The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 31: Halfway Mark

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July 1, 2020-

The year masquerading a decade is halfway gone. I see my preferred candidate for president is back-going to be with families who have lost a loved one, to show support. I see there is no end to the egoism and snarkiness of people who claim to be in the avant-garde (There is no such thing, in reality). I see no end to the rage and mayhem that are on the agenda of extremists. I see that schools will be closed here, until mid-August. I see that the wisest of parents are letting their children breathe fresh air and get a goodly amount of sunshine. I see people are arguing, because that is the only thing that seems permissible in the name of fighting the virus.

My Cosmic Advisor says to focus on what we are for, not what we are against. So, I am for microgreens; hydroponic food projects; grassroots efforts to tutor and safeguard children; listening to one another-without feeling the need to one-up or dominate; taking natural supplements; supporting troubled pregnant women and teen girls-so that they don’t subject themselves and their babies to abortion; relieving police officers of both their need to use excessive force and their being required to perform social counseling services-because the designated social agencies are too caught up in office politics and stroking the egos of their agency heads; supporting local small businesses; people learning new skills.

The year that is masquerading as a decade is halfway done. There are many things which I support.

Schisms and -isms

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December 12, 2019-

A participant in a recent Baha’i Studies Conference, in Ottawa, Ontario, made the case for a movement she called “womanism”.  The gist of this movement’s philosophy is similar to to the campaign message of the American politician, Tulsi Gabbard:  Bring forward a true ethic of inclusion; the practice of not shutting anyone out, on the basis of their stated beliefs.  The premise here is inclusion, not opposition.

I favour such a movement, as I believe that everyone has a grain of truth to bring to the table.  That does not mean that someone who regards others as inferior should remain unchallenged in her/his pronouncements and certainly, actions that take away someone else’s rights or extinguish viewpoints, contrary to what one believes, are to be seen as counterproductive.  Repressed thoughts and opinions will never disappear.  They may even return, with a vengeance, in the form of counter-revolution.

It also does not sanction violence against one’s philosophical opponents, if for no other reason than to preclude their being seen as martyrs.   I much prefer to maintain appropriate dialogue, with its inherent boundaries, than to shut a person out in perpetuity.  Again, I draw the line at those who threaten violence or demand that I “toe the line.”

Many movements end their names with the suffix, “-ism”.  To wit, besides the above-mentioned womanism, we have “feminism”, “Islamism”, “supremacism” and the more conventional nationalism and sectarianism.  Such -isms, especially the last four mentioned, seem to lead to schism.  The founders of such movements may, or may not, have envisioned such divides, and thus incorporated them in their planning.    Nonetheless, any time one sets out to make a difference, if there is a pre-conceived Other, there is a potential schism.  Even a term as seemingly benign as non- (insert your identity group), is inherently creating a division in society.

It’s time to seriously work on abandoning the concept of “Other.”  Our self-concepts do not need it, in order to appreciate our uniqueness.