Selective Hearing, Limited Sight

RAJESH misra, eyes, ears

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4: 3-4 NKJV

Humanity. Some sat on a stoop looking around and seeing mass hysteria popping up around the world, and a great divide in their own town. Yet, they sat, remaining comfortable and complacent.

They sat on the stoop listening to the obnoxious lies and massive falsehoods being told each day, knowing they were unjust and biased, but they were comfortable and unfazed without question because they felt these matters didn’t affect them, so they went along with it anyway.

They sat on the stoop seeing the unjust intensify, the deceit dripping from telltale lips and hearts, knowing even the eyes lie, as they look directly into yours without guilt or compassion, turning away from the truth because the lies feel easier to digest. This is their doctrine, and so they sat.

Shape-Shifting the Voices for Democracy

Deteriorating House, Ken Kistler

When I look at this photo, what comes to my mind is lost hope and sadness. Like an abandoned house left to deteriorate in the scorching arid heat with no protection to give it life and sustenance, we too could find our way of life, freedom, and liberty resulting in the same way, oblivious to the warning signs that democracy is gradually being castrated.

Paralyzing education, distorting information, flaming the fires of division and hatred, while losing hope as democracy is being castrated by propaganda that is flamboyant, untrue, and dangerous is easily being embraced by their supporters. The attacks on democracy, whether one wants to admit it or not, is not always advertised but happens in plain sight as it shape-shifts into an edible, acceptable disguise. Be alert, for deception is prevalent and growing by leaps and bounds.

Bribery, George Hodan

There are far too many conversations, worries, and anxieties being discussed about the manner in which the simple and sacred elements of humanity are being stripped away like peeling the husk from an ear of corn. Demagoguery is taking place in unprecedented degrees. So many are blind to the mass destruction such propaganda incites, and they eat up extremist entrées like ravenous wolves. Don’t walk around with eyes wide shut. Open your eyes and see what’s really going on here.

Is this discussion much ado about nothing? Absolutely not! As the voices of the cheerleaders of division raise their volume louder trying to distract and cancel out the advocates of unity, justice, democracy, experience, and love, advocates can’t be tinkling wind chimes but must toll louder than the Liberty Bell.

The sad part about it is, on the heels of Independence Day, their loudness and obnoxiousness must not Dawn Hudson, Democracybe ignored because many are listening and ignorantly repeating misinformation. Those tables must be flipped for truth cannot be erased. The truth, however, is being manipulated and turned into something that appears believable, trustworthy, patriotic, and just.

For those who constantly express their worriation about the future, your fear is justifiable based on what’s occurring in our political, religious, educational, global, and commerce sectors. Lies attempt to erase the truth, but it’s not the lie that will catch up with the liar, the truth always exposes the lie sooner than later. Dire consequences, whether we live to see it or not, will convict the oppressors even though it could come at a cost for hard-working, honest, ethical and decent human beings. Our voices of truth, justice, freedom, and equality must rise higher than the listening skies, and resound louder than the roaring seas. We cannot become complacent and watch democracy shape-shift into the skeleton of a dilapidated old house. Now is not the time to roll over and play dead, because playtime is over!

What Would You Risk for the Sake of Freedom?

Petr Kratochvil, Statue of Liberty

Running for your life is the cry and urgency coming from those fleeing conditions of torment, execution, massacres, rape, and downright murder. We lose our sense of humanity when we quantify the lives of others instead of qualifying the value they bring and contribute to our world.

As we approach Independence Day, the fourth of July, we see images of the iconic Statue of Liberty located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor splashed everywhere. When I listen to stories from immigrants who escaped some of the most horrific and deadliest of circumstances imaginable, I am brought to tears when they speak fondly of the opportunity to begin a new life as the ship they are aboard passes by Lady Liberty, a symbol of freedom, and they embark on the shores of New York. Most of these individuals barely escaped the ills of death marches, being viciously separated from their families, watching loved ones being murdered in cold-blood by hardened hearts or sent to an incinerator by orders from ruthless and narcissistic dictators.

