I'm going in for surgery in the morning, so I'll be out of commission for a few days, maybe longer. It's not life-threatening, or at least no more so than usual for major surgery, but when you go under the anesthesia so that the surgeon can have at you, you can't be certain that you'll be coming back. Shit happens. 200,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors and infections. The rate has doubled in the past decade.
So this is not goodbye, this is just some stuff I've been meaning to tell you and wanted to make sure I did tell you at some point. Though I may also be repeating myself to some extent. Forgive me if that's so.
I have received something very precious from many of you, in different ways and to varying degrees. It's not validation, or acceptance, or friendship, or camaraderie, or empathy, or commiseration, or compassion, or understanding, or community, or love - but some combination of these things, some mysterious, wondrous something that combines to become as precious as air, as refreshing and sustaining as water and with all the warmth and heat of fire. I'm not saying that you all love me or that I love all of you, but there's plenty of love going around and I just wanted to celebrate that because I do admire it. It's what the world needs now.
There's a lot that goes on here at daily kos: serious debate, education, advocacy, art, social and political activism, various sorts of organizing, breaking news reportage, in-depth new journalism, scholarly analysis, political wonkery and every other form of blogging known to humankind. It has evolved into an entity of its own, an online community, a relatively new and very interesting thing. It may be how we end up replacing much of what we've lost in that regard. If it's allowed to flourish, I think this may be the future of community. The day may come when people self-identify primarily based on the online neighborhood in which they dwell. Maybe we're already there. I feel that way sometimes. This place has been that important to me.
This meeting of the minds made possible by the Internet is a very significant thing – the immediacy of it, the democratic nature of it, the range of it – its impact is only beginning to manifest. It is at least a new way forward and a new way for people to connect across cultural and national boundaries. In my more optimistic moments I think it may be key to how we manage to save ourselves - but not if we keep ratcheting up the hate. I don't believe that we will be successful in saving us from ourselves without a whole lot of love.
"The covenant of love is such that it recognizes both the fragility and the sanctity of the individual. It recognizes itself in the other. It alone can save us.''If I seem to be getting all lovey-dovey it's not only that I'm about to go under anesthesia, to who knows what end, but because love is actually the answer – and I don't mean that as poetic truth – I mean it as truth. A surprising truth perhaps, but truth nonetheless. Love is the closest thing we have to magic. It has a power unrivaled among the humans.
“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.”I know that the following points are arguable, but it is my view that if we care for the poor and needy, it is out of love. If we believe that prisons should be humane and prisoners should not be tortured, if we believe in equality and human rights, if our hearts go out to the poor and dispossessed, the oppressed and the mistreated, it is out of love. Love is that mysterious something from which all good things flow. It starts with the love you have for your family and your self, and proceeds from there. And it is my view that we are all essentially one and that love is the only appropriate response to the humanity and vulnerability of others. That's a hard road to walk sometimes, but it's important.
Teilhard de Chardin
“Compassion is the new radicalism.”We must come together and behave as a family if we are going to survive as a species. If we continue to piss away our treasure on bogus wars while fussing and fighting and screwing each other over in an idiotic and childish game of king-of-the-hill, we are going to fail the existential challenges roaring down the pike at us as we speak. There is no way around that set of objective facts. It's do or die. It's go time for the human race. From climate change to population and resource management, we've got our hands full under the best of circumstances. We not only should love one another, we must...and we must act like it and be guided by it. If we don't act boldly out of hearts filled with love, we're as good as done.
The Dalai Lama
And if we do act boldly out of hearts filled with love, we will stop the war machine and focus on going all out in taking better care of each other and our planet through the coming hardships. It's going to take a lot of love – and fewer distractions.
The Buddha was right, Jesus was right, John Lennon was right, the Berrigan Brothers were right, Phil Ochs was right, the hippies were right, Dr. King was right, the Dalai Lama is right, Chris Hedges is right – love is the answer. We face an unimaginable future without it.
"At the risk of sounding ridiculous... let me say that a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love."So spread the love, boys and girls.
Dr. Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Thanks for everything Daily Kos. I hope to see you all again soon.
Note: Just so no one dies of curiosity, the condition I have is diverticulosis and the operation I'm having is called a bowel resection.P.S. I am fully insured and fortunate enough to be able to borrow enough money to make up for the fact that I am fully insured.
Part of my plumbing is bad and has to come out...and, wouldn't you know, my warranty just expired. :-)