Dear Readers, as some of you might have noticed, my recent posts have centered around the themes of injustice by and outrage towards the elite and powerful of our world, the ones who are making decisions and working towards ever greater inequality and division of the world’s resources. This week I showed you the millions of people in Europe who are protesting against the EU’s austerity measures, which are, as usual, affecting the poorest and marginally managing people throughout southern Europe, but are not troubling the richest members of the European union’s population too terribly much. Then I blogged about the latest show of military power and abuses done towards the Palestinians in the Gaza by the Israeli government. And the last thing I reported on was the efforts by Greenpeace to put a halt to the world’s oil companies plans to rape and pillage the last free place on Earth, by drilling for oil in the Arctic.
None of these subjects, along with many, many others, are particularly pleasant to think or read about, and I am fully aware of how unwilling people often are (myself included) to even give them much thought, let alone devote time in one’s life to discuss them with others. In my own life, whenever my husband brings up the CIA and their outworkings in the world over the course of the past fifty+ years, I immediately blanche and do what I can to change the subject. It is simply too much, I cannot deal with the outrage and sorrow that I will feel if I engage in a conversation about it with him.
Having acknowledged this, I still feel, more strongly than ever, that as a society, those of us who are aware of the injustices and abuses which are being perpetrated by our own government leaders, have a moral (yes I did just write that) obligation to humanity and to the planet herself, to do a little more than simply shake our heads and sigh, then continue to fill up the gas tank and live our lives as the rest of the status quo. Therefore, I ask you now, what IS our moral obligation as humans living on the planet Earth in the year 2012? Aside from the basics of our immediate family, friends, and jobs, that is? Do we, or do we not, have some kind of responsibility towards the family of human beings, towards all of the living creatures with whom we share this planet, and in fact, towards the planet itself? And if so, how can we best take our responsibility seriously?
This weekend, I am considering the idea of ‘moral outrage’ and its place in the furtherance of the evolution of humanity. We are all aware that complacency is the death of our highest ideals. We can, in fact, see this happening all around us, as more and more of our ideals are quickly eroding, along with fundamental citizen’s rights due to fear and yet more power-hungry quasi-fascist leadership in the most powerful countries of the world. So why, may I ask, do so many people in the west simply shake their heads, say, ‘oh that is really too bad, tsk tsk,’ and then go about their business? They may be highly moral people in a hundred ways, and yet when it comes to the ‘problems’ of the world, they simply do next to nothing to further change. On top of that, some of these people then recommend that the rest of us do not get our knickers in a twist about the problems, because that is simply politically incorrect or, more accurately, spiritually incorrect. These days I get the distinct feeling that people who become angry or upset or otherwise show their passion about the world are somehow frowned upon and looked at with disdain, as if we all ought to somehow be ‘above’ all those lower, more base human emotions by now.
For the record, I am here to say that I, for one, am not. Not above feeling deep outrage against the people who continue to take, control, destroy, and rule the world in the most dastardly and abusive ways imaginable. Not above desiring them all to get their just desserts by the highest court of supreme justice there is. Maybe I am simply not so evolved yet, or maybe, I am simply fed up, have had it, at my wit’s end, with complacency and looking the other way at the mess we have collectively made, with all the greed, the abuse, the total inhumanity that exists here on Earth today. Life is about more than simply having a nice day, for Goodness sake!
Perhaps some of you also have moments when you are just so fed up with how things are, that you just want to rant about it to someone. And perhaps, like me, you don’t really have anybody to rant to. Perhaps it is simply human nature to not take action until something affects us personally. Maybe some of those poor people along New York’s coastline who are now having their homes bulldozed because of the effects of the hurricane are considering some things about the world that they didn’t take so seriously before. But. Do we really need to have the Arctic destroyed by oil spills and pollution, watch the animals die, have things become even bleaker, before we will collectively stand up to those in power and tell them in no uncertain terms, NO MORE?
Didn’t Gandhi say, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world?’ I think his advice is more relevant than ever. By all means, meditate and be mindful. Stay calm (mostly.) Think positive. Smile. Be happy! Of course all of this is very important. And so is making your voice, your opinion, your ideas about a better world, heard in ways both large and small. I say this tonight as honestly as I can, without reproach, without arrogance, but with all the humility and humanity I can muster. Your voice matters. Use it for the good.
And the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
From the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule
People have the power
The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it’s decreed the people rule
Listen, I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution
We have the power
People have the power – Patti Smith
- The Power of Peaceful People (achievingworldpeacenow.wordpress.com)
- Cue the math: McKibben’s roadshow takes aim at Big Oil (grist.org)
- Kelly Rigg: Killing Us With Coal: Why Do We Let Them Do It? (huffingtonpost.com)
- When Good Values Are Bad For Us (bigthink.com)