empathy, compassion, kindness

It is October 29th, 2016. Less than two weeks before the presidential election. The world has gone insane. I mean, really, truly insane. One of the presidential candidates has the vocabulary of a 3rd grader (no disrespect to 3rd graders meant or implied here), and is facing rape and human trafficking charges, brags about sexually assaulting women on the regular, incites riots, death threats against the standing president, and on and on. One is a centrist candidate that happens to be a woman and has extensive experience in the government. She is more corporatist than I would like, she has not done enough to speak against racism in my opinion but she is not the hate monger of the other candidate. And the election is CLOSE.
White people all over this country are feeling free to express their hatred of all things not White. Black people are being shot for minor infractions, corporations are being backed up by paid police and mercenaries to kill people and steal sacred land, fracking pipes are breaking all over the country poisoning our water. OUR WATER! Nestle feels fine commodifying water, another great extinction is in process, our oceans are dying, I mean shit is UP. The list is so much longer than this.
Everyday I read news and something will make me gasp, really truly gasp, at some horrific thing that is now apparently socially acceptable. The fundamentalists have even said that “Witches will decide the next election,” for real, I’m not making that up. heavy sigh.
It is easy to slip into hatred of other. So, so easy. But how is that helpful? It is easy to be a good person when things are easy. It is hard to be a good person when things are batshit crazy all around you. But that, being kind, showing compassion and empathy, I believe, is what we are called on to do as spiritual people right now. As a human and as I priestess I cannot let this extensive and incredible injustice against humanity go on without comment.
How is it that reasonable people think it is fine to hate other people, truly hate them, hate them enough to kill them, simply because of their skin color, or clothing choices, or gender, or sex, or religion? HOW HAS THIS GONE ON?
We all wonder who we would be if we lived in Germany under the Nazi’s. Now we know. If you land on the side of white supremacy or on the side of immigrants must register and be deported, you would have landed on the side of Hitler. If you land on the side of compassion, empathy and acceptance than you would have ended up in the resistance or in the camps.
What is so bone chillingly sad is that there are SIDES at all. This is a finite planet. Our lives are so fleeting. The desire to kill others for their differences is just crazy. The differences are so meaningless. Religion, clothing, skin color, language, it is all so inconsequential in the long run. I’m sure there is someone reading this saying, “But Liona what about…” (assuming anyone reads this stuff besides me). Well what about it. Is there anything so different about another human that you want to KILL them? Taking someone’s life is serious business. It is not like you can change your mind. When you’ve taken it, it’s done. There is no going back. We are all so conditioned by T.V., movies, Facebook, YouTube, twitter, Instagram, the news, to view the killing of another as entertainment. ENTERTAINMENT. Like the Romans…
When I was I kid the Cold War was a thing. It was real. No one thought that the Soviet Union would ever fall. And then it DID. To my children Viet Nam, the Soviet Union, Korea, Watergate, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, these are all just things they must learn about in history class. Like WWI and WWII were for me. But I was a history major (BA)and then a humanities major (MA) and then a philosophy and religion major (MA). I see the threads running through history making themselves seen today. I see history repeating itself. Hatred of other is not sustainable. No one thought Egypt would fall, and it did. No one thought Rome would fall, and it did. No one thought the Soviet Union would fall, and it did. No one thinks the United States will fall, but it can. From what I can see, it will.
We must stop the trajectory of this sinking ship. We must stop the hatred of other, first in ourselves and then work to help others overcome it in themselves. We cannot continue to allow corporations to buy our governments. We cannot continue to wallow in our apathy and numb ourselves with social media, T.V., drugs, alcohol and/or stuff. I am guilty of this numbing myself. It is so easy to believe it will all work out. People will not succumb to the hatred. But they are succumbing and it is not going to fix itself. WE need to do it. WE need to take action. WE need to see life, our lives and the lives of others so different from us, as valuable. As worthy of our compassion, our empathy, our kindness. Even those we disagree vehemently with do not deserve to die.
We can disagree with others without killing them. We can discuss, try to convince, or work on some sort of middle ground someplace so that we can further work on ending the corruption of soul that seems so prevalent. We can not change the world if we are all dead…or all soul dead.

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