What happened to the county I learned about as a child, that we valorize in history as the country that stands for freedom, for equality, for justice. Was it just another ruse of the aristocracy for the ages? I hope not. I hope that we realize these ideals, that we create them in our lives, that we share them with our community to support each other. What happened to the idealism in this country for a better world? All the war, economic violence, exploitation of the earth, in order to live the way I grew up. We live in a country founded on colonization, slavery, and genocide and that hasn’t stopped to this day and has only taken different forms.
I used to believe in idealistic America that I grew up learning about. That was before I realized our involvement with suffering worldwide, how I don’t see most issues because we export the violence, and how our way of life depends on world conquest, constant exploitation of labor, resources, and morality. With an economy dependent on constant growth as large as ours, ‘hell!’; we are the dark side and we’re on the Death Star building the force to destroy this planet.
I look around and I see good intentions. I see beautiful people, working hard, struggling to exist, to be accepted, to live a life with fun, excitement, and entertainment. While there is nothing wrong with just trying to get by, it doesn’t change the systems we are complicit in or the choices that each of us has. Who are we and what do we stand for? I spent my whole life reading about other men (some women too) and what they think, what ethics are important, what we have learned over the years of ‘progress’, Western civilization, and scientific discovery. I was so busy learning, I overlooked the sacrifices all the people have made for me to have this privilege to spend my life dedicated to learning and without violence. It is unbelievable to me the tension and conflict that has permitted me this freedom and I am eternally grateful. I am grateful to those who suffered and are suffering at the expense of my pre-packaged consumer lifestyle and I am grateful to those in the military risking their lives for ‘my freedom’. However, I cannot deny my role as the cause of suffering any longer. It is not just corporations, oil companies, and Wall Street; it is I. It is all of us.
It is not some small militant group that threatens my freedom. I am the terrorist to myself. My way of life terrorizes my ecosystem, indigenous and the vulnerable (which is most of the world’s population), the beauty and other life on this planet, and my integrity as a human, not to mention the health and well-being of all people. These aren’t some lofty philosophical principles, I’m speaking about the real day to day lives for most people. My lifestyle, my every day activities, directly hurts people and so does yours! (less so if you live off-the-grid and completely sustainably). Upon realizing reality, the choice we are all faced with is will we continue to be terrorists? Will we continue to have blood on our hands while we pretend we have nothing to do with it; complicit in an economic system we know will come to an end, apathetic in a government that protects money at the expense of its people. I realize the obscurity of power – this power is insidious and subversive, cloaked in a sea of sheep and ‘good intentions’.
No matter, I will no longer be fooled. Humans are an intelligent and transcendent species. We can live how ever we choose. Human nature is not as Thomas Hobbes described it and evolution is not survival of the fittest as Darwin thought. Species that survive in the long run live in a symbiotic relationship with their environment, actually playing a role that enhances or enables the system they participate in. Over-exploitation or living unsustainably is a sure way to extinction.I see mostly good people that know what is right, being co-opted by a system that empowers sociopaths. It is not competition that drives me, it’s my passion, it’s my believe in a better world, in a connection for my fellow man and my community. This is not a premonition of my conscious, this perspective is ingrained with facts and history.
I beg forgiveness for we all have sinned, committed the worst of what Jesus warned. This is the devil’s world and I’m calling out for more than just faith. It was not simply a believe that propelled Jesus. He took action. He travelled sharing his gifts and stories, eventually making the ultimate sacrifice of his life for all mankind.
It’s time for for all of us to look the devil in the eye before it’s too late!
It doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t need these structure of violence in place. It’s as simple as us getting together to change it. All it takes is people standing up and doing something, together. We’re just a few steps a way from making it all different, if you make that choice…
-This article was written by the author of this blog