politics, religion

I Am Spartacus! (I hope!?)

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When I saw the news item about the next administration establishing a Muslim registry, I was aghast and thought, “well then, we ALL must register as Muslims! They can’t eliminate ALL of us!” And I would so like to think I’ll have the courage to do just that, should this registry of Muslims in the USA actually come to pass (tho I keep hoping that the Electoral College will do the right thing and elect the person who actually won the popular vote in last week’s election!)

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-3-26-35-amI remember marching against the Vietnam war in November 1969 – standing with so many other people for hours, freezing my toes in stylish but totally inappropriate moccasins. I was ready, willing and able to hitchhike from Storrs, CT to Washington, D.C. because it was a stupid war that had already claimed the lives of my fellow students, with no end in sight – and it was the right thing to do. I took all kinds of chances those days – I was young and felt invincible!

My 17-year-old self would have had no problem signing up for this commitment to register as a Muslim, in protest. I was raised as an atheist (who got to enjoy all the “candy and dress-up holidays” like Halloween and Easter, as well as the “gift and feast holidays” like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s), became intrigued by Christian Science and joined the Mother Church, and then got baptized as a Lutheran… at this point, I’m pretty much convinced nobody really cares what I believe or who/what I worship! (and since this is America, what business is it of theirs, anyway?)

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I tell myself I should just sign up and be counted as someone who won’t allow this Muslim registry thing to happen without a fight. But then I think back on the most recent election cycle; how divisive and ugly it got and continues to be – how I didn’t see a single bumper sticker for either party on any vehicles, and only a few lawn signs anywhere – how even now, 10 days later, no one seems to want to reveal their own political leanings until they know how the other person voted.

So even though I live in a very safe, quiet neighborhood, I feel more vulnerable now than I felt living by myself in NYC in the 70s, walking home in the dark from a gig, getting ogled and catcalled by strangers, slapping away creepy hands on the subway. I feel targeted, even though I’m gray-haired and overweight, that I could be pussy-grabbed or worse by some newly emboldened jerk. I’m concerned that hateful acts may happen to me and my loved ones should no one else stand up and cry out, “I’m Spartacus!

But I’m even more afraid to live in fear, in a country dominated by racism, sexism and xenophobia. Guess it’s time to take a refresher course at Model Mugging!

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learning, politics

How Could It Be A Blessing?

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Oil On Water – Anamaria Campbell

I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out how Election 2016 could be a blessing – because to me it appears disastrous not only for our country but all of humanity. And yet the laws of spiritual reality insist that it MUST “work together for good” somehow.

What has been brutally uncovered in this political campaign? For starters, the confusion, ignorance, pain and fear of millions of my fellow Americans. Maybe it’s a blessing their distress has been brought to light so graphically. Maybe it’s better that we actually KNOW how many racist, misogynistic, homophobic and ignorant sentiments infect the hearts of so many of our citizens. Maybe this becoming known and felt is the only way we can become educated and compassionate enough to change?

Maybe it’s a blessing for the media to confront the way they misused their power; perhaps the news outlets will realize the folly of hyping the “drama” of this election for advertising revenue at the expense of actually reporting the NEWS truthfully and even-handedly?

It could be a blessing if enough citizens reawaken to the preciousness of our democracy – the value of the vote, so that the 46% of eligible voters who were “no-shows” this time around actually take the time and make the effort to educate themselves on the candidates and issues and weigh in next time!?

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Oil Upon Troubled Waters – Aurelius Cat

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religion

Our family bible

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As we were raised by two atheists, formal religious education in our family was meager. I recall a few visits to various churches (to appease grandparents, most likely) and a few months of Sundays with the Unitarians – my chief memories of which entail singing Die Gedanken Sind Frei and gobbling donuts following every service.  ART was our sole family religion – that is, until the appearance of the family bible, AKA “The Beecher Book”.

Beyond Success & Failure

My father originally came upon this book in 1969 and was so impressed that he got a copy for each of us children AND my mother, who was in the process of divorcing him. My dad totally bought into the book, which encourages taking responsibility for one’s own thoughts, words and actions. The Beechers’ exhortations to “put no one’s head above your own” and “live life on the grazing principle” were apparently comforting to my father, and we were expected to pretty much memorize the Adlerian psychology that inspired their writings.

It has been argued that “…we LEARN from failure. Failure is no reason to be ashamed. Failure shows leadership, innovation, and risk-taking in pushing the boundaries of what is possible… There is great value in examining our mistakes as we go beyond the easy and the simple.”  FailFaire

And that ALL of life is worth celebrating regardless of circumstances…

“Celebrate Victory: Celebrating victory is something that is pretty straight forward and it’s not something you need much advice for. But, one thing we sometimes forget to do is celebrate the smallest success..

Celebrate Defeat: There is a certain scene in the movie The School of Life… As a junior high basketball team is losing, the main character encourages the team to cheer and be happy even as they are getting their as@#$$# kicked. Then something interesting happens. The team actually starts winning. I realized yesterday that what causes this is the mind set of celebrating. Like attracts like and if you come from the mind set of celebrating, eventually you’ll have plenty to celebrate about.
Celebrate Success: Success is something that should be celebrated even when it occurs in small doses.

Celebrate Failure: There is no such thing as failure, just feedback. So, what you celebrate is the fact that you have learned something new.” Skool of Life

This blog is an attempt to make sense of the myriad adventures – including failures – in my life – and to somehow do justice to the family bible after all these years.

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