A core characteristic of evil is the belief that what one person desires is more important than what others want. Putin and his followers in Russia believe that what they want matters more than what the people of Ukraine want. Ukrainian refugees who abuse persons of color also attempting to escape war are guilty of exhibiting the same characteristic. I am not saying the evil acts are the same. I want to point out and clarify that evil can easily exist in any human being. The way that we can fight evil is to be clear about what it is. Rabbi Hillel described the Old Testament as telling us to ‘treat others as we would wish to be treated’; but modern life is full of examples and prompts that lead us to diminish others to maximize ourselves. Prompts for evil can be subtle or overt; a real estate commercial with testimonials from customers who all happen to NOT be Black or Asian people (are they too different or not transact real estate?), A presidential candidate telling police to handle suspects roughly, a political party denying accountability for criminal behavior while constantly lying and then saying “both sides do it”, state legislatures reducing the rights of women to control their bodies. Jesus told us “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. Liars attack decency and reality because they want to set up a world that puts them at the top of a hierarchy with EVERYONE else diminished. Do not buy the fascist idea that your group or tribe will be elevated over others, ultimately liars play everyone else for pawns in their delusional pursuit of power. Real power comes from controlling ourselves, not stealing it from others. Demand the truth and hold liars who damage reality to undermine others and aggrandize themselves accountable. Having a decent world depends on us being warriors against evil in all of it’s forms.
Ignorance and evil always ride together because there is no hope without truth. Every post I write is to inform and provoke people to become seekers of truth. Always remember; Jesus said “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Liars lie to deceive and enslave. If groups spread lies or tolerate widespread lying; they do it for a reason. Make sure you are on the side of righteousness and make an effort to find out the truth in our politics and society. The truth provides our only hope.
Staying positive in a time of peril is hard but important. We live in interesting times that demand we pay attention, act to protect our values, and communicate to others. The threats we face will not go away soon, so we must take care of ourselves and each other to overcome them. Hope and actions to create the future we deserve will sustain and strengthen us. Even seemingly small steps add up and create change.
White American Inferiority/Insecurity Complex (WAIC) is a problem for everyone because it keeps all people from reaching their potential. Fearful people whether they are Black or White are not able to reach their potential. People who externalize their negative emotions create victims and tragic headlines in random ways. Fear builds and spreads like a virus that weakens trust between people, but also in institutions. Building a more perfect union in our country will require confronting difficult truths like the systemic abuses of civil and human rights that the Woke movement addresses. America will either move to increase freedom or decrease it depending on the wisdom and knowledge of our citizens. Fear and hatred (for the self first and then others) pushes people toward foolish and destructive outcomes. It is frightening that the majority of whites voted for Trump, but more of this group moved away from this malevolent political force than any other group. There is hope in America. If Americans can identify and confront liars and lies consistently we will honor all of the sacrifices made for this republic.
After participating in the elections, very voter should feel good about their concern for their world, country, and community. Voting is a very important tool in creating the world we would like to see, but it is not the only tool that we have. As citizens and people who care we should advocate for our values and hopes for a better future. We can use our influence with friends and family, we can contribute our time to causes and groups, and we can give resources to further the policies or movements we want to succeed. There was not a wave in any direction in this election, and there is a lot of work to do on justice, climate change, and healthcare to name a few. COVID-19 is raging in our country and we must continue to protect ourselves and others. If Joe Biden wins the presidency he will need a lot of help to get anything done. Consider getting the Five Calls app to contact your legislators and advocate for bills you want enacted into law. Every citizen who cares should vow to find ways to stay informed and involved in building a better future while continuing to protect our republic. Develop a plan to support your values while staying safe and focused.
Time has almost expired for everyone who recognizes the threat of Trump, to confront your concern with a plan. Scientist say that some are born with a genetic predisposition to worry, but these worriers can change by modifying their behavior. Making a plan and working that plan when confronted by fear or anxiety can change a worrier into a warrior. Warriors are not just those who go off to fight in war, they are people who use their minds and determination to overcome adversity or challenge. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fanny Lou Hamer, Gandhi, John Lewis and others are examples of those who did not use violence, but their minds and abilities to turn fear or despair into hope. We see examples of warriors today in people like Stacey Abrams, Lebron James, and Alicia Garza. Become a warrior for truth and justice; as John Lewis said make “Good Trouble” and stand up when you see wrong. The election of 2020 is just the first step in a long road to save humanity and the environment that makes our civilization possible. Everyday citizens will have to get engaged and stay that way with the determination to not just be bystanders. If you have not already voted, plan your vote and be prepared for resistance, but do not give up on your rights or your voice.
When a very smart woman like Elizabeth Warren tells the story of being at her wits end as she looked for childcare to work as a teacher; there is an important message for all of us. Even the strongest people need help to be successful. We need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue happiness without enabling bad behavior. The line between providing reasonable assistance and socialism is where our political system lives. Every voter must choose between politicians who offer policies benefitting citizens and organizations reputedly leading to a better society. If you want a better society think about what it will look like and what it will take; then choose the person with a plan closest to your dream. Keep hope alive by researching and voting in 2020 and every year that you have the opportunity.
The news these days is often very bad, but we still have reason to hope. Make a point of thinking of the good things in your life or that you have achieved. Make plans that you feel good about and will help someone beyond yourself. Celebrate small things and express gratitude to others for what they add life. Imagine a world where you were alone before looking at the issues of society. People make the world go around and we are all lucky to have so much company. As an adult own your life and feelings while working to improve the management. Thank God for the good things in life and you will see more!
Racism leads people to behave and think in ways that diminish themselves and others. Americans have struggled with attacking others while appearing not to or maintaining plausible deniability for a long time. This evil has caused issues and pain that drag the nation down. The country is threatened by the smallness in people who want to have two sets of rules; one for us and another for them. This embrace of fundamental evil must be broken for the United States to reach its potential. The United States shocked the world when President Barrack Obama was elected because other countries could not do what we had done. Choosing a minority group member for the most powerful position in government is unheard of around the world. Now we shock the world with our electoral pendulum swing to overt racism, fascism, incompetence, and xenophobia in the form of Trump. Evil will always be around but we do not have to accept it or give it a place in our society. We are capable of better as a species and time is running out. Ending the Trump administration is about the soul of America; a country so many amazing people have sacrificed to build. Think, research, communicate, pray, and vote in every election.
Citizens who want a better future need to be active and engaged in the coming months and beyond. Good people need a long and a short game to bring about change in society. A lot has happened in the short amount of time since George Floyd’s killing, but much more needs to be done for real change. Leaders are emerging who focus on benchmarks and bringing people together to get things done. America will change if most of us want it to happen. The challenge for leaders and caring citizens is to develop the habit of following up. We will all have to monitor what is going on in our society and demand that media works for us, not against us. The saying that you need to “inspect what you expect” must be brought to life if we are to fight climate change, create a just society, and improve our republic. Social media and people power have been harnessed to challenge the status quo which makes the continuous effort that leads to change possible. All of us can research, communicate, and vote in today’s society with a minimum of effort (provided there is no voter suppression); it is the least we can do for a decent future. We must all remember the words from the Bible “Without a vision the people perish”.