There is a lot of crookedness, abuse of power, and shade in the world and it won't just go away without taking innocent lives with it. Neither will it go away by piling violence and acting out repressed feelings on top of the existing troubles. Both of these tactics have failed resoundingly in history. There is one thing that does work, though it does not swoop down in a dramatic fashion festooned with an inflated cinematic arc of change. The things that really work for people are the things that stay close to the ground: our numbers and the employment of service and the cultivation of the communities in which we stand.
There are a lot of ways to support madness in a country and in a person. To protect sovereignty and autonomy, in both cases, a conscious choice must be made. We must speak up and respect others having their say. We live in a country that by law, protects us in speaking our opinions (we must speak in spite of the rumors of corruption and not fancying the choices). It is a sacred trust that the people of this country enjoying prosperity and the benefits of freedom will participate in maintaining liberty through voting. It is a responsibility to the self to stand up to our personal choices daily and it is a venerable responsibility to vote in a country that allows us a voice in this way. The price is high to hide away. We must stay aware of the issues and not let fear dictate how our lives and the lives of our family and neighbors unfold by standing idly by. Democracy will live where it is welcome and respected. Let it be our country but we could lose this stature to other societies who recognize its worth.
Vote for what you believe in and what you want for yourself, your family, and your community. Realize, however, that voting is like taking a mass transit. It may not get you to the exact doorstep to where you want to go but it will get you closer than where you are now to the improvements you want to see. (I'm paraphrasing something I read in an email this morning).
Thank you for participating....for voting....and for listening.
Music: I think it is important at this juncture of our times to understand why we fight and just what fighting actually is. This video by the Fast Romantics shows the importance of the shenanigans of freedom of expression and why it is important to protect that. For a long time it was all about sending a representative into harms way to defend and protect as in a war or as in a police force. There will always be a need to defend and protect because humans, being sometimes in their cups, make poor decisions that effect many people. What is important now and in the aftertimes is that we all step up and participate. We can find a solidarity in peace and fight like cats and dogs if need be but we won't be sending up anyone else to do the dirty work for us anymore. That is over. We must be all in or be in exile from liberty.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.