(Deep bow, recognizing the goodness in each of you reading.)
When I first wrote these thoughts down, it was a lament, called "Losing Tribe".
I felt I had to walk away from my tribe and call back, this is what I'm seeing out here, and its not good. Knowing if the message was not properly spoken or understood, I would be lost, cast out by my own kind.
I wanted to write my family a letter. To tell them peace is really important. To have them sign a petition supporting the Peace Constitution of Japan (http://www.change.org/...) if they learned what it was about and supported it.
I know that sounds funny, but its not. I was a coward, I couldn't send it, I would be nuts.
Continued after the orange cloud...
To say nuclear weapons should no longer exist,
because the conditioned response would be they make us "secure".
But if you think about it. It's a man made thing that can destroy the world
Every tribe, everywhere, strange definition of secure.
To say we won a peace, by dropping bombs for maximimum destructive effect
over cities full of kids walking to school, and people going to work.
Does revenge feel good when you understand the perspective
of those under the new sun? We may all yet feel the same heat,
or the following winter cold. Can you imagine never seeing trees again?
Because in my tribe, right now, you will be cast out if you question, why we enforce our will with weapons, coercion, and death.
Because we have honorable warriors from our own clan in the military.
And I love and respect each of them, even though we hold very different views.
But please, never teach my sons to be killers, do not trick them by making a billboard that makes it look glamorous, like its their best career option, even if its a choice you have made for yourself.
Is it ok, to bring fear, not to one or two "targets" but to each person in a sovereign nation who hears that drone go overhead?
To kill a son, for the views of his father, or his future sins? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/...)
Buzzing, they know exactly what it means, and if there is a drone program or not. No fancy words to say we can't say because its secret. The irony when we say it will make us less secure if the public knows.
Today our gift is fear unto everyone else. Us against the world. And now that fear is with us too, here on our land. Have we transgressed the weapon in the sky or the operator at his video game controls in the Nevada air conditioning? Does it matter? They gods of this new religion are checking in just in case. Welcome to our new legal system.
But my tribe says no, peace is not important. In fact peace is far down on the list of how to settle disputes.
I watch our country act like a bully. Call it capitalism, call it exceptionalism, call it "might is right".
Corporations are now people, only really, really, really big ones, and they get what they want. They like money more than people.
In fact, these new people have decided that you have to remove or reeducate many people sometimes to make that money. No worries. We can change some hearts and minds with shock and awe. We have a division that does military hardware, we are making money before, during, and after this little escapade.
And there are ways to buy not only our representation, but to pen the laws that widen he chasm of dispossession between the haves and have nots.
I see racism, run unchecked, and festering across generations. Can we stop that, please?
Make your adversary un human, degrade him. Call him hateful names, it makes it easier to justify the killing. And the killing is such a great lesson to the family of the slain in another tribe. Is it ever forgotten?
I would name the groups we have vilified, but the words would fill up the this page, and every corner of the world, and bring familiar recognition and pain to all.
I see incarceration, and punishment, and debasement of great swaths of people, their humanity destroyed, their skin color mostly different from mine. (http://www.ted.com/...)
People caged in a cell without any input 23 hours a day. Has the judge ever tried to experience that before sentencing?
When did it become okay to kill someone piece by piece by taking away all sensation. Their humanity, the cost of their crime. Was it ever ok to kill someone for punishment in a so called modern society? Can I answer? No.
Yet Georgia, the state where I live, was scheduled to execute a mentally disadvantaged individual, at 7 pm tonight. (http://onlineathens.com/...)
Its no longer rehabilitation. Its part of the contract for the profit of a corporation.
They will build and run a prison if law enforcement can keep it ninety eight percent full, law enforcement then goes to meet that quota. Justice and liberty for all, except you, unfortunate soul.
I really hope my sons never go there, or anyone I know, or anyone.
Well maybe in these reopened wounds, we apply the necessary medicine of remonstration. As citizens, petitioning our leaders, plainly and unequivocally, this is not right.
To study each injustice in turn, name it, call it out loud. And learn, be objective, discerning, unbrainwashed. Decide for yourself, don't take what is spoon fed.
Because each injustice points in two directions.
One is north, the other south, but still part of a whole.
It's not winner and loser, or even perpetrator and victim.
It's this direction, more of the same, or that of radical change.
One shows a direction of degradation.
The other, the direct opposite, compassion and redemption.
The way we spread democracy, is not democratic.
It's militaristic, we own you because we can kill you.
And there is nothing you can do about it except submit.
Then our companies will come in and take all your resources.
And will put the kids in a sweatshop, so some excessively rich dude
can have more shit to add to his already big pile of shit.
And he can pay less for it at the big box store.
And the attorneys will make it all legal.
And the media will report just how great we still are.
The body count says we're still winning.
We make up reason for wars, for opportunities for our suitors in big business. And to salve our nagging conscience, that really wants to believe we have not turned into the monster we are getting a glimpse of now.
But I'm so far out of the established mainstream. An outsider, unable to reconcile what he sees with how he and his family are in relationship to the world.
Issuing a challenge, things are off track. Getting worse quick. We need to fix this if we can, if its not too far gone.
It's time to understand why, break it down. Know where it comes from, and where this course leads. Is that where we want to be?
Because we are most definitely being led down a path.
If it is not the right way, let us follow the wise. Rest, reach understanding by giving everyone the chance to be heard. Then, with careful footsteps, proceed in the direction that is honorable to each and everyone, without fail.
But what if, the lament somehow turned into a gift instead?
In indigenous cultures when you visit another place there are protocols. (http://briarpatchmagazine.com/...)
You learn their customs before you visit.
You bring respect by offering gifts.
You recognize you are standing in their nation.
And all present are brothers sharing another sphere.
Today, you and I stand on this earth.
This is true of every place and every person.
All of us share the sun, feel its warm, life-giving heat.
Each of us knows the feeling of wind on our face.
Life-nurturing water, food that both nourishes and makes us happy.
We all know a genuine smile when we are looking at someone.
Bringing connection, a smile in return.
Every person was born from a mother.
We all love our relations, we are loved in turn,
in a circle that remains unbroken, even when we disagree or
are separated by miles or ideas.
Pain is so personal, but we all know what it feels like in the same way.
Each person knows grief, sorrow, death, and the joyful squeals of new life.
We all will die, one day.
There is a very good chance it may be on the same day,
because today we still have the atomic means.
The weapon named " security" .
Let me be clear, let us renounce militarism as a means of settling dispute.
Interactions with other nations should be based on mutual standing and deep respect.
Lets explore fifty options of diplomacy before we let loose an arrow aimed at the heart of another.
And if there is a child in bed hungry, cold, shivering from want, we should fix that if we can. Seen from their eyes, the whole world is shaking. It is.
Land of the free, home of the brave?
Those glaring insults aside...
This person, in this tribe, wants the eagle back.
Not pinned to the front of a flag.
But to fly in the sky untethered.
Over a land where honor is given to each person in turn.
Each nation, each tribe, each relation, without fail.
I love my tribe, no matter how far away or misunderstood I am. I will risk the rejection, because these plain-spoken truths are so important. They are my gift to you all, given out of respect and love.
(deep bow, honoring each and all, and their relations, and tribes)