This never ends. By Dave R. Otey

This will never end. The hate based on color, on entitlement, on size and shape, height, weight, clothing styles, hair styles, choice of spiritual faith, mental capabilities and more.  Someone somewhere is chosen to be a scapegoat for the lacks and/ or failures of others. There seems to be a world wide need to have some group to point to and say, “You are the reason my life is in the pits. You are the fault of the pains and terrors I face. You are the cause holding me back from the life of perfection and life of purity in wealth, joy and happiness I must have.”

Slowly, in different places and at different times there are laws made to control the hate, to push back the line, to make freedoms increase for all. But it will never go away. Hate will always find a place to go, always find some weak willed minds and greedy hearts to infect. That is a reality forever existing, and all I need to do is be aware that I stay in tune with my own feelings and my own ”moments” when I might want to blame someone else for any reason for something that is MY responsibility.

I do not worry about the world falling apart. Every puzzle has cracks. None of the pieces are one hundred percent fitting. Challenges happen every day, big or small. Challenges mean changes and we DO have some control over the changes in our lives by how we respond to the challenges we face. Understanding where the challenges come from is a necessary beginning to knowing which steps to take for separating from a  painful situation or how to change the conditions and circumstances that make up the situation.  In my training as a volunteer for CASA–Court Appointed Special Advocate for children– we learned 5 Conflict Resolution Strategies that I say as part of a personal growth drill every day. Avoid, Compete, Harmonize, Compromise, Collaborate. This is the list from weakest strategy to strongest. Sometimes none of them work, and in that case the best action is to MOVE away from the person or place where all the pain is pooling.

I know and understand prejudice, bias, whatever other names label this divisive mindset.  I understand it is wise of me to be careful, if I have to drive through certain places or if I get lost and find myself in an OBVIOUS environment I don’t instantly fit in with. I am wise enough to know how to walk and talk and how to make a peaceful physical presence. I am friendly with everyone but sometimes and in some places it is best to just stay quiet and do whatever business you have to do and leave. In some places, if locals notice you definitely are not from around their area, you might be approached by a helpful person or by someone targeting you for money or a game.

I am sixty years old. I thought and believed naively for a long time that my generation got to see the end of the serious physical attacks of prejudice. Sure, life has become better with more open doors for unity and harmony and climbing up a social and economic and political ladder for personal and community success. But I see now that history changes not so much in ”final” points reached. It changes more in ”steps” slowly walked in  a state of extreme caution, making certain the step is solid and cannot slip back before going on to the next step.  Some places will not allow advanced steps beyond a certain point so the people who want the advanced steps must move to the places that do allow it.  Crazy, nutty world.

The most peacefully integrated arena in the whole world–still not 100% perfect within itself either but higher than anywhere else–is the arena of creative arts. The arts exist for all humankind. There one can express the thoughts, feelings, dreams, horrors, tragedies, pains, pleasures; every human experience and plea, and know there is an audience who gains comfort and understanding and sometimes courage and empowerment from what is seen, felt and hear and tasted in the arena of art. It also has its dangers to watch out for, if someone is offended. But life still goes on.

The greatest power each of us possess is to make sure the hatred ends within each of our own spirits and souls, ends within our own homes, our own neighborhoods, our own towns, our own family reunions, anyplace and everyplace we stand to talk and act.  Be the peaceful and understanding person where we are.   End.

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BREAKING BITTERNESS BLUES–By David Reid Otey

Feeling jilted, cheated, rejected, deceived, fooled, taken advantage of, used, wasted, tossed aside and more tends to give the impression that a part of our lives was not real, not truthful, not part of the destiny we deserve and should have had. Suddenly pages of a story were ripped out and there’s that void that makes the before and after senseless, unconnected. So one choice is to feel bitter, like a sliver never left our skin, like a piece of lemon is still stuck in the gums and never loses its bite. For awhile, that’s normal, inevitable and part of honest and real healing. Bitterness is the antibodies to close up the wound even if a scar is left. What’s hard for some is to let go of the bitterness after the closure has been made and is obvious to all around. Our friends, if not our families, are often a fair gauge of when life should be changing for us–meaning letting us know when we must start changing our behaviors a bit toward positive “over it, sort of” actions.

The part of life that’s painful is not a waste. It is still very useful and very much a part of connecting who we were before and who we are after the fact. We love to read of character’s hard time actions in novels. No action, boring book. But it’s a different story in our lives. It’s usually never chosen. It’s just a result of human interactions and, in some cases, slowly developing maturity for some that create the circumstances for a dire situation.  We should become more interesting people and wiser from the experience. I believe most of us do. It’s always choice, you know, for how long and how intense to  make the bad times roll.

So, do yourself a life-saving favor. Pick a specific time limit for the bitterness mode, and maybe even have a party with friends and you all share  stories. 🙂   Sincerely, David R. Otey