I have no doubt that I will get judged for this post. People fully believe that you are supposed to stick to only what you said your blog is about. In this case, I’m supposed to only talk about food and events. That’s all I know, right? I don’t subscribe to that as a writer or as a person. The only thing I know better than food is myself. To put myself aside all the time and not discuss the world I live in does not only an injustice to my readers (granted a small one), but it more importantly does a giant injustice to myself. So dear readers, judge me for jumping out of the food world and into the real world for a post. I don’t give a flying fig today.
It seems that over the past year or so the country that we live in has slowly begun to visibly unravel. Now, I fully feel that all countries are in a constant state of unraveling, but sometimes it is very hard to see. Our break from reality and basic common sense has been on full display for quite some time now. That isn’t what really bothers me though. It’s expected that a country suffer its fair share of unbalance. How could it not with so many individuals living alongside each other? What bothers me is how out of touch we, as a collective, have become with the basic principles of decent humanity. Even worse than that, we are shocked when things happen, both good and bad. As if we haven’t the faintest idea of why the events that played out have played out as they did.
What we used to learn in school, and I can’t say that’s the case anymore (our failing education system is a different topic. Kudos to the teachers that still try to make a difference with the deck stacked against them), was the basic history of the country. I recall sitting in class in 5th grade and learning all about the Declaration of Independence. As a quick refresher for folks, this was the paper drafted by our founding fathers stating our refusal as a budding nation to be ruled from afar by a government we weren’t allowed to be a part of. I know that a lot of you are thinking “Duh stupid. ‘Merica!!”, which is just fine. I’m glad you remember this little document. I also hope that all of you remember the opening line of the preamble; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This one line, above almost all others, is the line that we all recognize and PROMPTLY forget. In my opinion, this line is the basis upon which we as not only a nation, but as individuals need to use as a compass to pull ourselves out of the mess we currently find ourselves in.
On June 26th of this year, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in our country. This wonderful decision was a long time coming. It essentially put all people who love another person on level ground across the board. That is a beautiful situation in itself. I was always taught by not just my parents, but my family and friends, that love knows very little. It isn’t a cognizant being. It doesn’t actively pursue people, nor does it selectively match one person to another. It can’t see, therefore color, size, shape, beauty and sex are things it doesn’t recognize. It can’t pontificate for even a second about religious beliefs or political views. It CAN consume, transform, motivate, gladden, sadden or break someone though. Love is one of those untangible things that shapes a person as much as piano dropped on their head would. We are all victim to it with no ability to pick and choose who or what love makes us yearn each day for. The day you find a person who’s heart hasn’t suffered or been enriched by love is the day you are talking to a dead body. Even then, if they could speak… I’ve been there myself. Love has swollen my chest to the point of bursting and alternatively left my soul cold and bare when it’s left. So, when I see people who are against the idea of same-sex marriage, I shake my head in complete confusion. If two men have happened upon each other in this giagantic world and love has bound them together, why can’t they celebrate that? If two women are able to cut through the layers of darkness that life piles upon all of us to find even a small flame of love for each other, why can’t they build that fire to help block out said darkness? What makes a love between a man & a woman any more right then love between two people of the same sex? Remember that part of the Declaration of Independence that I mentioned above which says ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL? Doesn’t that also mean all love is created equal as well?
Tragedies in this country happen so often that I, for one, have become numb to them. That, in itself, should cause our society to shed a tear. We are so intent on destroying ourselves that when we are successful in accomplishing that we don’t even feel the lasting sting of the wound. Sure, I see the wound. I feel it happen. I see the aftermath. But, it doesn’t surprise me or even make me sad anymore. Heaven help me for that, but I have personally seen too much shit to let it ruin me each time. On June 17th, a… I struggle for the word here… being walked into a church and gunned down 9 people. Another tragedy where innocent lives are taken with no clear RATIONAL motive. Yet again a situation where an innocent blood stain gives way for intense outpourings of sympathy, pain, opinions and hate. It never seems to fail that with blood comes hate. As if, somehow, the two are expressly linked to each other. What happened to the right of everyone to pursue the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? When did taking someone’s life lead to everyone else’s oppression and their pursuit of hate? That’s what we seem to do so casually in this country here in 2015. If we don’t agree with someone, then they are obviously wrong and stupid. We feel that we are ENTITLED to happiness and that means our way all the time. We seem to forget that we are only entitled to the PURSUIT of happiness. Not everything will make us happy. So when the majority of this country finds that a flag does not stand for heritage, but instead stands for oppression, belittlement, sadness, fear, hate and tragedy why can’t we all try to see eye to eye instead of spewing forth more malice? Screaming “Heritage, Not Hate” holds about as much water as an invisible bucket and is about as effective in swaying public opinion as spray painting “Black Lives Matter” does on a Confederate leaders monument. Trying to force your views doesn’t lead to receptive attitudes. It’s childish hate that leads to more hate. There used to be a time where you could have a discussion with a person and still leave friends. Why have we allowed ourselves to walk so far away from that place?
This is America. We live in a country that used to look at the world and say “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” We used to be stand as a symbol of greatness in this world. We were the dream people left their homes for. The life people strived for with every breath and ounce of energy. Now we are ‘Merica… We are a land mass of people scared of each other, fueled by hate for our differences. We are intent on eating ourselves from the inside out. A self perpetuating writhing mass of self-righteous over-confident preening nonsense with no clear directon. Our own forefathers would pick-up arms against us now to see the perversion we have wrought upon this glorious nation that they sacrificed themselves for. I only hope it is not too late for us to take a step back from the “‘Merica is the greatest country in the world” self-basting rhetoric we have marinated ourselves in to see that we are burning around the edges a bit.
At the end of the day, this post is no more than one more note in a hurricane wind blowing through a room full of windchimes. No one will read this and endure some dramatic metamorphosis of self. I doubt one kinder word or civil conversation will happen because of the thoughts I have word vomited all over your screen here. I accept that fully and I have made my peace with that. All I know is I have spoken what I feel. I am POSITIVE that I will get accused of being un-American. I’m sure people will stop reading my writing. I have no doubt that people will disagree with me. That’s ok because this country affords you the right to feel like that. I love this country. I would volunteer to die in it’s name tomorrow if need be. And I would line up to face that certain death with the hope in my heart that we can find a way to heal these cuts we keep making and return to the nation we once were. I wish you all a very happy 4th of July. Be safe. Watch out for each other. Love one another. Be great today and everyday going forward. Happy Independence Day my friends.