THEN I FLASHED BACK ON 1971…
I was thinking, “This may be one of my shorter blogs! At least I am going to try for that… Wish me luck!”
Ok, Nope! I was wrong again… Either way I hope you read thru cause there is a gift in here – from me to you which I hope you dig.
Maybe I thought it would be a shorter Blog because… I am often at a loss for words these days, with the current state of affairs in the world and in particular the U.S.
Now, there can be lots of fancy and funny terms for that loss for words. Gob-stopped. Stunned. Unbelievable (in the literal sense). Dumbfounded. Confounded. #Urkiddingright? WTAF?
And I am sure there are a lot more $5 and $10 words I can’t think of at the moment. But please, I invite you… Go for it. Add your own to the list.
I think you know what list I am talking about; it’s the one that runs through your mind when you are trying to figure out what is happening in the world? When you hear another piece of “news” that is simply too much for any semi-reasonable person to wrap around their head.
Because of the “current events” in the world, there’s this flood of thoughts and feelings that rush along with these current “happenings”. Buttons get pushed, no doubt.
There are days I just stare in disbelief for moments or even hours on end when I am simply confused and cannot wake from a kind of reality T.V. nightmare. Then, my life’s obligations, deadlines and duty calls and I must motor on.
Now I am in part, a very compassionate person. I believe in the power of compassion for others. I believe it is part of the solution to many of our troubles. Part of the way forward for all of us.
That same compassion makes it harder to be a witness. Witness to the inhumanity we express towards each other. The least of which is judgement and name calling which I see a lot in these times. Most especially hard is witnessing the rationalizations for all the inhumanity. And for me, it always has been difficult.
Recently I flashed on a piece of my life – 1971. That year in Jr. High School I read “Man’s Inhumanity to Man”, “The Greening of America” and “Plato’s Republic”. I also helped organize a couple student walk out’s in protest of the war in Vietnam and the fact that our school lockers were being searched periodically which proved to be a bit of problem for several of us!
I found out that same year – the Principal of that school put me on a “watch-list”. Special notes were kept on what I was checking out of the library, where I was going, with whom and a lot more. I was 14 years old and the school administrators were afraid of me. Afraid of my mind and the early signs of resistance apparently…
Maybe that means some core parts of a person character don’t change. #shedontgoquietlyintothenight #shecantshutupandsing
Apparently I figured some stuff out in those early days of my life…
It IS patriotic to stand up and have our voices be heard. In both our personal lives and political lives. It IS patriotic to resist our voice being gagged by someone trying to wrongfully exert control over us or by our government. Either overtly or covertly – in any way. I also learned that this Nation was born from that same resistance. It is where our Constitution came from.
Ok…So now its 2018. I mean really …What are we doing?
How and why is this happening?
And even further – What have we BECOME?
Asylum seekers are being arrested at our borders. Nazi’s, Klu Klux Klan and off shoot White Supremacy groups are holding public rallies sanctioned by local authorities. Children have been caged and separated from their families at our borders by the current Administrations policies and said-laws who will suffer long term affect of P.T.S.D. School campus shootings – again and again.
The U.S. Government leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council. Private interests paying Lobbyist to insure corporate greed agendas will be fulfilled – the ultimate buddy deals! The blatant disregard for the laws of our land and Due Process for people of color – by many police and judiciaries.
Rosary’s being confiscated at U.S. borders from detainees as a means of psychological intimidation. Women’s body parts being legislated by white males in power (yet again! …sigh). Health Care being decimated, Social Security on the chopping block… again. An Administration that refuses to participate in disaster relief for our own U.S. citizens. Our National Parkland is being deregulated and sold off to the highest bidders. Endangered species being placed back on legal gaming lists. Higher Education is quickly becoming available for only the rich. Public Schools 1-12 basic education programs are cut while our Civil Rights are rapidly being whittled away.
Meanwhile the illiteracy rates scream and creates staggering social effects reflected in the court and prison systems. Prison systems that have been privatized for ultimate profit. Unqualified and incompetent people are appointed to Cabinets in Washington D.C. – more ultimate buddy deals! Sacred Native Tribe lands being poisoned thru petroleum industries covert, highly questionable and often illegal practices. Science is no longer considered legitimate by the U.S. Government.
Our sitting U.S. President and his Administration’s behavior is frighteningly close to that of a Dictatorship. The actual value of people’s lives is being undermined with a kind of legislative-policy-practices, implemented via hacksaw before our very eyes and more.
(Are you still here with me..? I am sorry. I know it is brutally painful. It was really hard to actually type…)
And as many of us are, we blink several times and gasp in disbelief
(insert your $5-$10 word).
It is full on depressing. Can make that Rabbit-Hole look good.
Nowadays, everyday, I have to work harder to keep a hold of my mind, to try and remain grounded, reasonable, trying to discern accurate information from distortion and full on fiction. Some days I lose that battle. It can be flat out exhausting to the body, mind and soul.
BUT even so and as odd as this sounds – I still have hope. I really do. SO dig this…. Hang with me a moment longer please…
People are shouting out en mass. People are reaching out to help others – I AM seeing it every day and it gives me great hope. The level of greed and corruption clearly present IS mobilizing people to stand up and speak up. Witnessing that gives me great hope.
Then there was this; Recently the L.A. Weekly, in the first line of a review – They actually said “Janiva Magness is the kind of hopeless fool who really believes that love can change the world.”
(Thank you L.A. Weekly. I really mean it!).
Well I stand accused. There it is. I am here to say unequivocally ($10 word), even though I typed all that hard stuff out several paragraphs above…The L.A. Weekly is right!
I am exactly that fool and I do believe love can change the world. IF WE can find a way to practice it daily. We will find there is such great power in numbers.
Why you might ask? Because I am living proof of it. Plain and simple. And I know a lot of other living breathing examples of this
Very same thing. It is beautiful really.
Because Love Is An Army and it’s really real.
I also believe to my soul that love is an action and sometimes that is an action of resistance. Sometime it manifests in art/music. Sometimes it is an action of being of service to other people – some of whom are struggling. Sometimes it is simply practicing compassion. Sometimes it is an action of standing up and speaking up in the face of adversity.
SO that is what I am doing, it is what I have done for a long time and what I will continue to do. Resist what I find to be the darkness of inhumanity. I will resist it with love in all its forms most of all. I hope you will find a way to do the same.
THANK YOU for reading this far . I mean it!
You can go ahead and call me a fool… You will be right.
I’m good with it.
Love – Janiva
AND SO HERE MY GIFT FOR YOU. I AM VERY PROUD OF THIS PIECE. I REALLY HOPE YOU DIG IT!
Love – Janiva #shareifyoucare #LoveIsAnArmy