A lot can happen when we close our eyes. Don’t do it!

In the late 60s, when the Vietnam War raged on, Americans increasingly realized that it was not possible to succeed by our ideals alone, however lofty and sacred. In a real world, mistakes can be made even by the most well-intentioned. Acknowledging that reality, and accepting responsibility for actions taken, requires both maturity and integrity, and represents strength, not weakness.

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It’s time for a good many Americans to step up to the plate once more and say: we were wrong and cannot let this masquerade of normality go on. The state of governance of our nation today is not normal. Our country needs strong, capable leadership that reveres and upholds the constitution and is willing to work to the benefit of all Americans, not just a favored few.

Please. Do not stand idly by and imagine “things” will eventually work themselves out, or assume others will act so you needn’t do so. At the very least, you can become broadly informed–and do so not just from your closely held perspective but by listening to divergent views as well–so that you can then, perhaps with some authority, speak out via the more valid avenues available to do so. Remember, there is a difference between “fake” and “real,” and only the latter, the truth, can be supported with established facts. Continue reading

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I’m sorry, but I just need to rant.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of hearing lies propagated as truths and propaganda masquerading as real news. And I’m tired, too, of the hypocrisy of the self-righteous who wear their skin-deep faith like badges of assumed superiority on the outside but have cold hearts and closed minds on the inside. I’d say some serious self-reflection is in order, because America is in trouble.

It’s obvious a whole array of BS-biased (Yes, that’s what I mean by BS.) assumptions and beliefs exist. Can we at least admit behaviors motivated by them are usually unproductive at best, and injurious at worst? We need to look inward, to self-reflect both individually and as a society, if we are to get at the roots of our fears and prejudices. They are like dirty laundry at the bottom of the basket needing to be lifted up, shaken out, washed clean and freshened in the open air. That’s where change is possible. It’s time for us to think about how we can live more consciously and, as the Buddhists say, be more skillful—in our thoughts, our speech, our actions. And hence, in our interactionsin how we love.

We were dealing with most of this crap in the 60s. That we still are is just plain disgusting.

 

Build bridges, not walls. We grow rich from diversity.

“Love trumps hate,” the protesters’ signs say. But sadly, fear closes hearts and ignorance breeds contempt.

America is a nation grown rich from its diversity, its wealth of variations in cultures, religions, lifestyles, viewpoints and beliefs. That is our strength. It’s who we are. And as we grow more so over time, we should be eagerly opening up and building bridges to understanding, nurturing community–not building walls and closing doors. Hate won’t make us great. It will make us lose our soul.

In such challenging, even chaotic times, these words of Robert Kennedy are good to keep in mind:

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I am reminded that Robert Kennedy was assassinated, like his brother, President John F. Kennedy before him, in his prime. I felt deep respect–in fact, love–for these two men. They inspired me as a young person to open my heart and mind to “meet” all people with an expectation of commonality beneath differences and belief in a wondrous possibility of shared gifts. The deep sadness I felt at their loss still lingers. I was in high school when the world lost JFK, and it was the tumultuous year of 1968 when, at the Democratic Convention, RFK was shot and killed.

My novel, The Flying Girl, begins in 1968, a time so much like now. No wonder these words of Robert Kennedy ring as true today as then.