“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”~ Carl Jung.
We are a society in search of quick fixes. We are sold on money making schemes; sure thing diets; self-help schemes that cure a lifetime of unhealthy practices. We hear what we want to hear and accept as fact anything that we read on the internet. We take our information in pureed readily digested news-bites that over simplify our extremely complex world. And then we pull others into the web, passing on mis-heard, mis-understood mis-information.
Last weekend I listened to the story of a man whose life had been destroyed by a gossip website. Apparently in small town America, communities can post to a local website and find out all the home-grown news. In this case, a woman who was engaged to be married was shot and killed by her ex-husband. The surviving fiancé found himself being shunned by all the people in his small town, including the parents of the dead woman. It turned out that on the website people had been posting questions about him, suggesting he was a pervert and a drug addict, and that he may have played a role in the woman’s death. Apart from being isolated, he lost his job and livelihood in the aftermath. He had to get a lawyer, who discovered that the ‘conversation’ on the site was the work of one woman, who had an ancient grudge against the man. Like most of us, the town’s people had believed what they read on the ‘net. He sued and won hundreds of thousands of dollars for defamation. Of course he is yet to collect a dime!
What casual lies are we guilty of propagating? What stories do we absorb and take as fact when we should know better? It was amusing and sad to see comedic interviews by a late night host who discovered that many people object strongly to Obamacare, while strongly supporting the Affordable Care Act. When we don’t take the time to find things out for ourselves, we are giving up control of our own minds.
It is depressing at times to live in a country where political leaders seem hell bent on dragging us backwards, undoing years of progress for those who have no voice. We seem to have to be re-fighting wars on poverty; discrimination; small-mindedness and insularity. We are no further on giving undocumented immigrants a chance to have a reasonable expectation of living a fulfilled life. We are allowing politicians and the Supreme Court to dictate women’s personal choices regarding reproductive health. We need to read for ourselves and elect better representatives of all of we the people.
This Good Friday begins an excellent weekend to reflect on the choices we make in life. The story of Jesus reminds us that sometimes we are called upon to do difficult things, to make sacrifices for a greater good. For many of us the sacrifices we make are mostly insignificant: we give up social media for lent; avoid alcohol for 40 days; come Monday we are back to our regular lives unchanged. Every time I watch activists who dedicate their lives to a cause, journalists who endanger their lives to report from war-torn countries, people who protest autocratic governments and risk death, I am humbled by the knowledge that I have never had to choose between my life and something I believed in.
I also have to confess that the pagan in me loves to think of the early Christians capitalizing on the pagan fertility rites of Spring for the Easter weekend. You can picture me and my ancestors frolicking beneath a full moon in celebration of the bounty of Mother Earth, giving thanks for the generosity of our natural world while trying to make the gods happy! There is nothing like laughing and dancing to show our gratitude and appreciation for being alive!
This Easter weekend let us continue to give thanks while pausing to remember those who are not here to celebrate. Let us search for our own truth, even if it means reaching deep inside. And let us keep a skeptical mind, sifting through information in search of the truth.
May you have a fantastic Friday, a great weekend, and to those in Jamaica, eat nuff bun and cheese for me!
One Love Family!