Keeping Zen in an Angry World

Posted: June 19, 2018 in Life, living, politics
Tags: , ,
When I was a young boy, I got into a lot of fights. It happens when the gang at school finds something about you they know will push your buttons. Once they find it, they take no end of delight in gleefully pushing it. So they did. And so I lashed out. I got into fights all the time. Most of the time the fights came to a draw or I got beat up. Snivelling and crying because life was so damned unfair.
Mom – bless her dear departed heart – was a rock for all six of us back then. She was the disciplinarian whose job it was to keep us in line, make us laugh, comfort us and bandage our cut up knees. And she taught us all that it was better to keep our mouths closed, to be respectful and to practice kindness.
I grew up, eventually, and that whiny little boy decided Mom’s way was better. (It helped that I got heavily into religion at the time too). We’re now in an age that seems surreal to me. Where cruelty and spite is the norm. Where cowards get to voice their deepest angry and hateful thoughts behind their oh-so-safe keyboards. Life is once again unfair, as the world at large discovers more and more of these buttons that we all possess, and they just *love* pressing them. There is what I would call a “hate movement” going on right now. You can see it all over social media. And it’s happening on all sides of every debate you can think of. If you’re not for me, you’re against me and I won’t listen to you. I will hate you. We’ve lost the art of conversation, and of healthy debate. The minute you put your stake in the ground, you attract sycophants just as you attract hate mongers.
I know this all too well, because I have participated. It’s no secret who I hold hatred for right now. But here’s the thing:
Because I participated, I lost. Because I was so willing to spew my own well reasoned, justified sanctimonious hate, I’ve fallen into the trap of this movement.
One night last week I was on a bus ride home. I forget where I was coming from. It suddenly occurred to me. I was just as complicit in this orgy of hatred as the people (well, more precisely, the person) I hated. He won, because I participated at all.
I made up my mind right then. I wasn’t going to play the game anymore. You can’t lose if you’re not playing, right?
I scrubbed all of my hate-filled tweets from Twitter and resolved to not engage anymore.
You know what though? It’s hard. It’s so very hard when you see parrots repeating that hatred all over the place, coupled with lies and exaggerations and some truly loathsome evil shit. I find I have to sit on my hands and grit my teeth.
Regardless, Mom’s boy will adhere to her training. I will do my best to avoid hatred, and to consider only those things which bring life.
My hatred isn’t gone. Far from it. But if I don’t give it air to breathe, maybe it will die. Maybe I’ll reach a point where I can merely observe, silently and patiently, as the
maelstrom of hatred we’re all seeing will dissipate. Or it won’t. It may get stronger.
Something’s going to give at some point. I’d rather see it from a zen vantage point, rather than dance in its mosh pit.
  1. Hmm. Wolfie. I’m not sure I agree — but I do understand. Maybe you just need a break? A break from all the hatred being spewed… but there is goodness too. There is balance, if you seek it. I am disheartened right now by what’s happening on the US border and children being ripped away from families seeking help/asylum in this beautiful country… what have we become, right? What is happening? But then I also see beautiful things happen too. Someone called me yesterday and THANKED me for helping them with something that changed their life… I was over the moon!

    There is balance. But, I might suggest, we also need to seek it — more now than ever before.

    I took a break from social media for a bit and then realized I was following too many people I really hate — politicians. And I wasn’t following enough people I love — artists. I snoozed people on facebook or just plain out “unfollowed” them, but remained friends (that’s an option). There are many ways, in social media world where we can tweak things a bit and makes things better. I also stopped watching/reading the news 24/7. THAT WAS HUGE!

    But, we need your voice. We need my voice. Sitting on the sidelines forever is not an option my friend. We are hear to love an be loved and sitting back and watching, silently observing doesn’t seem to be who we are. Maybe I’m wrong. But I love your voice, I need your voice — it is a good and strong and just voice!

    Take a break. Tweak some things a bit. Find your balance. But humanity needs US. Let’s find a way to still participate without losing our sanity.

    Easier said than done, I know.


    Liked by 1 person

    • wolfshades says:

      I meant I won’t engage in the hate angle on anything. I feel sick about what’s happening on the border too. But it does me no good (or anyone else) to vent my anger at the people doing it. They’re immune because they’re playing the game too. It’s a continual back and forth that just sucks us all into a vortex of mutual hatred and loathing.

      When someone’s willing to talk rationally and not given to opposition for opposition’s sake, I’m right there too.

      I will no longer spew my hate-filled anger at people though. And if I can help in any way, I’ll do so. Barbara Bush and Hilary are examples of where I aspire to be.

      There are multiple parts to the equation: hatred, disgust, caring, listening, etc. This is not about losing the caring or listening – just removing the hatred variable.

      I hope I’m making sense here.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Bluntessa says:

    Well… seeing an email that you blogged just made me smile. Big. I miss you. I saw all this coming (hence my social media exodus) way before it turned into a completely neglected litter box.

    Please keep writing. You will always have a piece of real estate in my very discerning, soft, heart.

    BIG HUGS my friend. Keep spreading the light. Even the sun produces shadows, but it still shines anyway. We gotta keep shining. Much love to you and thanks for the unexpected, deep, warm, smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bluntessa says:

      Oh… and I do still stay involved. Our government is employed by us, the people. I will not throw up any white flags on doing what is right, fair, humane and just. I simply participate in a more effective way than exposing myself to so much lazy ‘patriotic’ non-productive vitriol.

      With age comes wisdom. It’s always been a mad world. We just have more excessive exposure to every crevice now. Definitely more challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wolfshades says:

        Thank you! I hope I didn’t give the impression that I’m not going to speak about what’s happening to my neighbours to the south – I just have to find a way to do so without the vitriol, and without engaging people who will simply refuse to discuss rationally, without heat. It can be done but the great divide is getting bigger by the day. It’s hard to get any light anymore. Just heat and flames, sucking us all into a vortex of hatred.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s