This is the part that scares me. If it scares you too, you may belong to my tribe. The tribe of incomprehensible blankness. Oh, I don’t mean blankness of mind, I mean that which is probably worse – blankness of spirit.
Allow me to explain. I have lived a million miles of landmines and have come to expect that the rest of world has too. Probably worse. So I feel that everything I might have to say has been said by people more worthy of their suffering. I’ve been hungry but I haven’t starved. I’ve lived under bridges but it was my choice. I went for many long periods without love, but it was of my own volition.
These days it seems there’s a thousand-fold bout of suffering that my own trials – as if they might be ants trying to leap atop in one bound a boulder – cannot possibly match – and to which their effort cannot possibly compare. Every day, it’s more: kid killed by cop, gun-hungry cop afraid of kid, bang bang, leaders afraid of truth, lies the new baseline.
To whom or for what to I have to complain? I’m outside the grid, an ex-pat who goes cold-turkey from the news every few months just to escape the madness. Now we approach an election. Okay, we’re always near an election. But this time, things have gotten way beyond rational. Now we’re talking fear. And not just any fear, but fear of everybody and everything. Mexican workers, Muslim worshippers, dead voters, Chinese hackers, even encrypted cell phones.
There’s no end to this madness. In fact, it must escalate to even hope that it can stay relevant and keep pinging the radar of the average attention span. We live in an era of intense competition for information; calm facts are buried in the avalanche. Most people are afraid of the other who they see as coming to take their hard-earned gains.
This is of course exactly what most leaders want. To lead, most leaders need an enemy. It keeps people focused on what’s important. It’s not what you’re for, it’s what you’re against that counts. When an enemy runs out of steam, when the image of one organization or one individual starts to inspire a ho-hum fatigued response in the populace who has seen the endless images of these enemies, a new enemy must be created.
The only way out of this cycle is to jump off the bandwagon that keeps endlessly circling, to start making decisions about what is right and what is wrong for yourselves. Ask if something makes sense on its own, or if it only makes sense in a certain light. When truth is no longer considered important to those who would claim to circulate it, it is up to rest of us to publically shame the lies – and to demand in their place the unvarnished truth from which we can make informed decisions.