Many mornings, I wake up early. My brain becomes saturated with thoughts both idle and refined. They demand attention. To maintain my own rather tenuous grip on sanity, I attempt to assuage them by doing what I'm doing now – write.
The political atmosphere in this country (circa 2011) has become quite unsettling. The kettle is definitely on the boil. Humans are frightened. They are restless. They are angry. They are confused. There seems to be no middle ground - no arena for reasoned discourse. Voices are shrill and unforgiving on both sides. Thoughts seemed to have become collectivized into slogans that can be creative and imaginative but are often banal and without sufficient depth to be accorded serious consideration.
Social unrest is certainly on the agenda. Mobile devices are everywhere and those that hold them are always on the ready to trivialize experience and plummet into the unforgiving depths of their own collective ignorance. Ignorance is dangerous, for unfinished thoughts devoid of either truth or content can yield enormous destructive power - evidence blind racism and crazed jingoistic patriotism that relies on the blind indifference of reckless violence. Needless suffering abounds and there are forces present that exacerbate that which should be healed.
What is clear and what is unmistakable is that the system is thoroughly broken. The commons is being dismantled. The social contract that each of assumes to be in place; that each of expects to be in place, is dissolving. The reasonable expectation that society can and should embrace all of its members, especially those with the greatest need seems to be no longer viable.
There are many battlegrounds present - the haves versus the have-nots, the left versus the right, the educated versus the unschooled, north versus south, urban versus rural, color versus color, business versus labor and on and on. The guns are locked and loaded. Emotions have become fully engaged and there is little room left for reason. Herein resides the great and boundless frailty of humanity and human institutions.
Are we destined once again to go around the same endless wheel of violence and retribution - returning hurt with hurt and injury with injury? It is a tiresome and dangerous legacy we seem so willing to embrace.
I don't have any meaningful answer to this question. The reality that the culture is collectively moving through is dangerous and, in many ways, perverse. It leaves me deeply anxious.