Monday, January 03, 2011

What bugs me at night.

It is funny for a man to think we are not at war. For what is it to be at war? It is an armed conflict between parties. And we are all armed. We are armed with our wits, alliances, bank accounts, access to resources, access to knowledge, funny spirits, mean spirits etc. We are a substance of this world. This is a wild world still. Some fight for more money, more power, more might. Some fight for their children's futures. Some fight for love alone. It is a love for people, for nature, for harmony, for justice, for salvation, for redemption, for the inner spirit that makes us great. Though, some do not get as far as being able to fight for love. Some must continually fight for an existence. They look as if they fight for nothing because their fight consists of survival. While some people in developed countries seem to fight for nothing, disenfranchised, stripped of hope, stagnating and yet comfortable in a sense of pervasive social media. A pervasive social media entertains us with psychologically formulated drama or mindlessness. It soothes the pain.

Some call this a game. Yet in this game, the heartbroken and disenfranchised lash out and hurt others or themselves. Others indulge in ceaseless excess. They take this excess from the hands of children who starve. In a game, one can choose to quit, to opt out, to not risk all. This is no game. This is war. Some sit in command positions and push resources towards where they must go. Some are common foot soldiers, held up in the daily boot stomp that is labor only to "get by." Foot soldiers do not step out of line for fear of punishment. They take orders, not give them. Foot soldiers are sometimes forced to push buttons that they know add to their own destruction. Yet, it is for survival, for love of their children and their livelihood that will continue to push that button. Ask a middle manager of a sulfur mining company why he feels comfortable in his career. He will not tell you that it is virtuous to make money while those at the bottom loose their teeth, flesh rotting and driven mad for nickels a day. He will tell you that one must do what needs to be done to support a family.  

This is why freedom matters. True freedom. We pretend here in America that we have freedom. Though, how many men learn a craft or can apply themselves in gratifying hard work? Can most men work hard and see the quality of their work? Do the poor and middle class allow themselves to be funneled into where investors find the best profit margins? We are a society driven by the consumption of crap. And producing that crap is the great men and women of this nation. How many people get up in the morning knowing that they produce nothing of importance or value? We could do so much better with ourselves. Our ancestors escaped this system for a chance to find freedom. They settled the East then the West. They developed a livelihood with ingenuity and craftiness. The world was before them. A person could not tell them that their children would not have a better life. 

I want to work towards a better sense of freedom. I stopped watching television. I want to take my life and develop systems to get people back into the optimistic spirit of freedom.

So where do I stand? I have waited a long time setting outside this system looking for an "in" to make some change. I am so disturbed sometimes at its existence that my life stagnates. I try to focus on climbing, on the chance of love, on my studies or a thesis that may give me the skills to help with this problem. I have been given the role of foot soldier and refused, went AWOL. I went and did things people in my class should not do. I traveled, received education and opportunities. I kept the courage to stand against the system as much as I could. I worked as a volunteer and helped develop some of these systems, but then was forced away by the constant reprisal of my own poverty. I do not yet feel as if I have done enough.

A great quote written on a University building goes, "Be afraid to die until you have won some great victory for humanity."

I dream sometimes. What if I could forget what I know about politics, economics, environmental destruction, world resources and poverty? What if I could have just taken the first job I was offered, received my average U.S. income of 42,000 per year? I could have had a wife by now. I could have had some children by now.

I do not live any glorious life. Nor am I a glorious man. I am just someone who does not have the power to stand up against this system. I am also someone who does not have the power to partake in this system. I am someone constantly struggling to find a path to make some small, minor change in this system. Maybe then I will not feel as if my life is so wasted.

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Ambitiously enduring.