23
Nov
11

Love and Empathy Will Destroy Our World

John Lennon urged us to grasp the concept that all you need is love. John was shot. Mohandas Ghandi preached non-cooperation and peaceful resistance. He was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. Jesus spoke of love and helping your fellow man, turning the other cheek. They nailed his ass to a cross, didn’t they?

Why are we constantly struggling to get along? Ideas were meant to be shared and put to debate but isn’t the purpose behind that to better our society? More and more we grow further apart from one another, attached at the retina by the internet’s beckon call. Website postings and Twitter blather makes it abundantly easy for anyone out there to rip out a piece of harsh criticism or beat at another person’s ideals with wit (or lack of) and venom. Some of the nastiest shit spews forth on blogs all over the world because we can hide behind the screen of our laptops. If half the individuals who carry on and rattle your cage were to meet you face to face they would have the common courtesy to be polite or suffer a shank from some individual who didn’t care for their tone of voice when called an asshole.

The verbal bullying technique utilized by neo-zealots along our nation’s airwaves is not meant to solve anything, rather it’s a tool utilized to continue a crowd gathering. I have listened to my share of talk radio whores since around 1985, when the aspiring pipes of Rush Limbaugh were climbing the charts on AM stations throughout the country. Agreeing or disagreeing with his politics wasn’t the worst of his damage as I saw it. What really hurt was his masterful turning of a phrase, an iconic representation of his opposition. Women with a pro-feminist opinion were referred to a ‘femi-nazis’. Jabs were taken at the other side and before long it became standard practice to look beyond the point of a person’s view in order to overtake them with name-calling and suggestive character flaw references.

Compassion, love and empathy have been thrown right out the door. If you don’t have a job, you’re dirt. If you can’t afford to buy your own health care you’re below dirt. Rather than logically look at the cause and effect of our current state of political affairs these bullies want to question the integrity of the individual. Rather than looking honestly at the effects of problems that may or may not be caused by minorities, people want to throw the word ‘racist’ in the face of anyone bringing up the subject.

One of the most valuable things I found while serving in the military was the effect basic training had on an individual. You had misfits from all parts of the country, present self included, and we were forced to work together as a team. Everyone from the street punk out of Brooklyn to the hayseed from Alabama, the Texas cowboy and the West LA cholo, if they signed on the line, they were in there for the long haul and no one got out of working as a team. What a wonderful display of a union created. If only our political hired were as cooperative, imagine the obstacles we could address but still our country sits in a squabble over who is a fuck up and who is a do nothing. Each side blames one another and the rest of us sit on the sidelines wondering if anything will get done.

Imagine what pressure we could put on our leaders if we were to come at them in force? Yet here we all stand, one side yelling ‘Socialist’, the other side yelling ‘racist’. What needs to happen is a bit of cooperation to get something done. Find a middle ground where both sides can agree to accomplish small tasks. Nothing so broad as to end a war or fix our economy, not yet. We need to start small and work our way up. As it stands we aren’t even able to agree on wanting to talk to one another. Call me an asshole if I beat a woman or child or kick my dog, but don’t stop working with me to better our nation because our political ideas vary; let us both listen to one another and tackle problems together by finding where we agree and start there. Give a little and get a little.

I still think Lennon was right. All you need is love. Don’t shoot me.

 

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1 Response to “Love and Empathy Will Destroy Our World”


  1. 1 John Stoughton
    11/23/2011 at 4:28 pm

    The voice of reason. Did someone steal Dave’s laptop?


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