Thoughts ….

thoughts 9-1-12

It’s such a tough time in America right now…. the arguments are frequent and loud. I’ve never seen such a huge division opening up between folks in my life since the civil rights movement, (and as a child, I was waist-deep in the civil rights movement, so I know division). Frankly, it’s depressing…. mostly because people are so unwilling to listen to each other. I am not in any way excusing myself from this fray…. I have been one of the worst offenders on Facebook lately, and today, I just got bone tired…… and depressed. Enough! It hurts my heart to see people embracing half-truths, and giggling over cartoons depicting “the other guy” in compromising situations. It has turned into a playground war. People have walls built up so high around them that there is no way in hell they’ll give an inch, even if they want to.

Part of me wants to just give up, and I can’t promise that I won’t occasionally post something dear to my heart that is coming up to a vote, but I’m going to try and refrain from spreading the hate. Enough is enough.

Personally, I find this, one of the great non-partisan speeches I’ve heard in a long time.
And it got me thinking…..

According to The Newsroom script, a huge number of Americans believe in Angels…. if you want a more reliable source, CBS News did a study that pins the number at 8 in 10. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57347634/poll-nearly-8-in-10-americans-believe-in-angels/) and that means that many Americans approach the real world on a very whimsical footing. I myself, believe that my sister, and mother, and too many friends that have since passed, watch over me at times….. offering encouragement and love. I’m not sure if I would call them angels, but the human in me hopes for a life past the one I am currently living, and hopes that they’re somehow out there watching over me, and in return, I am also promised a life everlasting.
I feel like I am part of a greater good. Call it God, call it Earth Energy, call it LOVE.
The problem with believing in spiritual answers, is that it taints our ability to make decisions in the here and now. It hurts our ability to make changes here in this life that would make a world of difference in the lives of our neighbors and friends who may not share that same spiritual peace of mind.
There are people out there suffering NOW. People who need our care and attention. Just because they do not share the same values as you or I, does not make them any less deserving….
An inuit asked the missionary….” If you had not taught me the word of God… if I was not a convert, would I still be a sinner?” and the missionary said, “No… for you were innocent”. So the Innuit asked. “Then why did you teach me?”

Think about that.

If the inuit was a child of god before the conversion, what reason, other than politics was there for converting them?

Above, you notice, that I said “spiritual answers” instead of ”spiritual questions”… there’s a big difference…. spiritual questions are the most natural of human behavior…. we want to know where we come from, and why….. science is also the most natural of human questions as well, and those who are converts to science are just as blessed by whatever god you subscribe.

If instead, I look at myself as described by Webster…. a citizen ,
“( citizen |ˈsitizən, -sən|(abbr.: cit. )
noun:
a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized “

Then,as a citizen, I have a very clear path. I have a responsibility to care for and support the collective group of which I am a part. I have to stand outside my own desires and adjust them to encompass my community. No matter your religion,if you read the texts carefully and thoughtfully, they all espouse a responsibility to each other. Every one. You can pick out quotes and selected bits and pieces to argue a point in any religious text, but if you take the time to talk to a believer (And I am not including extremists in any religion, for they will be found everywhere, from Bin Laden to Fred Phelps) the same basic tenants remain….. love thy neighbor…treat each other as you would be treated.

I am going to try my best from now on to be a good citizen, and do what I can to be a help, and not to hinder the best interests of my fellow citizens.

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5 comments on “Thoughts ….

  1. Susan Sheehan says:

    Jen, I love this. I saw it a while back and I’m so glad you are sharing it. I feel as if FB has become a let’s lynch the Republicans. I’m sure it has a lot to do with my friends list. If I had a lot of Republican friends I would probably see the same about the Democrats. Either way, it makes me very uncomfortable.

    Wouldn’t it be great if decisions were actually made for the greater good and with humanity in mind? I don’t know what to do to fix things. But I do know, ignoring it is wrong. Listening to it and letting it sway my thinking is also wrong. I feel at a loss. Who and what do I believe?

    I too will make a stand for things I feel need to be expressed, but for the most part I am making my decisions based on something other than FB cartoons and snip-its. Thank you Jen for letting me also express my discontent.

    • jennifergeldard says:

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much! It’s hard sometimes not to join in the “fun” when something makes me laugh, but then I realize how little good, and how much harm is being done in the backlash… I totally understand!
      Hugs!

  2. Good afternoon, Jennifer.

    I’m not meaning to compound your exasperation…it’s very understandable. This is truly a cantankerous election year.

    But…the video you referenced is far from non-partisan. It’s a rant put into Jeff Daniel’s mouth by the script of producer Aaron Sorkin (who is far from non-partisan himself). This scene has been talked about and analyzed a ton in the last 2-3 months on web sites and talk radio. Almost all of the statistical points are contentious and from debatable sources, no matter how smoothly this great actor delivers them.

    I would understand if you don’t want to go research the raging debate this video started, given that you’re citing it as one of your last moorings points to the pier of sanity. But it’s always best if a person actively chooses not to examine an issue, rather than them never even being aware that it exists. Good luck on your journey…from skimming through your blog you seem like a refreshingly nice person.
    – Jeff

    • jennifergeldard says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Thanks so much for responding!
      I fully understand the source of the video, and understand where the words are coming from, but the frustration and deeper meaning behind the rant holds firm for me….
      If perhaps all of the statistics are not spot on, I do agree that we have a long way to go, and we need to stop patting ourselves on the back about how great we are, and instead, start working together to fix what’s wrong…. (a sentiment that is generally agreed upon by both parties…. at least in theory). We spend so much time trying to catch the other party screwing up, that we neglect the work.
      I’ve been a fact-checker extraordinaire these last few months, and I realized that, really, it’s all we do these days. We wait for someone to speak, and then spend months arguing about what and how they said it, and it makes me sad that folks aren’t thinking carefully before speaking and speaking the truth, instead of coming up with ways to twist the truth to their advantage. This happens on both side of the aisles in such distressing regularity, that it clouds what’s really important, and the whole governmental process grinds to a halt.
      Ah well…. thanks anyway for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it. -Jen

      • I have an article on my blog containing an interview of a woman who has started an effort to have women’s voices heard more in the public arena. She’s looking for people with stories like yours. Come check it out.
        – Jeff

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