Hope and Audacity
Ah, my friends, the door once again beckons. Let us push on.
“The bad news is, there is no key to happiness. The good news is, the door was never locked.”
– Swami Beyondananda
Hope. With it, we can do anything. Without it, or with the perception of being without it, we feel lost, and many of us choose this time to attempt to “end it all”. Sometimes we need attention, sometimes one of our friends catches us and kicks our ass and we get back to it.
There is hope around us. For some of us, it may be the first time we have allowed ourselves to hope. With every glimmer, there is a rock in our path. Are we going to step over the rock, or are we going to howl about stepping on it and refuse to go further?
If there was ever a time for not just thinking outside the box but destroying the whole damned box, this is it. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called several times for the formation of a National Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment; MindFreedom International has now done so, only on an International level, and has even hired (the real) Patch Adams, M.D. (not Robin Williams) to run the organization.
Crazies like us power the imagination of the world, and we now have an umbrella organization to deliver that power.
Some of that power went into the recent US Presidential Elections. While the results were, for most of us, highly encouraging, we have not yet seen the end of the dismal jimmies and control freaks. The election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States is not even the end of racism in our country. We all hope it is the death knell, but dying organisms stink a lot until you bury them. (For those conservatives among you, this event is also not the end of America… for those racists among you, get over yourselves.)
America has never dealt with its inherent racism. It merely stitched the wound closed without treating it, leaving it to fester. This election opened the wound — hopefully to clean it out and let it heal — but the deep infection is exposed, and it smells awful. It is up to each of us to pray for real healing, rather than reseal the wound in its untreated condition.
I am reminded of something I learned while working in wastewater treatment in my youth. Most treatment ponds tend to attract vegetation and other life. Since the vegetation tends to grow roots through the sealing layer of the pond, they present a problem, in that the contents of the pond could infiltrate the local groundwater. So for years, people in the business of wastewater treatment would poison these plants. What they discovered was that dying plants suck up many times more oxygen than living ones, and most times the whole pond and all the life in it died from not having enough oxygen in the water to breathe. A dead treatment pond provides no treatment, it just sits there smelling like something died (Can you say “anaerobic bacteria,” boys and girls? Didn’t think so.).
Who in this world can inject life (air) into a conversation, into a whole paradigm, better than we? Look for the humor in the situation, and whisper it to somebody. Watch it catch fire. Laugh it up, and be gentle with it. Always remember that the only tested, proven way to dissolve hatred is laughter — good, rollicking, loving laughter, entirely empty of ridicule. My battle cry is: “PUNS OVER PUTDOWNS”. Rid yourselves of jokes AGAINST yourself and others — find something loving to laugh about. Find the silly chink in the subject, and break out your prybars. HATE STINKS. That goes for hatred of yourself, hatred of the “other guy”, “other gender”, in fact, of anything “other”. Whenever any one person is not equal, there is no such thing as equality. THERE IS NO THEM, nobody here but US. Go ye therefore and heal likewise.
We have been hospitalized, drugged, tortured, and stigmatized, but we find a way to keep going, even to laugh about it. I don’t want anyone, ANYONE, treated the way I have been treated… it’s all wrong and it keeps us apart. And there is SO MUCH we could do together.
I hope I’m preaching to the choir. And I further hope the choir takes the word out into the world.
Come with me and join the Right-To-Laugh Party.
“Serious Crime: Sure, serious crime is up. But why not look on the bright side? Humorous crime is down.”
– Swami Beyondananda
Until next we walk through the Door together, Metaphors be with you!