Archive for February, 2011
It is sometimes the case that certain words or phrases quickly find their way into our lexicon due to their poignancy and precision. For example, following the O.J. Simpson trial, the phrase “rush to judgment” became the watch-phrase for drawing precipitous conclusions. The phrase remains over-used to this day (in my opinion) but presents no particular harm.
Such is not the case with “Day of Rage.” In the past thirty days, usage of the phrase has spread from Cairo, Egypt to Iran, Bahrain, Tunisia and most recently Madison Wisconsin. Unlike “Rush to Judgment” these words bear significant harm.
In my just released inspirational book, The Lightworker’s Handbook: A Spiritual Guide To Eliminating Fear, (also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble) there is a supplemental “English To Spirit Dictionary” where I define words and phrases for the new paradigm. Because language is one of the ways we share information, we need to communicate with words that honor what we believe in and support how we intend to live our lives.
If change is what the world seeks at this moment in time, is it really through rage that we choose to achieve it? Is rage what we want to call our approach to transcending the limitations of the past? Is rage what we really want the message to be?
Throughout human history, there have always been individuals and groups skilled at manipulating others through fear and violence. In Egypt this past week, it was two hundred “pro-democracy” demonstrators who violently and repeatedly assaulted and raped a female CBS reporter. Those individuals were easily moved to commit brutal acts of aggression because they were already engaged in a movement based upon and identified by rage.
If change is what we seek, and I believe it is, then let us move in that direction with the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of several thousand years. Violence, which includes violent language, is a brutal means to what will be a brutal end. Because whether you power over something, such as a nation, through physical force … or over someone, such as a spouse, with verbal abuse … all that you accomplish is the sowing of seeds of resentment and hatred that inevitably lead to violence in return.
If citizens of the world seek to designate days to express their concerns, may I suggest global “Days of Voice” as a viable alternative. Where humanity winds up will be a direct result of not only where we choose to go but, most definitely, how we choose to get there. Personally I want to wind up having a voice in my country’s future and in my own life as well.
Not raging about them.
The Egyptian Revolution has been spellbinding. Watching the “power of the People” is an uplifting and inspiring global experience. Now that the preliminary goal, Mubarak’s removal, has been achieved the real work and challenges begin.
In ancient Egypt, the Hebrew slaves agonized for freedom from the tyranny of Pharaoh as have modern day Egyptians from Mubarak’s rule. Once achieved, the Hebrews made initial efforts to organize and proceed with solidarity toward a common goal of personal freedom. However, when their interim leader, Moses, was delayed in his return from Sinai, the impatient Hebrews were quick to revert to what was comfortingly familiar… idol worship. Only Moses’ personal commitment and charisma were able to set the Israelites back on the road to freedom. And ultimately, the desired outcome became a reality in Divine timing, not theirs.
The lesson? Patience.
Its 48 hours since Mubarak’s fall and already there is renewed confrontation and remaining unrest on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere as demonstrators, so effective at bringing down the regime, are impatient with the inevitably slow process that must follow in successfully moving a People from bondage to freedom.
Technology made their success possible. If the People do not exercise restraint and patience, that same technology may be the reason they too find themselves quickly returning to the familiar… dictatorial rule in calf’s clothing.
Technology, by its inherent speed, makes our human nature’s inclination toward instant gratification all that more immediate. We want everything NOW and if we can’t get it, we immediately go elsewhere… and not always to our advantage.
The generation that affected the Revolution in Egypt has been raised with technology. They expect things to happen quickly. My concern is that youth, in the absence of real leadership, will follow the modern day version of what seduced the Israelites. And further, absent a Moses, will fall prey to those dressed as the Golden Calf.
All growth takes time. It is only human hubris that thinks it occurs in anything other than Divine Time.
Recently, I had surgery and my recovery prevented me, for about two weeks, from posting a blog. I lost readership in that time and fielded emails complaining of the absence of new material. When we are used to getting what we want, and expect, our impatience leaves no room for the natural unfolding of events.
Let us pray that those in Egypt, who have so wisely used the tools of modernity, will translate that wisdom into knowing that the hard work begins now and impatience leads only to arriving in the wrong place at the wrong time.
AOL’s purchase of The Huffington Post brings into full illumination a very important point: It’s never been more necessary that you be an independent thinker. While the AOL-HuffPo deal is not the first example of how “news” becomes corrupted by power grabs and political agendas (General Electric owns NBC…hello?…all that Brian Williams “green speak”), it does shine a bright light on the biased-laden way we are being fed information. Add to this the viral aspect of how technology has overtaken our lives and you have a surefire recipe for mind manipulation.
Enter the Independent Thinker.
While there is not much any one individual can do to impede or prohibit the unhealthy and unholy relationships that develop between entities seeking power and influence, there is a great deal one can do about how and from where you obtain your information.
And yes, it takes more time and effort to be your own sleuth and filter… but the rewards are exponential.
Technology is neither inherently good nor bad. It’s inherently neutral. It’s what we do with it that counts. Kind of like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” If you allow news and information to be inputted by 1) clicking on a home page 2) reading the headlines 3) occasionally clicking through to the complete story and 4) exiting without further inquiry or validating sources well… then… you’re being manipulated by someone with an agenda and your thoughts are not your own.
If, however, you read multiple sources, questions assertions, investigate sources and check alternative views, challenge even your own findings, then you are on the road to forming your own thoughts and drawing your own conclusions based upon reasonable inquiry.
This is why you have a mind to begin with.
History is replete with people who sought power for its own sake… and for less than noble ends. Their means have always been the same. Exploitation and manipulation. The 21st century brings unprecedented opportunity to affect equally ignoble ends on a grander scale than ever imagined.
As has forever been the case, it is the individual, thinking for him or herself… and ready to stand with their self-drawn conclusions… that acts to impede the greed of the few as against the well-being of the many.
Take the time and devote the effort to how you feed your mind.
One person with one mind has the capacity to change the world.