January 21, 2010

Why does the past repeat itself? Are we incapable of learning from it?

As I observe the world around me I can't help but wonder: are we stupid or just blinded?...

It's scary how true it is that history repeats itself. We seem to be oblivious to the world we live in as we go about our daily routine caring only for our own individuality and those closer to us. We have been taught to wake up every morning and be nothing but fuel to a hungry machine that seems to never feel satisfied. How is it possible that we react to the world's reality only when catastrophe strike? Let's take Haiti for example, everybody knows this is one of the poorest countries in the planet yet we don't offer a helping hand until CNN tells us almost 100,000 lives were lost in an earthquake. All of a sudden we are there and yet that helping hand has to sign many forms and stamp many papers before food can get to the victim's mouths...

I'm tired of this bureaucratic, capitalistic, poisonous regime. It's doing nothing for us except destroying our civilization and the possibility of further evoluting as a species. We are giving away our souls to a devil who is definitely not the red-horned-pointy tailed being we imagine it to be but the many faces of each and every existing corporation wanting nothing but production and consumption of disposable and unneeded goods; the real manufacturers of waste.

A couple of days ago my radio-alarm went off at 9am. As always, I hit the snooze button a couple dozen times. Suddenly, I heard a speech in between dreams about all the things that I have lately been pondering about. I tried to consciously focus on the words and in a semi-awaken state I was able to hear the last part which I've included in this entry. It was a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4th, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York, explaining why he opposed the war in Vietnam. (I recommend you read the entire speech, you can find it in: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/18/dr_martin_luther_king_jr_1929) The resonance it has in the present time made me think of the tittle of this blog entry. I am upset by the reality we have created for ourselves. Why is it so hard for us to do what is right? Why are we so blinded by fear? and, is it entirely our fault? It is time for a revolution but a non-violent one, in which our morale takes on the stirring wheel and our personal desires just chill on the passenger seat -unless those desires are for the good of the people; in that case I suggest they became the co-pilot.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” (J.F. Kennedy)

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay a hand on the world order and say of war, “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.

Let's wake up! Let's stop this non-sense before it crashes against the floor for its lack of sustainability. The time has come to make changes that will enables us to move forward. Stop praising the devil and start listening to your own heart. Deep inside you know that the foundations of the current system are not based on the right values. It is up to you, to us, to make this a better, more livable place for the current generations and the ones to come...

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