I haven’t posted anything recently. My dog accidentally discovered an orphaned kitten in our backyard a little over two weeks ago, and it is amazing how such a small creature can need so much time and care!
I like to think about what is going on in the world and about how people think and feel. It seems to me that most of us crave meaning and authenticity in our lives, yet somehow most of our days as adults seem to be taken up in activities that take us away from ourselves and our true purpose.
I am convinced that a small portion of all humans, regardless of culture, race, geographic location, and gender are consumed by the quest for power and domination over other humans, while the majority seeks to live out a peaceful and meaningful life, however simple. The power hungry minority, whose quest and greed has no end, consistently works to manipulate the thinking of people, the world around them in its constructs, and culture itself, in order to have the majority serving their needs and wants. And every so often, the people wake up out of their sleep and get angry enough to say stop! We have feelings and desires too, and we don’t want to serve you. We want to live authentic lives with meaning. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We have needs too, and we want enough to live a decent life, to be able to care for ourselves and our families without worry.
Today, we are living in a time where this is happening all over the world. The empire-building war machine that has been the United States culture of government since its foundation, a culture built on greed and domination, has a powerful shadow. This shadow has created political and social instability around the world, as well as an urgent situation with regard to our ecological survival on this planet.
The funny thing is that most Americans do not support this culture of domination. It is only that very small percentage of the power hungry who run our corporations, who in turn run our government, and who seek to pursue unsustainable capitalism to its inhuman and deceptive ends. And, if you are observing the current presidential campaigns, you can see that the majority of Americans are finally standing up and saying: we want to live decent lives, we want to take care of our own, we want to stop corporate greed and exploitation of our people, of other peoples around the world. We want to transform our energy system from black to green, we want to heal ourselves and our environment. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect as human beings and as workers. We no longer accept to be exploited by corporate greed, and we no longer accept that our planet be exploited for the profit of a very few. We want an authentic leader who does not lie, trick us, or manipulate us in order to benefit him or herself and wealthy supporters and cronies.
Authenticity seems to be a rare trait. In America, a land where to be opportunistic is to be successful, it is difficult to trust anyone. People are very skilled predators, and to open yourself up to anyone is a dangerous proposition. Are we experiencing a cultural and social revolution in addition to the very beginnings of a political transformation of the United States?
I am hopeful that candidate Bernie Sanders will be smart enough to harness the support he has garnered during his campaign to let go of the idea of reforming the Democratic Party, which has become essentially a moderate right-wing conservative party supporting corporate interests and Wall Street, and to truly embrace the creation of democracy in America. How can he do this? Easily enough…by either creating a new independent party, or by joining forces with Jill Stein, of the Green Party, whose platform is very close to the values and agendas that Bernie Sanders has espoused and developed during his campaign.
I have no faith in the Democratic Party or in Hillary Clinton. The Clinton dynasty is one which profits from, supports, and empowers the war machine in the United States. It is an empire that the Clintons have built, and they care nothing for the sorrows or struggles of the poor, of immigrants, or of working Americans, of women and children, as they claim to. Their dominion is built on deceit, and while some Americans don’t yet see this, the reality of our political and economic systems are finally becoming visible to a wide swath of Americans, thanks to Bernie Sanders.
For a long time, I have wondered, why are Americans so passive? Why don’t they take part in the political process? Why don’t they have a voice, when people are constantly saying that America is a free country, where you can speak your mind?
The truth is, America is not as free a country as it claims to be. We don’t have a free press. We do have secret prisons with political prisoners, where environmental activists, for example, are arrested, kept in solitary confinement, tortured. America has a secret life which she keeps hidden from her own, and none of us really know the truth. But we yearn for a more open and caring society. One where Universal healthcare is made available to all. We no longer want to put up with the demands of private industry in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, our food and banking systems. We want to have rights as workers. In short, we want to have a voice in the process in which decisions are made and how we are treated as citizens. In a democracy, we should have this voice through our votes and through the media and grassroots movements. When we speak up collectively, we do have a voice, and we can outspeak the corporate fortunes.
Our mainstream media in the United States is run by corporations. Corporations give voice only to the parties and candidates who are their puppets. If you want to really know what is going on, you will have to search carefully. This has always been the case, and people such as Noam Chomsky have been speaking up on this issue for at least 50 years. Listen to Ted Talks, to Democracy Now, and other grassroots organizations for your information.
