Thursday, December 29, 2011
Another rambly post
Good Morning! It's -freeze-your-butt-into-an-ice-block Cold here today. The kind of deep cold that oozes through the windows like a heavy tentacled monster. Thank goodness for electric heat, hot coffee, and fuzzy slippers!
I'm up a little early, so I have time to read the news, do some blogging, drink my AM Coffee, and get my brain up and running for the day.
It was interesting yesterday at the Glbt (Giblet) Coffee, as we got a phone call on Vagabond Blue's landline from a person wanting information. I must thank Phyllis at Identity for helping people find us.
OK, so we don't have tons of people flocking to get in the door. At least VB doesn't have to hire bouncers to sort out who can come in and who gets turned away!
In today's news is a story of a Trans teenager who's been VERY naughty. click here to see it. The gist is Kerry Marshall misused her gender identity to commit criminal fraud. It's wrong. And now that she's been caught she will face the legal system. Natural Consequences.
But I feel for her. Transition surgeries like SRS are very expensive, and for under-employed young people the price tag can be very daunting. Impatience got the better of Kerry's good sense I guess.
In the modern world the imaginary "ideal" TV family is pretty much gone. Dad usually doesn't have the luxury of a 40 hour a week job with affordable health care for his family that supports all thier needs and a few luxuries, while Mom takes care of the house, handles the social interaction and oversees the child rearing to be sure that kids are brought up with some common sense and civilized coping skills.
That kind of life style, where a family has two sensible adults taking responsibility for child rearing and laboring to turn thier young people into Responsible members of thier community has taken a hit in the past decades. The obvious result is a generation of adults who are lost. They grope for direction in life. They lack endurance, are filled with impatience, and haven't learned to let go of selfish behaviors as inherently unhappy making in the long run. They yearn for escape from a world that seems harsh, cruel, unfair, and beyond thier control. They yearn for security, and for someone to fix thier out of control lives, while selfishly resenting any real help that might be offered.
The problem is, there never has been a Utopian world of 9 to 5 well paying jobs with benefits. Yes, there have been jobs, and periods in the mid Century where there were quite a few of them, but there weren't so many out there that everyone had one. The real world isn't Donna Reed, Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best. It never was.
Yet I find that the core beliefs of many of the most conservative right wingers I know is grounded in this black and white TV fantasy world. They are convinced that life really was this way. The are blind to the real mid century world. The Jim Crow laws, the unfair and sometimes brutal treatment of women, minorities, and gays in the public sphere. In fact, the brutality of the Government in many places was so normal that it didn't deserve comment.
They are blind to the fact that the ideal lifestyle as seen on TV is the product of Communists and Socialists, and Unionists. Of people willing to put thier actual LIVES on the picket line. Real American Heroes like Big Bill Haywood, Charles Moyer, Eugene V. Debs, Margaret Dreier Robins, folks who spoke up, even if it meant a fight, losing thier homes and work.
There was optimism, hope, and a willingness to work for a better day. Where did it go?
Today, as I sit and type, I'm aware that many of my generation have lost all hopefulness, all optimism. They embrace a philosophy of Doom. they see the modern political landscape through lenses of ennui. The idea that the individual cannot influence the government has been successfully implanted by huge economic interests, and nourished by media and politician alike. So much chaos!
I don't know how to fix the world. I do know that the future is still in our hands to shape. All it takes is the willingness to be guided by principles and beliefs that put the well being of the whole Community before the pleasure of the private person. It will take a modicum of discipline as well.
But mostly it will take will, the will to set aside one's own private desires to work towards a future that fulfills the needs of us all. Once that future is obtained, our true needs get naturally fulfilled. The need for love, for being respected, being valued. Our need to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
It's a Christian promise. A Buddhist ideal as well.
It is the essence of "Do unto others". The heart of it is Lovingkindness, rooted in a willingness to give without demanding a return. Giving without resentment or reservation. This kind of giving is just like planting seeds. The little tiny bit you reach out and let go of, takes root in the soil and grows, returning far more that was given.
We humans and Americans have been good at fumbling through history. I expect we will continue to do so for quite a long time to come. And in doing so, I expect we will see the true American Heritage bequeath to the world something wonderful. It's slow evolution to a truly free society of individuals. The pursuit of a more than transitory happiness, a Sublime well-being replacing the mere self-indulgence of sensual pleasure. Why not?
It is our duty to the future to toil for a better world. And it's our pleasure to do so, for when we quit, give up, and descend into hedonism, selfishness, and self pity, and self seeking we humans become deeply unhappy.
I am grateful to all the hard working people who will make my day happen. The workers I'll never know who are behind my electric power, my hot shower, my home. The guys who put in the Traffic Lights, grew my food, made my plastics.
and I'm grateful I chose not to follow Ms. Marshal's path.