Violence is Counterproductive

This post was prompted by the attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. It’s such a tragedy.

I think Brian May makes some good points in this video.

The only thing violence does is beget more violence. The attacks on 9/11 were horrible. Since I wasn’t part of the planning, I have no idea whether they achieved their aim. The American response was to stand stronger together. It didn’t change the American way of life (except to allow the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act – a horrible invasion of privacy).

What it did do though, is cause the United States to respond with violence. Ultimately, people not directly involved in 9/11 were affected by later attacks by the US. This led to the radicalization of people who may have been sympathetic to the plight of the American people. But, once they saw their families murdered for no good reason, any compassion or empathy they felt for us disappeared. Belief that the US attacks rescue workers to prevent any lives from being saved would lead anyone to hatred. I’m sure that if the situation were reversed, and American rescue workers were targeted, or if it seemed that way, I would be furious. That goes well beyond any called for behavior, even in a war. (Which we were not involved in.)

Violence won’t get us where we want to go. Hell, half the problem is that we don’t know where we want to go. If we’re seeking domination of the world by Western ideology, there will never be a resolution. Americans simply do not have any other perspective by which to judge how governments in other places are run. Our government was founded on the idea of religious freedom. Of course, that was fairly limited in scope since it was essentially one form of Christianity over another, but most of us have extended that idea to all religious beliefs, of the lack thereof. There are those who don’t seem to agree with it, like Marmalade Mussolini, but I don’t believe he truly represents most Americans. (Or, I just desperately want to believe that.)

Because we can’t get our heads around it, we will always want to change it. That is extremely unlikely to happen. For many, a government that is intertwined with religion is the only thing they know. Indeed, it’s the only thing that makes sense when religion is a core aspect of life. Regardless of whether we understand it, that’s how it is.

What we really need is to react with compassion. We need to at least TRY to understand someone else’s perspective. American exceptionalism makes me insane. We act like we’re the best at everything when evidence points to the contrary. We have people who have insufficient health insurance for their needs. Kids graduate from high school barely able to read. Our elected officials have forgotten what it’s like to be just “one of the people” and are acting in their own best interests all the time, to the detriment of probably 98% of the country. Our college graduates aren’t necessarily the world’s leading scientists and researchers. We have open and obvious racism which continues to oppress millions of Americans. We haven’t figured out how to let people be who they are, and want to tell people who it’s right to love and which bathroom to use.

I think I can see where outsiders think we have over-inflated opinions of ourselves. Who are we to judge someone else and tell them how to live?

At some point, to stop the pointless tragedies, someone has to be willing to be the first to say, “This cannot go on,” and move forward with compassion.

I’d like to think it could be us. But our recent election and current behavior leave me gravely concerned that it is not likely to be us.

Thoughts on Beauty

I am pretty sure I’m a bit slow to get to this thought, so for those of you out there who are light-years ahead of me, apologies.

There isn’t really any such thing as objective physical beauty. We’re all attracted to something different. I think Mr. Lyndsy is hot, but my cousin said she’d prefer someone with more hair. (I’ve always had a thing for guys without hair. Coach Walker, I’m talking about you.) People talk about how hot Angelina Jolie is and I mostly think she needs to eat a cookie (or four).

But when it comes to what makes a person beautiful on the inside, we all seem to agree. Caring. Kind. Compassionate. Sweet. Understanding. Empathetic. Joyful. Giving. Unselfish.

At the end of the day, when we’re trying to figure out who to let into our little circle of life, those inner qualities are the things that we generally focus on. At least if we’re looking for any kind of lasting happiness.

So why does the outside matter? What does it even mean? So much money goes into perfecting the outside. Why do we do it? I dye my hair, but not because I think it affects my attractiveness (Mr. Lyndsy actually doesn’t like it when I put blue, purple, and pink in my hair), but because I think it’s an expression of who I am.

I put on makeup as a joke the other day and realized that I hadn’t put any on in over 2 years. It’s not who I am. I know people who wear makeup because they feel like they have to because they feel that’s what’s expected of them. And that makes me sad because I also know people who wear makeup because they feel it’s an expression of who they are. That seems to me like the best reason to do anything. To fully express on the outside who you are on the inside.

And knowing that the outside really doesn’t matter that much, why do we waste so much time judging others for it? It’s fucked up to judge someone for expressing who they really are if they aren’t hurting anyone else by doing it.

Maybe it stems from being uncomfortable with the fact that someone is so comfortable expressing themselves. Showing who we are is hard. Seems like it would be a better investment of time, however, to deal with that issue rather than lashing out at people who are comfortable enough to do it.

Why is this so hard for us to do?

30-Day Project: July – Positively Pumped

30-day Project

 

I’ve been posting my glorious haiku daily, but there is a second component to this month. I have been sending positive energy to people, but I think a day or two got lost, so I sent positive energy to two people on the day following a day I forgot.

It’s been interesting so far. I feel like it’s getting to people. The day or so after I sent energy to someone, she messaged me out of the blue. We chat from time to time, but it’s really quite rare.

I do hope it’s making a difference whether I ever find out about it. I think it’s something easy I can do to make someone’s life a little brighter. And it has the added bonus of making me feel good too.

If you feel like it, give it a try sometime. All I do is sit down calmly, sometimes with music, sometimes without, and send happy thoughts. I usually include the phrase, “I am sending positivity, love, and light.” If I know someone is sick, I add in healing.

If you have shit going on and just need some positive vibes sent your way – just let me know. I’m happy to spend at least 5 minutes per day (in addition to what I’m doing for the 30-day Project) to help. You don’t need to leave a comment here – I can be reached at doseoflyndsy @ gmail.com (taking out the spaces).