On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.
That was a bold move and leads now 145 years later to a Black man running for president. Actually, when I pause to consider, it seems a long time to have been led by only white men.
Last night, I watched Bill Maher say that the "elitists" are who founded this country, those on the East coast, those who looked to Europe, people who gathered in cities to create a great nation.
Let's celebrate the elite, those who work hard and rise, and let our president and vice-president be the best we can produce, no matter what color or gender. That is when a country shows strength!!
We each have our own definition of and feeling about God so when I post from Thomas Merton, I know you are finding your own sense of movement within your heart around what God means or represents to you.
I post these words because I personally understand from a health viewpoint what not dealing well with the political situation means. I allowed the stealing of the election to plop Bush in place to "get to me," and I dealt with nine months of medical treatment as a result. Now, my challenge is to think loving thoughts about McPain and the threat they represent. I started therapy a month ago to help me better expand around the idea of "right" and "wrong," to be more accepting and less judgmental. This is not easy for me to do, and is my current challenge in life. I am trying to bring my own weaknesses to light and gently cradle them as I hopefully see them go. I offer my weaknesses flight, the bird hatched and released from the nest.
Do you want to know God? Then learn to understand the weaknesses and imperfections of [others]. But how can you understand the weaknesses of others unless you understand your own? And how can you see the meaning of your own limitations until you have received mercy from God, by which you know yourself and Him? It is not sufficient to forgive others: we must forgive them with humility and compassion. If we forgive them without humility, our forgiveness is a mockery: it presupposes that we are better than they.
Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1955: 163.
Zebulen suggested I watch Dr. Jill Biden, so I did. I appreciated her for her sweet and loving smile, but I had not heard her speak.
When I listened, I thought of the Cultural Revolution in China. I never understood how a country could go from reverencing education, philosophers, writers, poets, to a country that put those same people on the farms, in jail, or to death. It made no sense to me, but as I look at the difference in education between the candidates proposed for the Democratic and Republican party and the slanderous charge of elitism to those who want to help the whole rather than a few, I am shocked, and I fear we are seeing it here.
I am reading two books on the brain today, because I have decided to probe my own to figure out what is going on with it, and how to handle the barrage of idiocy coming from McPain. I don't want my brain to explode.
One book my son requested for his birthday and when it arrived today, I decided to check it out. It is called Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina.
I am intrigued with this part, because I think it is useful information for Democrats.
The section is called The Brain needs a break. This book debunks multi-tasking and proclaims the need for sleep.
It also proclaims the most common communication mistake. "Relating too much information, with not enough time devoted to connecting the dots. Lots of force-feeding, very little digestion." The speaker needs to go back to the level of the novice, and spoon-feed.
I realized people are responding to Sarah Palin because she is a novice. She is not having to back-track or sift through a vast range of information to speak. She sound-bites without a blink. There is no need to think because she doesn't have anything to think about or sort through. She and her audience are content with nothing actually being said. If you believe in creationism, you are not asking for logic or fact.
The book also points out that lectures are effective when delivered in ten minute segments. What the author learned is that each ten minute segment needs to be explained in one minute, so a concept is presented and nine minutes are used to explain it. Then, there needs to be a hook, an ECS, an emotionally competent stimuli. The hook has to be relevant and it has to trigger an emotion.
What they are doing with Palin is using motherhood and apple pie by inference, since I don't believe birthing children and mothering necessarily go hand-in-hand.
I see that McCain is attacking the NY Times today because they report honestly. Can't have that, can we?
The other book I am reading is by Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight.
If you haven't yet watched her on Tedtalks, she is a must-see.
When she had a stroke and her left brain shut down, she experienced herself as fluid, without boundaries. "I was no longer isolated and alone. My soul was as big as the universe and frolicked with glee in a boundless sea."
I think chemotherapy does something similar. I had so many people involved in my healing that I did not feel separate or individual. I felt like a community. My sense of time changed. I am still adjusting back.
I suggest you buy the book. It is a treat, and if you haven't watched the video, do that too.
I had an incredible fright tonight. All day I've been working on letting go, thinking if we do decide to leave the country if McPain wins, where would we go and what would we take. I took a long walk, considering my steps and how little one really needs, and how when we die, we don't need anything at all. I was thinking about Masahide's words. "My house burned down. I can now see better the rising moon," which really has to do with enlightenment, and tonight I was reading my magazines The Nation, Ode, and Shambhala Sun, and then, I went in the back for just a moment, and I heard a long bang and another, and I came out to the living room, and there are flames shooting up from the house down below and I run out on the deck to see all this flame shooting up in the sky as the house is burning and I hear the fire trucks and I am not sure they are going to make it before it catches our trees and deck.
My heart was thumping, and oddly what I did was call Steve who is now in Shanghai, but I was thinking if the house burns down, he won't know where I am. How stupid is that!! Anyway, the firemen came quickly - we are only three or four blocks from the firehouse and have been here for hours getting it out and making sure it is out. The chain saws growl as I type.
I walked around the block and watered all my trees, and the lights of the fire trucks reflected the leaves on the trees on the house. The stars are out. No moon yet though. The saving grace is that there is absolutely no wind tonight. If it had been blowing as it usually is here, I think my house might be gone. It is sobering. My heart was pounding and then I started crying thinking what if someone was in the house but it has been empty for awhile. No one was hurt. It is odd though standing there watching flames so close as they shoot up into the sky. I see how territorial we are. I somehow seemed to think my being here would save the house.
Anyway, I won't be going to bed for awhile. I think of how we connected we are, of how we pay taxes so we have fire and police protection. It is what being civilized is about. What part of civilized and civilization do the Republicans not understand. We all drink from the same water supply and your fire is mine.
I look around now at all that surrounds me. We want to believe in permanence, in safety, and the point is to let go. I have been trying to figure out the lesson of McPain as I know they are my teachers. They are teaching me to let go. The suffering I create, the anguish, is mine. How do I want to live my last moments? I think tonight gave me a huge clue as to what matters. I called Steve, Jeff, and Chris. We bought this house 30 years ago. It is our home and, we can protect it, protect the land, and we also have to let go.