To Be

“Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”   ~Albert Camus (via Jules of Nature)

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Learn Practice Teach

“If we ourselves remain angry and then sing world peace, it has little meaning. First, our individual self must learn peace. This we can practice. Then we can teach the rest of the world.” ~14th Dalai Lama  (via)

Still

I visited Mesa Verde with my Dad one October, and my most vivid memory is a simple, quiet moment.

As we sat among the ruins, for just a few minutes, there were no sounds at all. No electric motors hummed, no tires droned against pavement, no distant thump from a stereo; no human voices or airplanes overhead. It was perfectly still.

A hundred years ago, this would not have been unusual.

Now there are people living their entire lives without ever having this experience.

“We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good.”

Via Humans of New York:

“I felt humiliated and suicidal in college. It seemed like my personal failings were on display for everyone to see. I’m not all that attractive. I have a speech impediment. I’m not good socially. I saw other guys having romantic success and I felt a lot of envy. I concluded that women owed me something. They owed me a chance. And I was angry they weren’t giving it to me. I’m ashamed of it now, but during that time I formed a lot of bad and hateful opinions. I joined ‘incel’ communities on 4chan and Reddit. I found a lot of men there who felt just like me. The community provided this pseudoscientific justification for hating women. It let us feel like it wasn’t our fault. We stoked each other’s anger. And it felt good. Honestly, anger is just very addictive. You want to feel angry when you’re suffering. It gives you adrenaline. It gets your endorphins going. It’s a release. It’s a substitute for what you’re missing.”

He’s not really so unusual.

Outrage is America’s drug of choice- and there’s a dealer on every news channel.

Misguided

In this excerpt from Huey Long by T. Harry Williams, ©1969, Huey Long explains why he did not fight in the First World War:

“I did not go into that war,” he proclaimed in the Senate. “I was within the draft age. I could have gone, except for my dependents. I did not go because I did not want to go, aside from that fact… I did not go because I was not mad at anybody over there. I did not go because it was not the first time in history that the sons of America had volunteered themselves as cannon fodder under the misguided apprehension that it was going to be a fight for humanity,” when in reality they had been used to centralize “the wealth of the United States and the world in the hands of a few.”

Since then, similar words have been spoken about nearly every American conflict.

I refuse

I have a friend who’s a disc jockey on a Christian radio station, so I tune in every now and then just out of politeness.

It’s not really my thing.  Too many songs try to cram an inspirational message into a tune that just doesn’t fit it, and you hear the phrase “blood of the lamb” way too often.  (I think it’s an easy phrase to rhyme– that’s why there are so many country songs about Tennessee.)

But, every now and then, I get a really good song that makes it worth my while.

This one sort of evokes the spirit of the 60s.  I appreciate a good call to action.

I hope you enjoy it.