The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined … to the Twilight Zone. – “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
There is something bothering me. I go to Facebook everyday. Many of my friends there are writers, poets, I’ve never met, but care about deeply. And, over these past few months, I have watched some of them change in ways I can’t, and don’t understand. Granted, I only know them through the words they write, and I read. But, I do believe that our written words, because they come from within us, say something about the very real person we are. That one who lives and breathes on the other side of my computer monitor.
I have just spent forty days creating word prompts to help myself and others get through the current upheaval and distress of our present political and everyday reality. I did that for several different reasons:
1. Because I was aware that people were frightened, and I wanted to show them how to use their own skills and abilities to alleviate at least some of that fear.
2. Fear is a signal from the brain that the individual is being threatened. It manifests itself in anger.
3. Anger is a flow of energy, meant to be used against that threat in one of two ways. One either runs like hell, or stands to fight off the threat.
4. Sometimes running away is not a bad or weak thing. It can provide the time needed to assess ones skills and weapons for coming confrontation. It can and does provide for preparation.
5. Creativity is also an energy flow that comes from deep within. It focuses our efforts and also provides us with the knowledge of what we really can do, or be.
6. I truly believe that Creativity is a built-in healing agent, meant to help the individual grow in the ways and means of living a fuller and more actualized life.
7. Thus, my main purpose for creating the forty day Challenge, was to show others how to use their given talents to heal themselves and the world around them.
When I began the Challenge, I had no idea how long it would continue. Some days, I had to work really hard to come up with a word prompt that was suitable. Other days, I knew as soon as I sat down at my computer, just how I needed to proceed. In other words, it was very much an up and down hill climb. A journey, without a map, or a known destination. But, as the days continued to pass, I could see a definite pattern developing. The words that I chose seemed to have, or appeared to hold, a certain sort of movement. They seemed to be directed: first inward, then outward. That made sense to me. We must go inside before acting outwardly. Become aware of our own person, before directing our thoughts and words toward the outside world.
And, somewhere around Day 31, I knew it would all end on Day 40. That also made sense to me. My original faith system is based in Christianity, but over the years, I have explored and incorporated other belief systems into that original basis. Although I am going to use a Christian story for this further explanation, I’m fairly certain, that others will identify something in that explanation that will allow them to relate to what I am about to say.
Before entering his final ordeal, Jesus went into the desert to meditate for forty days and nights. He met a great deal of difficulty during that time and was also confronted by the devil, who tempted him with the lure of the outside world and promised him that world’s adulation and ownership, if he’d just stop what he was doing. Jesus resisted those temptations. Yes, he ended on the cross, but his final words were a prayer that the people be forgiven because they didn’t know what they were doing. He did not act out in fear or anger. He chose otherwise. He came from inside his own being, having learned the meaning of his own existence out there in the desert.
I am well aware that my example is an extreme one. But, I also believe we are in extreme circumstances. We are facing the possible end of the world we live in and on. And although we may not face the exact end of that world, our children, or their children, have a possibility of doing just that. Is that the legacy any of us wish to leave those children?
We are faced with a leader who is essentially a business man. A billionaire who has used and abused others to gain whatever he wants. A creature used to playing ‘the game’ and winning. He promised us a wall, that someone else would pay for. And by using fear as a weapon, he has created that wall. A solid demarcation line between us and them. And we will pay an exorbitantly high price for his efforts. Because while we are fighting one another, he is amassing a cabinet of cronies that will ensure not only his leadership, but all of their bank accounts as well. He doesn’t care, as long as he stays on top.
Which brings me to what concerns me in this present moment. When we use the language of fear and anger, we lose our ability to be heard. And all we accomplish is to add to the noise that doesn’t allow us to hear, let alone, in ways that are beneficial to ourselves, or the world around us. The use of foul language will gain us nothing. Nor will vulgarity or spitting rage at others. We might have valid points to make, but who will even try to listen?
When we express ourselves with anger and rage, we defeat our own purpose. Remember those famous words, “Walk softly, but carry a big stick?” It is the quiet voice of reason that will be heard, not the one of vulgarity and violence. Yes, the vulgarity and foul words feel good as they cross the paper, or page, on which we write. But they are just more bricks cemented into that wall he is building. By all means, write them down, but don’t post them. Release the anger on a personal page, and then enter the public fray with kindness, caring, and reason. And above all else, please remember, those others are not the enemy, they are people just as afraid as we are. The only way we can be, or become, a calming influence is by remaining calm.
And the only way to remain calm, is to spend some time each day, going inward. Making contact with the real person and potentials we all own. If we truly want to be heard, we must first learn how to listen. Listen to our own heartbeat, then reach out from that place.
Elizabeth Crawford 1/2/2017
Note: For me, purple is the color of personal power.