Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hope amidst the Hate?

I was reading people's posts on Facebook recently and some friends in Argentina were writing about the ghastly death of an 11 year old girl just outside Buenos Aires. They think she may have been killed as revenge for something her father had done. The father was in jail. Nobody knows for sure. They found the girl mangled and in the trash.

The country is appalled and the small community affected is asking for justice. This case and countless others in the world every day.

I know a number of people and organizations throughout Argentina who are working day in and day out to create the conditions for a better life for the people of Argentina. The odds are stacked against all of them because of a corrupt, selfish, and immoral political system whose leaders from the bottom right on up could care less about the plight of the common citizen in their country.

They look the other way while people are murdered; while children are raped; while drugs proliferate killing young people or causing them to kill; while education and health care is in shambles; and while their cronies at the local level help perpetuate a system that purposely keeps poor people down so they can become more rich and powerful.

They create these conditions and preside over a broken system of lawlessness and greed. And by doing so, they tell much of the population, particularly the poor and downtrodden, that this is OKAY. As long as their pocket is padded and their power secured, who gives a shit if the country is wasting away right before their eyes. They'll be fine.

Where is the compassion, the sense of human dignity; the people with influence who actually care enough about humanity and future progress to stop the conditions that lead to needless bloodshed?

It's hard for the people who are working for a better day in Argentina to have hope for the future when every day there are one hundred reasons to be sad.

And yet, many people via local organizations and basic human dignity fight on. They work harder even if they feel as if the world is conspiring against them. They find hope somehow amidst the negativity and hate.

They also find hope in friendship, in community, in the group of people with whom they work. They carve out a little piece of society for themselves and they work for peace, justice, and social change. These are the only things that can give them hope.

I admire them greatly. But somehow, someway; we have to to create a new reality together. Notably, many do in Argentina and around the world. It is evidenced in all they do and keep doing for their fellow citizens. These people I know in Argentina stubbornly believe that another world is possible even though they wake up to the news every morning and all they see is pain and suffering. Still, sadly, it appears that they are in the small minority.

But how do you explain the hate and greed that pervades society? Why does it have to be this way? Why don't these leaders change? Why don't citizens who commit these atrocious acts understand what they are doing is wrong? Why don't more people stand up and peacefully, but forcefully pressure their local and national governments to do something? Why is it not sustained?

In response, I would say that it doesn't have to be this way. You see people rising up peacefully throughout the Middle East and winning even if there is a price and even though it takes time. In places like Latin America, in many ways with a different set of problems, people protest regularly against the lack of security, health care, job opportunities, the proliferation of drugs and violence, and yet, it's mostly short-lived and isolated. It's not enough.

People demand things but never really challenge the government to change in an organized way. Further, the protests are largely orchestrated by the governments themselves through mass manipulation and to serve their own ends. They force poor people to go against their better ideas for themselves and life and dangle money in front of them while the rest of society watches and judges. They keep them in the dark and the cycle of violence continues and people sit on their hands.

And the people in places of leadership with the power to change these conditions prefer to fight amongst themselves bar a small minority. There is still too much complacency and selfish egotism that holds them back and prevents their good intentions from having an impact. And yet, again, a small minority cares and works for change.


Obviously, I don't have all the answers to why hate is still so prevalent in our society. I'm searching like everyone else.

It's hard to justify hate with consciousness-rising seeing what we do to each other.

But alas, it's the only justification I have that works for me. Terrible acts can serve to wake us up. To help us change the reality of hate by forcing us to stand up once and for all and take responsibility for our collective society; to be active citizens to stop all of the things that are wrong with our world. To stop looking the other way and do something, no matter how small.

I do see a bigger, grander plan being played out here beyond the realm of the material and the physical. Suffering is only temporary while love is permanent.

Those that suffered no longer feel pain and those that are suffering will see a better day. They will be okay, we will be okay. That's just what I feel and it gives me hope.

Our goal has to be to bring love into the equation once and for all. Bring love from that place within us and let it shine. That does sound cheesy to me, but I believe it is true and I'm not afraid to say it.

And if this is too hard for us: to stand up or reach out or bring love and forgiveness to others and work for a more peaceful society; then, well, just seek peace and comfort in your friends and family, your community, love them, and by doing that, you'll also help the world. But start doing it now in everything you do. After all, we're in this together whether we like it or not.

Be grateful for what you have and send love and positive energy to those that need it. Embrace the moment to help others unconditionally. Be true to yourself and to the values and feelings that will make the world a better place.

Speak out against that which you disapprove and peacefully and passionately work with others to stop that which holds you back. But most of all, let actions of love and kindness lead the way.

Despite it all, love will prevail one day, you'll see.

There is hope amidst the hate, but we have to be willing to see it and create it together in the moment of now.