In the far, distant future, when our once thriving society is naught but a pile of memory-infused rubble, those who are tasked with sifting through our remains will no doubt be thoroughly confused about the meaning of the words “Christian” and “Christianity.”
One the one hand they will uncover acts of great love, charity, peace, acceptance and humility done in the name of this mystical and undoubtedly perplexing ‘Jesus’ figure.
Imagine their bewilderment when they find an equal if not greater amount greed, violence, injustice and murder. A love for weaponry and war… all committed, again, under this ominous umbrella of “Christianity.”
In regard to American society specifically, what would an uninitiated observer conclude about a governing set of laws–a Constitution–which emphasized a separation of church and state; juxtaposed with elected officials who ceremoniously bowed their heads in prayer before sending their people off to war?
These eventual witnesses could notice that although, according to the ‘Bible,’ Jesus welcomed children and the needy to his arms, somehow so many of his followers seemed to violently abhor them; terrorize and harass them at their borders.
It’s quite possible a future observer may notice that we, as a largely self-proclaimed “Christian” society, adhered to Jesus’ peaceful teachings by cohabitating with some of the most helpless of all, the animals; while routinely and systematically torturing and consuming the others for food, sport and amusement.
Perhaps they will delve deep enough into our history to learn of explorers that slaughtered their fellow man for their land, only to ultimately destroy that same land for profit, ignorance and neglect.
After all of this, what would tomorrow’s archaeologists determine was our true God? Money, power, stuff… hate? If that were to be our legacy, would that mean we were successful as a people, or did we fail?
If we do end up as the architects of our own undoing, perhaps, it’s easy to imagine our future observers concluding that we, as a society, perished from a sort of schizophrenic dysfunctionality. That we as a people had become too sick and mad to continue, all the while proclaiming an allegiance to a humble and gentle saint which we bear no resemblance to.
Is this our overall destiny? If the earth survives, is this the impression we will leave upon the future inhabitants of our beautiful planet?
I wonder what our remains will express about our true beliefs, when our empty words can no longer suffice.
I will never forget the exhilaration I felt on the night in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President. I had been impressed by him since I first became aware of the young senator as a keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention. He seemed to be able to uniquely tap into the root of the frustrations felt by so many Americans.
Further, as a life-long proponent of civil rights and progressivism, I was delighted that we, as a country, had finally evolved to the point where we had elected our very first non-white President.
It was a great feeling. Fast forward six years and the glee has been replaced by despair at the steady stream of unanswered white on black brutality that has been occurring ever since.
The latest case, the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of policeman has me more devastated than usual. I can’t help but wonder: Has the white American mentality changed at all since the days of lynchings?
It seems that civil rights activists have been successful in installing protections, but have as yet been unable to assuage the level of hatred, racism and fear permeating and ruining, white America and beyond.
From Eric Garner, to Trayvon Martin, to Renisha McBride, to Marissa Alexander. A black woman and mother, also of Florida, who received 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot in the air; shortly after George Zimmerman was exonerated by a jury of his mostly white, Floridian peers, no less.
No one was injured. Alexander clearly was not granted protection under the ‘stand your ground’ laws in this case. Why not?
It’s as though the election of a black President blew the lid off of a roiling level of hatred always brewing underneath the surface, kept only at bay by what fearful white Americans believed to be their rightful and permanent establishment of authority.
Never in history has an American President been treated with such disrespect and disregard. Never before has one party opted to destroy the country if it meant destroying the black President.
Yet somehow, according to the most ignorant aspects of white tradition, it’s the scary black man we ought to fear.
I don’t see it.
If hateful white people could just come to their senses, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride would still be alive. At the very least, their murderers would be behind bars.
I think of all of this brutality and I remember back to when Barack Obama first became President. For a while I felt heartened and hopeful that peaceful race relations were on the horizon.
I think the way large swaths of white America has reacted to the election of our first black President will go down in history as a shameful and embarrassing scar on our history. We, as a nation were given such a golden opportunity for growth, enlightenment and brotherhood.
But that opportunity is long gone.
Buried, along with poor, innocent, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and countless others. May they all rest in peace. May God have mercy on our souls and may we, as a country, one day have peace as well.
“Maslow based his theory partially on his own assumptions or convictions about human potential and partially on his case studies of historical figures whom he believed to be self-actualized, including Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.
Maslow examined the lives of each of these people in order to assess the common qualities that led each to become self-actualized. In general he found that these individuals were very accepting of themselves and of their life circumstances; were focused on finding solutions to cultural problems rather than to personal problems; were open to others’ opinions and ideas; had strong senses of privacy, autonomy, human values and appreciation of life; and a few intimate friendships rather than many superficial ones. He also believed that each of these people had somehow managed to find their core-nature that is unique to them, and is one of the true goals of life.”
Treating others with kindness is treating yourself with kindness. It’s all the same. We’re all connected. If a person is self-actualized, their heart will swell with a calm and happy sense of fulfillment just by being nice to others.
We should take pity on cruel people. Take, for example, those who’ve made the news for shouting at immigrant children on buses. Every one of the individuals in those crowds actually determined that the best use of their energy and attention was to stand and shout, at children…
Their actions cause anguish because they come from a place of anguish. All of us can manifest only what we are.
People like these are lost when it comes to the way of the universe and their higher purpose in it. They live in the worst kind of darkness there is. Their energy is dark. They hate, because that’s what they are.
All too often people get mired in a patch of bad luck and they don’t realize how quickly things are going to change for them. Maybe their difficulties have lasted a long time. Maybe half a lifetime. Maybe it’s all they really know.
All that means is that their day in the sun is coming soon. The only thing a lifetime of hardship really means is that indescribable joy is just about to happen.
The worst thing a person can do is become so disillusioned as to believe that they have a ‘bad’ life and they will never find their heart’s desire. For that to happen would be impossible. It would go completely against the nature of things.
Nothing stays the same throughout a lifetime. Change is a clear and defining constant surrounding every element in the universe. Not even in the grayest climate does any storm ever last forever. They come and then eventually subside, clearing the way for breezy days, sunlight and songbirds.
Such is the way of the universe. And you, are the crowning jewel of the universe.
Yes, you may have hard times. Yes, some storms are devastating. But they absolutely will clear up just as they all do. If you’ve been down, just focus your energy on the wonderful miracles coming your way. You’re due!!