Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Earning Independence

Growing into adulthood during the Nixon years, I didn’t believe in the wisdom of the masses. However, when they would stir from their sleep and make better choices, I felt a surge of pride. They called out the crooks. People were, after all, basically good. But they were gullible—ready marks for clever, ambitious con men. These many years later, I don’t label myself or the masses—liberal, conservative, independent, religious, etc. What we had come to expect from the labels we assigned to ourselves and others didn’t prove to be dependable. Too often, power overshadows both logic and ethics. Labels are not adequate for the complexity that is a human. I’ve come to believe we’re individuals working together, yet charged with taking individual responsibility. When someone accepts denial although there are plenty of opportunities to see lies for what they are and the ugly motivations behind them, that is a choice.

Judging from their actions and not what they say, few people actually believe we face an accounting for our choices. Neither do I believe in damnation, but I do believe we can’t avoid an accounting. We are easily distracted by power or skin or language or customs—even gender expressions. The Universe asks, “Can you stay the course when such distractions cluster around you? Can you be the beauty that lies within you?” We are reminded that this life is not a discreet package. There is more and what we choose to do impacts what that more looks like. We can elevate or degrade ourselves.

If I’m to believe my emails, money can buy anything. Even democracy. I’m told that people with money deserve to run the world. I’m not the only one who can see the lie in that. Money hasn’t made the world more sustainable or kinder. People are told to hate one another and themselves, because we make better workers and consumers when we don’t trust. The earth groans as it strains to provide for greed. But we have the ability to make changes. We need to examine the track records of our elected officials more closely. Have they done any of the good they say they’ve done or are they taking credit for the labors of others? Is science a fair scapegoat when rumors and opinions drag us into harm’s way? Those who have learned to watch for propaganda can see that science, like money or power, can be misrepresented. It’s only good people with kind, curious minds who can protect us—we who can protect ourselves. We need to be able to recognize the good-hearted from the cold-hearted. Spirituality is no more infallible than religion because people can be wrong. We need reliable, honest investigative reporting—information, not opinion.

Today I’m writing to celebrate all the good people who care about one another. We aren’t always wise, but when we care more than we despise, we’re on the right track. We have to trust one another enough to unite. We don’t have to accept manipulation as our due. As a woman, I know the time has come to put our common personhood ahead of our differences. It’s time to call out the bullies. As the politicians come home for the holidays, we need to remind them that they rule by consent of the governed—we the people are the ultimate power. The colonies chose democracy for our government for a reason. We need to defend the vote, to earn our Independence Day.

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