Sunday, June 22, 2014

Volunteering for Oppression: A Rant

If anyone can name the artist of this cartoon, please share. I'd love to give credit!
We're angry. We're furious. "They've" taken our money, our jobs, our rights. "They've" built their warehouse store in our town and screwed the economy. Since "they've" been in office, so much has gone wrong. We're being lied to. We're being robbed. We're sick of "the right" and their preposterous opinions and we're sick of "the left" and their love for higher taxes.

We're powerless, but we should stomp our feet anyway and get angry and blame each other. This is what the news media would like for us to believe. But, what's really going on?

Behind every label (liberal, conservative, 1%, 99%, neurotypical, neurodiverse, straight, gay, introvert, extrovert, etc.) is a human being with a heart, with feelings, with a family, with health concerns, with dreams, with abilities, with disabilities, with goals, with something to teach and something to learn, something to give and something to gain. But when a label is slapped onto a group of our brothers and sisters, our connection with them collapses—unless, of course, we also fit that label. It collapses because we take that one person with his or her thoughts, feelings, experiences, life stories, scars, talents, and weaknesses and group them with many, which gives the illusion of a threat—you know, that feeling one gets when walking alone down an alleyway passing a group of "others" who from the outside don't appear to relate. And the reaction is to seek and find a label that fits so as not to be bullied by the other label. And the grand illusion of separateness becomes a reality. Crips and Bloods. Democrats and Republicans. Red and Blue. Gay and Straight. Rather than seeing each other as humans that deserve fairness and equal rights, we view each other as a a label, devoid of human-ness, devoid of spirit, devoid of love. And we accept it. It's easier to buy "meat" in a pretty package in a brightly lit market than to eat a piece of a cow you saw killed in a slaughter house. Connection is always lost in the "other" label. 

Remember Aesop's fable,  The Four Oxen and the Lion? 
A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
Would love to give credit to artist. Please share!

The moral of the story: United we stand, divided we fall.

We cannot be divided individually—there are far too many of us, and boy, how confusing that would be for those who require putting us into categories in order to sell to us (remember, we are no longer considered "citizens" but instead "consumers"). But we can easily be divided into groups, separated, and pitted against each other like dogs in a dog fight, while the minority who we believe to be in power place bets and prosper over our blood, sweat, and tears. Fighting dogs have been trained all their lives to hate each other, yet the ones they should be hating are their abusers and those who put them in the ring to begin with. They are the same, having the same needs—food, water, shelter, and love. And any of those dogs could easily scare the hell out of all the people betting around the ring by bonding and turning against their abusers. But they don't. How are we any different? 

The good news is "they" (those who we perceive to have power) are the minority and WE (the people, all people) are the MAJORITY. Think about it for a minute. Seriously. My little town of 7,558 people outnumbers congress by 7,023! And as far as corporations go, there are only 10 major corporations in America that seemingly control everything we buy. For now. Until we wake up.

Indeed, we may all have differing opinions, beliefs, and goals in life. It's true. But I bet if we looked each other in the eyes, barring all labels, and discussed basic human rights and needs, there is a lot more we, the people, can agree upon, versus disagree. Just like those bloodied dogs in the ring.

We all want jobs. We all want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We all want safe, affordable housing. We all want good health. We all want to love who we want to love how we want to love. We all want community. We all want privacy. We all want food and water. We all want kindness. 

We must awaken to the fact that "they" (the people perceived to be in power) cannot exist without us. Corporate executives and elected officials are in parasitic positions—benefiting only at the expense of our life energy. Yet time and again and on a daily basis we hand over our power to them, then complain and raise our fists in the air citing injustice, when we volunteered to be oppressed by buying that thing, eating that food, complaining only on social networking sites, and keeping our real voices down, and fighting with our neighbors over the labels slapped onto us like we're stuck sitting on the discounted shelves of a Wal-Mart. We scream "they" and at that moment become their victims. 

And back to work we go. 

We're taught to believe in this false paradigm since grade school so it just might take some work to convince us of the fact that we, as the people, have the power. We are the majority. Your neighbor hanging his American flag each morning is not your uptight, conservative enemy; he wants fairness, safety, and love, just as you do. Your neighbor sporting the Tibetan prayer flags and burning incense is not your dirty hippie liberal enemy; she wants fairness, freedom, and community just as you do. The gay couple down the road adopting their first child is not your enemy; they want safety, education, and love for their child, just as you do. The autistic woman walking to the bus stop is not so strange; she wants to make a living and experience kindness, just as you do. 

It's time to take back our power, one penny, one decision, one kind, loving act at a time. Our actions are our votes. We must find the sameness, not the differences, in our neighbors. Stop playing victim and realize the truth: your voice as well as your neighbor's counts and every action we take together is more powerful than any political or corporate agenda could ever be. 


dirtypuppy8 said...

well said!!!! :)

Maripat Robison said...

Bravo! Vive la révolution!

KimAspie said...

Very well said Brandy. Now lets take some action.