Petr Kratochvil, Statue Of Liberty

Perhaps when we look at the image or the actual Statue of Liberty, may each citizen of this country remember what she represents. This copper sculpture was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States of America. In her right hand, she extends her arm upward while holding a torch and in her left hand she carries a tabula ansata (a tablet with dovetail handles) inscribed in Roman numerals the date of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain and shackle lay at her feet, commemorating the national abolition of slavery. 

We must maintain a moral center and never lose our sense of compassion, for if we do, we lose ourselves in a monument of nothingness, or like raging animals in the wilderness, we are aimless, without end. Try visualizing yourself and your family in their predicament. If the roles were reversed, how would you feel and what would you do? When people begin to villanize victims, with a cut and dry “them versus us” attitude they are actually fighting the enemy within, an enemy that will inevitably enslave them.

So, as we look at the Statue of Liberty let us be reminded of what she represents and what true freedom and independence are. Just because we have freedom does not guarantee that it is infinite or that you should be entitled to it without humility and gratitude. If you and your family were suddenly plucked from a life of opportunity and freedom into the pits of extreme abuse and slavery, how far would you go to protect them and how much would you sacrifice for a better and more peaceful life for them?

The Shackled: Will You Stand or Will You Sit?

oppression, enslavement

Will you stand up for the oppressed? Will you really?

Would you courageously face the unabashed wrongfulness perpetrated by the status quo, and say NO to the hands of power and prominence that seek to destroy those who are exploited or destitute?

Could you stand silently and watch self-loathing tormentors shackle, cripple and dehumanize a targeted populace, and be comfortable with that?

Will you stand up to defend those who suffer from grave injustices, or will you sit down, muted, and spectate as the injustices unfold?

With Liberty and Justice for All?

Liberty, Statue of Liberty, Democracy, Justice

Is democracy in our country really under siege? Are we truly paying attention to how the freedoms we gallantly sing about are slipping through our hands like water? Is there a diabolical motive undermining our current state of independence, creeping up on us, and going unnoticed?

It was so disheartening to read and hear about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to purge people who haven’t voted in the past two years. They refer to it as “Use It or Lose it.” It’s only been 53 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

An attack on a law designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution leaves one to question how soon other amendments will be compromised as well.

Liberty, Democracy, Justice

There has been much concern about outside forces tampering with the foundation of our democracy, but what about inside conspirators, breaking down the code of ethics that once stood for something real and promising, for the good of all people and not a select few?

Who can you trust to tell you the truth or genuinely try to protect “We the People” anymore? So much is at stake and many wonder if anyone is bothering to pay attention to adhering to good ethics or even showing more compassion anymore. Liberty and justice for all? Do we really have to question this again? 😦

What Side of Conviction Do You Stand On?

Just when you think things will peacefully pause in our strong, divisive stands on issues, we have seen mounting clashes with people from opposing sides. The more we try to find some common ground to see how we can work together for the good of all people, we somehow grow increasing divided. Let’s face it, everyone seems to be pissed off about something (excuse my phonics). I find that the more peeved people are, the more rebellious things become. In all honesty, I’ve seen the true colors of many people I thought were upright in spirit, show a disdainfully horrifying side.

People on the right demonize people on the left and people on the left demonize people on the right. Our attitudes remind me of a portion of the lyrics from the 1968 release by Harry Nilsson “Everybody’s Talkin.” Here are a few of those lyrics:

Everybody’s talking at me
I don’t hear a word they’re saying
Only the echoes of my mind

People stopping, staring
I can’t see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes

What do you genuinely base your convictions on? Is it for popularity, ego, the need for more power, imbalanced prestige, or survival? Does such conviction lead to immorality or compromised ethical standards? Are your convictions based on a lie that you spin to make others believe that it’s the truth?

What do you stand for? What convicts you? For what purpose and commitment do you have to support your convictions? If your convictions are met with merit, filled with the love God the Father and not god the superficial, and if you stand with courage during difficult times on behalf of love, life, liberty and justice, then you’re on your way to stand boldly where your mere presence shatters the face of hatred, bitterness and injustice. Stand for the human in humanity.