This is not meant to be a point of political argument as to what the purpose of government is in America. My intent is to challenge the use of the word compassion as a smokescreen for the removal of governmental programs that assist the disadvantaged on multiple levels.
I just returned to Yosemite National Park after decades of absence. It is magnificent, if you ignore the hordes of people crawling the valley like ants, and the over 66 million dead conifers in the Sierra Nevada, with the grey and brown bulk seen along the roads leading into Yosemite National Park through Mariposa County. I lost my breath seeing the death of these trees.
To believe that there are not those persons who do not respect the planet on which we live, is a sure path to living like fools. To believe that some one person can make your life good again, is a sure path to living like a fool. To believe that there is just one path to follow, is a sure path that ends at the edge of a deep crevice or brick wall.
Will history determine that 2016 was a year of balancing a scale or tipping it dangerously close to the fire?
And so it is with me and the rest of humanity.
Perhaps this is why the desert drew me in over and over this year. I know the desert well. I grew up in the desert — both in life and metaphorically. The seemingly endless light that heated the soil beneath my feet and cast mirages before me was both a gift and a trick. Sorting candor from myth consumed much of my time.
Paralleling a planet in flux, American voters (and European voters, for that matter) are like the Arctic — in meltdown. Conspiracists, nationalists, and folks swaddled in a coat of angry fear, won the day. That bottle of champagne in my refrigerator remains uncorked.
Fast forward to today’s social media and current state of humanity’s soul, we now have a plague of contrary people behaving as trolls and things that go bump in the night. It’s as if a thin-shelled pod opened inside that voodoo shop and millions of troll spores ejected into the air attaching to the already angry and disenfranchised soul of lost citizens.
The radius of change is as vast as the cosmic radius of the universe in which we spin each second. A natural instinct to be a force for good is given to us a birth, and it is how we nurture that natural instinct that is either the drop of water that becomes the ocean, or the drop of water that dries on the arid sand.
Our efforts require personal mining ops. We must dig into our hearts, our souls, and spend more time reflecting in the mirror as opposed to smartphones hooked to selfie sticks.
There are people, historically and presently, who for lack of a better phrase, were born under a bad sign. I’ve known some of them personally. For one reason or the other, they seem to have never developed a conscience that allowed them to judge good from bad.
Eager to give what I might to bring light to the table of American politics, as opposed to the impenetrable block wall under maniacal construction that divides your vision from mine, as opposed to chatting about truth and lies and finding a way through unwieldy thorns, a group mediation was offered to help uplift the American electorate. I read the invitation as calming the fire with love. That resonated.
It matters not which side of a political fence that you or I sit or straddle. Rigidity has seized the moment and clouded our ability to see beyond the now.