The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 68: Staying Authentic

4

August 7, 2020-

There is a fact of life, especially in today’s America, that owning one’s viewpoint, life choices and spirituality comes at a cost. There are always going to be those who think they know your needs better than you yourself know them. Being in charge of own life is not a cakewalk. Others, especially online, will appear, with demands, expectations and preferences, which may or may not dovetail with what one has planned.

You may say, “Well, isn’t that how it is, in ANY social situation?” Yes, and with seven billion and umpty-ump million people on the surface of the Earth, it will get more intensely so. The fact remains, however, that at the end of the day, it is whether I can look in the mirror and honestly say that I lived the day in a state of integrity, hopefully tempered with humility, that makes the day well-spent, or not.

I have been questioned, recently, as to why I might agree with points raised by conservatives, on one day; then agree with points raised by progressives, another day. The answer is easier than it looks. Neither group is qualitatively engaged in refuting the other’s points, with regard to those points with which I am agreeing. For example, if I say an unborn child ‘s life is worthy of EVERY reasonable effort at maintaining its efficacy, that does not mean I am advocating vicious hounding of a woman who is heading into an abortion clinic. In reality, that person should not be HOUNDED or pressured by EITHER faction in the matter. She should be enveloped, bathed, in love and have all options presented to her, in a pressure-free, NON-MERCENARY atmosphere.

If someone asks me to approve or disapprove of the current sitting President, I can honestly say I approve of his work in stemming the trafficking of women and children. I honestly approve of his working with the governments of Latin American countries, in stopping the flood of people from out of those countries and stemming the influence and aggressive behaviour of gangs-especially in Central America. There are other policies of his, of which I vehemently disapprove- such as the sending of a large corps of armed DHS agents into some of our cities-without first coordinating the effort with local governments. That situation seems to be getting more consultation-based. The COVID-19 response is a whole other can of worms-and much of the difficulty lies in both individual mindsets and in the diversity of local situations, across the country-but I digress.

Essentially, my life is not meant to be lived by going about and seeking to be a font of agreement, with each person, on each issue. I have, however, the conviction that each person who crosses my path does have points to offer, that may well be of help, in making my life more authentic. This life is still a work in progress, as is everyone else’s.

My Faith will remain as is; my heart for people will stay in place; my mind will remain flexible, as we have learned that anything can happen.

Safeguarding One Another

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February 9, 2020-

An older actor, Orson Bean, was struck by two cars, two days ago, as he walked to a community theater, near his home in Venice, CA.  I’ve been to Venice, a couple of times, most recently last November.  There are a number of homeless people living along Venice Boulevard, both north and south, and in a few pockets close to the beach.

Mr. Bean was not homeless, nor did he appear to suffer from dementia.  He was consciously walking to meet his wife, at the theater.  He was also looking forward to the showing of a play, in which he was involved, at the same theater.  He was following a Venice practice, of crossing the road at its most convenient spot-away from the crosswalk.  I daresay that is a rather widespread phenomenon, worldwide. It can work, on occasion, if drivers notice the pedestrian in time, but it is never inherently safe.

The larger issue here is, to what extent are we each other’s keepers?  I have stated, and maintain, that one cannot regard others as mere extensions of self.  The world is full of homeless people, dysfunctional families, troubled schools, fractured environment.  No one can resolve even one of these, in and of him/herself, but try we do, and must.

There are, as the death of Orson Bean underscores, more common occurrences, to which we can contribute mightily.  Los Angeles, of which Venice is a part, has an initiative to curb traffic-related deaths.  Phoenix, which is not all that far from here, has many of the same issues, relative to motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions.  Other cities are certainly in the same situation.  For any initiative to work, behavioural change has to be enacted-and before that, must come an attitudinal adjustment.

It would seem, then, that the mindset of consciously looking out for our fellows, continuously, daily, until it becomes second nature, will drastically curb much of the mayhem that brings grief to so many-unnecessarily.  It can’t just be of the New Year’s resolution variety.  It must become ingrained.