The world as we know it may disappear in as little as fifty years, so the selection of authentic leaders who represent our true voice is critical right now. In as little as fifty years from now, scientists assert that the Arctic ice shelf and Greenland will suddenly break up, raising the sea level worldwide by 25 feet or more. Entire islands and coastal cities will be engulfed by tsunamis. We cannot predict what will happen if we continue on our current path, but we are already suffering from droughts, famines, extreme storms, earthquakes and tsunamis around the world.
Authenticity takes courage. Brave people are speaking up for the raise of minimum wages to a living wage. Strong people are raising their voices to be heard above the roar of denial about discrimination against African-Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, LGBT and transgender people, police brutality. Voices are finally being heard that say, ordinary Americans want a green economy. We want to be healthy. We want farms that produce clean food without pesticides. We deserve clean water, and equal funding to all schools. All children deserve a great education and affordable colleges and universities of quality. We should be building up our infrastructures and jobs based on greening our economy, being a vanguard – an example for other countries so that the horrors of climate change and the ravages already overwhelming many countries around the world, in particular in Africa, can be stopped and reversed.
Most of us want to live in a world where human rights are respected, regardless of culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or the color of our skin. We can create a world together that is a caring, and compassionate place. We can stop investing in weapons and fear. We can stop forcing other countries to adopt the political agendas of a greedy few.
It is so important, I feel, to live an authentic life. To speak from the heart with conviction. To voice aloud what has been a hidden yearning. So many million live oppressed in this world because of greed and the desire to exploit. Can we reverse this trend? I don’t know, but what I do know is that each authentic voice that reaches inward and finds the courage to speak up is a step towards a world where we can all express our true purpose. Every word spoken from a secret thought with loving intentions is a joy in itself. Every vote cast that expresses what you are for and not what you are opposing is a step towards reform and recovery. Don’t vote for the least worst candidate. Be true to your beliefs. Believe that an independent candidate such as Jill Stein, Green Party for president, 2016, or Bernie Sanders, can and will win and lead us to a healthier and happier place if enough people join together and speak up for peaceful change.
So many people (mostly older people) have told me that they voted for Hillary Clinton even though they preferred Bernie Sanders. She is more practical, they say. I ask these friends: Is it practical to keep people poor, with insufficient healthcare, living under an economic system which can and will crash at any moment, and in which ordinary working people can never get ahead? Is it practical to live without hope, and to feel that the rich will always run the world? Most people have good intuition and know that Hillary Clinton is not authentic. Besides Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, I haven’t seen any authenticity, any selfless rhetoric in other candidates. While Donald Trump may be an outsider candidate from the Republican party, he is still on the side of wealth, power, and fear mongering. His appeal comes from people feeling that they have been exploited (which they have), and from the idea that we need to bring manufacturing and jobs back to America (which we do). We don’t need to blame or exclude anyone from our society. The whole point of America is to be a “melting pot”, to take contributions from all cultures, and to embrace everyone, regardless of their identity or origins.
I have to remain hopeful that humanity will not deny the reality of climate change a day longer. We need to act immediately, and yet the wealthy still seem to think that they can protect themselves alone from the coming storms and destruction by buying up farms and clean water supplies around the world to protect themselves from the famines and droughts that have already begun. But this coming suffering will affect us all, rich and poor, and there will be no going back once the devastation reaches a certain level. We are close to that point already.
My closing words are these:
Wherever you may live in the world, please be yourself. I know that sometimes this is very dangerous. I am thinking about brave souls in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia where free thinking is often punished with violent death, beatings, and imprisonments. Please think about others and the effects of your choices. Be authentic, be compassionate. A meaningful life is the best legacy, and leaving a beautiful healthy world is the best gift any of us can give to current and future generations. I thank you for reading my blog. Sometimes my heart is heavy, because there is so much pain, deception, and oppression in the world. So much cruelty. The only tool I own to counter this deep shadow is my own heart, my own voice, my own authenticity. And this is the voice I share with you.
[…] other day, I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher as he was interviewing Bernie Sanders. During this interview, Bernie said something extraordinary, which I have not heard him say during […]