Linda Steiner, Social Consciousness, April 21, 2013
In the last few weeks we have, once again, been presented with various examples of the vulgar and violent abuses we perpetrate against one another. From the Boston bombings to the cyber-promotion of violence against women – we continue to lament over our convictions that a peaceful and loving end is nowhere in sight. We respond to these events with anger, sadness, hopelessness and fear – and perhaps worst of all – we respond with apathy toward a world gone awry. Our overwhelming sense of helplessness only compounds the struggle, culminating in a collective sigh over our burdens to bear.
While I could write volumes on why men abuse women and then proudly boast about their perceived “conquests” – what good would it really do? Would it really help to espouse, once again, that we are a society that sanctions and glorifies violence, power, domination and greed? And what would it accomplish, to once again point out that males who abuse females are not so much psychopathic individual personalities as successful bi-products of a psychopathic social structure that teaches and rewards males who conform to social expectations of brutality?
Are we finally prepared to acknowledge the symbiotic link between war, football, hunting, industrial farming, inhumane business practices, violent video-game/movie/television content and the tragic outcomes we encounter or learn about on the nightly news? I’ve honestly become resolved to the fact that we’re simply not making the link between what we mindlessly engage in and accept and the daily tragedies that we continue to face.
While watching the news last week, we listened to the “experts” question whether the Boston act of terrorism was “domestic” or “foreign”. And again I ask…what’s the difference? Is the act any less heinous if committed by an American vs. foreign-born individual or group? We still haven’t realized the full measure of how our preoccupation with these inconsequential subtleties reflect our immaturity as a global population and fuel the very conflicts we so desperately oppose.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But we still haven’t internalized the gravity of this realization. We are still very much immersed in the “us” vs. “them” mindset. As long as we remain resolved to conceptualize the world in this way – we’ll be hindered in our progress as a human community. Just like the convict dragging around a ball and chain, we’ll remain shackled to the false premise of duality.
So once again – for what it’s worth – we are not separate and wayward travelers – adrift in space – alone and abandoned. We are ONE. The thoughts, feelings and actions of one are inextricably connected to the thoughts, feelings and actions of all. We must stop focusing on the minutia of specific and singular events and broaden our perspectives so that the BIG picture can come clearly into view.
We must reflect – deeply – about our interconnectedness and stop dwelling in the realm of individual conflict and the assignment of blame. We must realize that we each of us bear the responsibility to mindfully contribute the full measure of our potential in every moment of every day – in every situation and with every person, animal, plant, and rock we encounter.
Due to no fault of our own, we’ve forgotten who we really are. Having spent generation upon generation living under the socially program-induced paradigm of struggle, violence, hatred and fear – we have lost our identities and the power of our social consciousness has become disenfranchised. And while I would argue that none of us came out of the womb aspiring to the lowest order of human potential – our orientation and induction into the mentality of victimization has obscured our ability to envision a different and more loving existence.
Unity is not merely a “concept”. Unity is a verb – denoting action. To unify is to bring together – to meld into a cohesive whole. Unity cannot, by definition, be accomplished in segments. Like a circle, it must be continuous – without beginning or end – without angles or diametrically opposed points.
If you’ve grown weary of the violence, abuse and fear scenario – then change your perspective to one of peace, love, equity and joy. Changing your “outlook” will result in your change in behavior and the choices you make. These changes will trigger a domino-effect of social transformation that will catch like wild-fire until the whole of the global population has been ignited with the energy of Oneness. In short – to change your mind is to change the world.