bargaining, denial, denial.

I don’t intend to mock other’s beliefs here, but it will probably sound that way. I’m on Facebook. And I like many of you I am sure find it very interesting what people will post. All the varied “I am …this…post on your status if you are too.” Ones that really got my attention where; “I’m a Christian…repost if you are” and “I believe in Jesus Christ…respost if you do”. I admire those friends who are so open about that part of their life. I guess I was a long time ago too, but not anymore.

I’ve had sitting in draft my own version of that but I don’t paste it because I’m afraid it would offend those who are proud of their belief and post, I am a christian, or I believe in God. So here is my status post.

I am a human and not ashamed to say it!! Let’s see how many people on FB aren’t afraid to show their love for humans and accept each and everyone as they are! Each time you see this on someone’s status, think of all the goodness that exists!! Let’s get compassion in this country like it should be!!! If you agree, post this in your status update just copy and paste.

Yeah, I’m not brave. Haven’t posted that yet. It’s not that I’m afraid to put it out there. Like I said, I don’t want to offend anyone. My faith is in the people around me. The amazing circle of friends that are my circle. The people that I would do anything for. Even, if I were capable, change the course of fate, walk away, give up anything for some to still be here. But then that would be giving myself, making myself more important than I am. Somehow imagining that I have the arrogance to affect the set of guidelines that are before us. I know I can’t change that.

From David Gibsons article, Edwards said she had to move on from such magical and negative thinking, and she quoted a line from the Bill Moyers PBS special on the Book of Genesis, to the effect that “You get the God you have, not the God you want.”

She went on to say, “The God I wanted was going to intervene. He was going to turn time back. The God I wanted was — I was going to pray for good health and he was going to give it to me,” she said. “Why in this complicated world, with so much grief and pain around us throughout the world, I could still believe that, I don’t know. But I did. And then I realized that the God that I have was going to promise me salvation if I lived in the right way and he was going to promise me understanding. That’s what I’m sort of asking for . . . let me understand why I was tested.”

That’s what I think. Again, who am I to ask….

Religion as a noun is; a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Maybe I’m a Humanist?

Secular Humanism is a non-theistically based philosophy which promotes humanity as the measure of all things. It had its roots in the rationalism of the 18th Century and the free thought movement of the 19th Century.

Some factors that most Humanists share:
~Either they do not believe in the existence of a deity, or have no opinion, or don’t care about the topic. ( that seems harsh )
~They believe that excellent codes of behavior and morality can be created through reason.
~They believe that humans created the many thousands of Gods and Goddesses in their own image.
~They are very concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all. ( sounds good )

They tend to be at the liberal end of the spectrum on such controversial topics as abortion access; equal rights for gays, lesbians, amd bisexuals; transgendered persons and transsexuals (GLBT); same-sex marriage, physician assisted suicide, separation of church and state, etc.

Okay, so not really me. But almost.

All that I read and all my thoughts and life as it has passed by me over the last few years. I find myself here again, Buddhism.

“One fundamental belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation — the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.”

The Three Trainings or Practices:

1.Sila: Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:
~The principle of equality: that all living entities are equal.
~The principle of reciprocity: This is the “Golden Rule” in Christianity — to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. It is found in all major religions.

2.Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one’s mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct.

3.Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.

And there are “The Four Noble Truths”;
Dukkha: Suffering exists
Samudaya: There is a cause for suffering
Nirodha: There is an end to suffering
Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path

What I want to say is this. Be kind and speak of others as you wish to be spoken of. Believe what you believe. I won’t question you, so don’t question me. Be generous with your kindness. I think karma is real. Don’t question others intentions unless you were present and they shared those intentions or thoughts with you.