Monday, December 12, 2011
Cast not your pearls, girls.
Honestly! I don't know how a person is supposed to soldier on when there's so much deceit and cowardice in the world. It's like a plague. And it's disappointing to watch in politicians, but downright painful when it "trickles down" into your personal relationships, especially ones you've kept on life support for so long, the love machine into which you continue to try and breathe your version of hope.
We Americans are a sentimental lot. It's why we're all still sitting around (while Russia is in the streets, along with every other self-respecting democrat small d population on the planet) with our thumbs up where the sun don't shine, asking, "Why isn't anyone doing anything about this mess?" We're lazy, feel we do enough (yet few really understand why they feel this way), we're entitled to The Help. We're scared what an arrest for protesting might do to our FICO score, our pocketbook. We think we have much to lose; that, like the early Greeks, it's some deus ex machina hero's job to fix things. And any wannabe hero who comes along waving his shiny wand of "hope", (or easy weight loss program), we're ready to buy the whole line. Just put that on my card.
The dumbest thing sentimental Americans fall for are things like Obama's campaign of "hope". Boy, did he see us comin. We grab onto hope like it's the holy grail of survival. But spiritual traditions teach us that without faith and love, the two virtues without which hope is useless –love to motivate, and faith that moves you to action – "hoping" things will work out is a child's game here in the Land of Magical Thinking. People romanticize hope, like it's a noble thing to have in the face of possible evidence to the contrary. But it's a fool that walks around boasting of his "hope" that the future will be somehow better than today. Because Hoping is what he does instead of taking risks (action) now to make things better. Making tough decisions and living up to them. Deciding what's important to you and laying it all on the line. Risking everything for a principle. That's what really brave people do. Cowards talk about "Hope", as in "Gee I sure hope things get better. I'll just wait right here for that." Was there ever a lamer statement, one more prone to assure things will NOT get better while you sit there wanly, chidishly hoping they will?
Grown up people, say, over 40, who voted for Obama, weren't thinking very straight. They were dreaming. They didn't listen to what the man actually said, as they sipped on the koolaid of 'Hope", (things'll get better, the past will just disappear, if they simply "do the right thing" and vote for the negro; but for God's sake don't as ME to do anything besides write a check and pull that lever). They hoped he would fix everything. As if what we needed in 08 was more optimism instead of a calling to account and staunch reversal of the policies of the last thirty years. Obama laid all his cards on the table when he talked about "hope". And it was no full house, just a pair of fours. He didn't talk action, but "hope", inaction. And as soon as he was in office he stated there'd BE no action vis. Bush administration prosecutions. His justice department had better things to do. So why are folks surprised?
I try to save my small store of hope for personal relationships, but I don't rely on hope to get me there. Hope guarantees nothing without decisions made with love and faith, action. In fact, I'm beginning to think even on the personal side hope is a sucker's game, an unwillingness to get out there and start over from scratch when you suspect there's no hope. They say there's no such thing as a failed experiment. Especially when you know you gave it your best.
Time to pick up a shovel and dig in.
Do something brave. Something daring and righteous.
There's hope in that.