Many thoughts have crossed my mind over the past few days, and I have to admit I am deeply troubled and discouraged. But I want to remember the good first. I got to meet with three wonderful people for lunch, some older, some younger, but all wise, thinking, caring people who have been sources of wisdom and inspiration. They, specifically, helped me in immeasurable ways and I basked in simply being with these beings who are still giving to others as they gave to me. That is GOOD!
Why did I speak of this first? Because I could see how they, too, are troubled with the current state of our nation and the response of the general population towards this state of existence. We were all glad that women were finally speaking up about being molested, abused, slandered, violated and that they were attempting to make others aware that power does not give license to abuse nor slander nor stopping people from speaking out about such things. We also were very glad that those of the other gender were also speaking up against their abusers. And of course, the conversation included stories of women and men who are now grown admitting they had been abused by people in power over them as children. That, reader, is called enculturation . If you can’t “rock the boat” when you are hurt, molested, abused as a child, you learn to keep your mouth shut as an adult. Women could not protest being taken advantage of by adult males as children and could not protest more of the same when they could lose their job, be labeled and slandered as an adult. Men have a precarious decision to make also because they fear the stigma of sexual abuse leading to homosexuality. (a Myth) Again, enculturation. But finally, people are speaking up. That is GOOD! But this is where the dilemma comes in.
We currently have a president who laughs, boasts about how he can sexually accost women of any age because, as he states, when you’re rich and powerful, they let you do whatever you want. Now we have an openly hypocritical man running for senator under scrutiny for these same attitudes/actions and his own political party will not stand up for the moral rightness to demand he withdraw under such charges against him. And why should they when the president openly brags about doing the same things? This truly troubles me. So what discourages me?
The discouragement comes from watching the news, reading the newspaper, listening, hearing the prevailing attitudes of condoning actions if certain people do them. Sort of like two separate legal sets, depending on how much money and power you have vs. no money, no power. When did we adopt new laws for one group over another? The discouragement also comes when I realize this is just the beginning. You see, I went to school when history was taught and not altered as much as today. I read about the Holocaust and how the United States hedged on letting Jewish refugees in to flee the death camps–and then we entered WWII, saw the few survivors of Hitler’s scourge of the Jews, and were appalled. Why oh why does it have to hit us in the face before we accept or do anything about it?
I watched a documentary on WWII and the heroes and heroines who saved as many Jewish people as they could to escape Hitler’s reign of terror. But I watched very closely through this documentary. Hitler started by discriminating against certain ideas and supposedly “helping” Germany become stronger, a force to be reckoned with. Gays were first discriminated against to start the ball rolling. And you know where it went from there. So I ask, who are WE discriminating against first? Ah, yes, the Mexican rapists and murders. They were targeted first. Then Muslims. Then women. Then black people, then gays lost rights, workers have lost rights, the unions are being disparaged, and the media? Oh man! The first derogatory remark by the media unleashed the term, “FAKE NEWS” and specifically CNN. Read your history. Fear works best. Mexicans, Muslims, etc., are to be feared. Then take away some taken-for-granted freedoms, like that of the press. Lie to the people, promise them grandiose pie-in-the-sky jobs and wealth and purity of nation and BAM! THEY’RE HOOKED! They no longer need facts, or a reality check because Hitler and our current president are their reality and whatever they say or do is above question and above the law–their version of the law.
I read Dr. Zimbardo’s book, The Lucifer Effect. Ultimately, the title of this blog refers to the insight gained from reading this book. Zimbardo shows what having power over others can do. He acknowledges we all have a dark side but given a little power, or the desire for power, can change morally decent humans into what we have in government, the corporations, city governments, etc., right now. You see, we all have a choice. We can enhance our own sense of power and entitlement or we can choose to help others as well as ourselves. I am discouraged because the choices I see being made daily show little regard for others or anyone else’s well being other than individual selves. This is how it starts, folks. Take care of #1 first and only. Justify it by the Head selfish #1 above you telling you it’s right! it’s good! it’s guaranteed success! and you just have to get rid of all the naysayers and the people like Mexicans, Muslims, etc., out of your way. That unites them against a common enemy. While others, like me, are going, “Whoa! You can’t blame all the problems with the United States on specific groups! We are all a part of this problem just as we should all be part of the solution! I help you, you help me, we all benefit and have pride and integrity and make headway!” This is becoming a dream for some of us since reality is showing us it is operating just the opposite. Ergo: discouragement.
So the question is: Are we going to stand for America?
I will. I will keep fighting for your rights and mine. I don’t care how different we are in how many ever aspects. If you are hurt, I will help. If you are hungry, I will find food for you. If you are sick, I will try to find you help. If you are scared, I will try to help and probably commiserate with you. I will respect you, I will stand for your rights. I will not speak about you behind your back or find a way to remove you from this life because we disagree. I refuse to judge you on appearance, religion, sexuality, or whatever. If I do judge, it will only be after talking and getting to know you. If you are a child molester, abuser, we are morally miles apart and I will try to find you help, but I cannot meet on common ground with you morally. But I still won’t kill you or eliminate you. Likewise for others. I do judge by moral integrity. You violate someone’s life or lifestyle, I will shun you. And if someone doesn’t like me, please let it be because of ME! Don’t label and dislike me because of my skin color, my sexual preference, my religion or lack thereof, my economic status, what I do for a living or don’t do, the way I cut my hair or dress. Get to know ME and if you don’t like me, bail! I can handle it! I won’t disrespect you so please don’t disrespect me.
We are at a crossroads, people. We can choose Good, or we can choose Evil. We have never been led by such a being as we have now for president. He lies, he cheats, lies about cheating, disparages anyone and everyone who is against him, uses power to manipulate and bully, and we are all feeling it. Many have already chosen to follow his example. I won’t. You have to choose to either give in and join in aberration of morality or stand up. America was built on fairness and justice for all. It is not an untruth to say it no longer seems to hold to those ideals and acts on them.
If I knew how, I would here play “Imagine” by John Lennon for you. Listen to it before you finish here, okay? Just listen and take it all in. Every word. Because as the song says, “Some people say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…” Please, stand up for America. We are not Hitler’s Germany unless we let ourselves be. Please, stand up for justice and fairness to all.
Thanks for your time