Friday, October 21, 2005


I put off writing this because it's such a hard subject to discuss in words and in space that feels so short.

Control. We all want to have control of ourselves and often over others. The fact is, we don't have control. It's a hard fact to accept. Talking with a therapist, she once observed that people would often rather blame themselves for things that happen (like the death of a loved one) rather than accept that they can't control everything in their lives.

Other people go so far as to try and control the people in their lives. Who hasn't heard the stories about people telling others what to do, what to eat, how to cut their food and so on?

We have people voting on legislation to decide the lawfulness of certain very personal choices. Right now, the big one is whether it's legal for two men or two women to be married. Those against it claim that it violates the sanctity of marriage. I find it hard to believe in a diety who would find that any sort of love was a violation of it's tenets. Even using the term legal domestic partners bothers some people. I don't understand? They aren't taking anything away from anyone. They are making a choice based on a personal decision and preferance. Is someone going to tell me I can't paint my bedroom pink?

Others find that they want to control a woman's body and her pregnancy. I can't imagine anyone saying abortion is an okay thing, but each woman has to make her own choice. I love the slogans, it's a baby not a choice. Yes it is a baby. It's also not YOUR body. If it is, then don't have an abortion.

Why are these types of choices considered things that anyone outside the relationship have any say over? Why would anyone think that other people should get involved in these decisions? To be angry about this suggests that we want to have control over those people who don't live life by our standards. Everyone has to find their own internal standards of living and we need to recognize that everyone will make different choices.

It would be hard to be peaceful while out trying to control the minds of millions of people. We can only control ourselves up to a certain point and the rest, well, that we have to leave up the universe. If we find that we can be successful in doing this, then perhaps we will feel a little more peaceful.

My question for myself this weekend: Where do I try to control others and how do I do that?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Common Hunger

Yesterday on the Bulldog Manifesto, he quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower. I was particularly impressed by the first part of the selection of the speech quoted.

No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

This is an important commonality that we need to remember. We all hunger for peace, fellowship and justice. Looking at this fundamental commonality amongst all people, it is sad indeed that we have not created a more peaceful world.

If all people hope at some level of being for such a world, then there is hope indeed for the world and for world peace. Within ourselves then, we must battle against the resignation to accept things the way they are but rather hope and act to change the world to one that we seek.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Our Perceptions

It can be important to us to examine our beliefs from time to time. It's not so much to see if we are wrong about the big things, but rather to examine how we view the world in each small instance.

I have a small car. I was driving on the freeway this week and I was cut off by a very large truck. He immediatey slowed down to slower than I was going. I couldn't see around him, so I moved over a lane and passed him and got in front of him again. The person in the truck didn't seem to have a problem with this, but I could see someone who had a problem with road rage finding this move offensive. Yet I didn't mean that this person did anything wrong when he moved in front of me. I was merely uncomfortable with the fact that the slower speed meant I got close too quickly and I couldn't see around the larger object.

The truck driver could have taken that personally and then cut me off again, trying to set off a competition of who could be in front of whom. People often react like that.

It's hard sometimes when it seems that someone has gone out of their way to cause us trouble to look at the bigger picture. Maybe we weren't even a part of the picture because they had other needs. Getting angry at them personally may not make any diference at all. It may just start a fight with someone who momentarily didn't even notice we were there.

In our world, we are often quick to jump to the conclusions that make the affront personal. We assume that "they" want to get us. Perhaps if we stepped back from that competative outlook and give the other person the benefit of the doubt and realize it's not our place to deal out their punishment, we could all breathe easier and have less stress.

Today I am going to try and notice at least one situation that would have angered me because I took it too personally and try give that person the benefit of the doubt. I'll try and come with an alternative reason that makes sense to me about why they may have acted that way. I wonder how different I will feel?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Where Does it End?

I watched an older Bill Mahar the other night and I was intrigued by a comment made. They were discussingthe Iraq war. One man was saying that we (the US) shouldn't be in Iraq because we are creating a greater climate of hatred which can be used for any other Osama Bin Laden types out there. The other man, defending the US position, said that it's too late for that. I suppose he meant that the hate was already there so we had the right (and perhaps obligation) to add to it.

My question to that is, then how can this ever end? I mean the terror on 9/11 was started with a really hateful act. People died and it was horrible. The US was angry and afraid and grieving. We went to war over that and then we fought another war, creating the same anger and fear and saddness in other groups of people. To say we had no choice in this matter suggests that those other countries have no choice either doesn't it? It means that there is no choice but to go on hating more and more and more. The cesspool of hatred and fear only gets bigger.

If we don't stop hating, then why would anyone else?

Were does it stop?