02 December 2007

I’ve been doing it again. Reading and posting in discussion forums in the online edition of the newspaper in Burlington, VT. The Opinion page always has letters about everything from taxes to the war to road conditions to climate change to politics to art. This forum draws posts mainly from a number of individuals who are pretty right wing in their opinions. They tend to be pro war, pro poverty (one person wrote that going hungry is a good life lesson for a child), pro Wal-Mart, pro Bush, and yet when they post it is usually to deride people on the left or their opinions with name calling and put downs worthy of a 9 year old in the schoolyard. They rarely ever actually discuss an issue on its merits.

Sometimes I post in these forums, anti war, facts about bush and cheney & co., my own opinions and also links to articles on other sites. This always results in a few posts that call me names, and which don’t address the issues I raised at all.

It’s a guilty pleasure. Posting there is sort of like baiting folks who can’t discern for themselves what is actually happening. I have a hard time crediting some of these folks with much smarts since they never actually say anything except put downs and party line. What do they really think? Do they understand what’s happening and not care, or perhaps they do not comprehend, due to some limitation, what is happening.

The missing ingredient seems to be compassion. The folks who post in this forum do not write about having compassion for people, for Earth, for anyone or anything. Everything is about putting people down, blaming liberals for their woes, plenty of criticizing, no critical thinking.

In my life I’ve borne witness to many situations and people. I have observed that the issue of our time is compassion. The world seems to divide into those who have it, who are empathic and relational or are evolving in that direction, and those who seem to lack compassion and are not empathic, seeing people and the world as commodity. Maybe some of these folks too are evolving in the direction of compassion. I don’t assume one way or the other. I’m sure I have all of that within me, compassion and lack of compassion, so I do see it as a part of my own growth to be more empathic with the rest of the world, seeing myself as part of the world. Maybe it’s this feeling of actual connection that makes me feel safe enough to stray from the square box. I am amazed, though, at people proudly proclaiming their compassionless positions and opinions as if they were great virtues. Giving obeisance to killing, suffering, cruelty, destruction, brutality, and every other word that belongs on that list, and mocking those who speak for life, for a future for Earth and all her children, for generosity and caring.

There is so much more to existence than that which the two dimensional mechanical view of the universe offers. The thing that sucks about it is that the folks who see things in that linear object oriented way are into so much destruction. The mechanical view has no respect for life, so, as has happened throughout history, the compassionless hold way too much power in the society.

Well shee-it. This ain’t right.

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