I’m not sure I can put this into words, the emotions are quite intense. Yes, I grieve for the Israelis who were tortured and murdered, at times entire families exterminated all together, screaming, begging, asking of the butchers why, what do you hope to gain. Why are you doing this? And only to be answered with continued demonic butchery. Even more heinous than what the Nazis did during the War. These Hamas monsters cut off the breasts of women still alive, cut off fingers and feet of live children, and shot and murdered daughters clinging onto their fathers, then kidnapped the fathers away to who knows what fate. I grieve. I boil with anger and rage. And now reports from this country, America, of mobs literally celebrating what Hamas did, celebrating the killing of Jews. Celebrating the tearing open of a Jewish mother’s womb, killing the baby then killing the mother in front of her family. I grieve. I boil with anger and rage. As JFK once announced, standing at a wall that divided freedom from tyranny, I am a Berliner, I announce, I am an Israeli. I am a Jew. I am a Muslim. I am homeless. Yet I stand against Hamas and all who profess allegiance to their cause, pretending they are anti-Israel and not anti-semitic. I stand too against the Palestinians who elected them and keep them in power, giving tacit, and possibly not so tacit, approval of their reign of terror.
Let’s not fool ourselves though: Hatred of Jews has existed for well over 2,000 years, and is still alive and thriving today…throughout the world. Why? God knows, but even God scratches his/her/their head and wonders why. Myth. Misinformation. Mythology. Meme. Conspiracy theories that started a thousand years ago and still extant, spewed forth generation after generation. The hatred, therefore, runs deep, often oozing to the surface like puss from a ancient wound. Like now. Like Hamas. Like anti-Jewish protesters in the streets of America.
The Buddha taught some 2500 years ago that human beings were plagued by three basic foibles: Greed, Hatred, and Delusion. I have looked deeply within at my own tendencies to fall into these mental traps–traps sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, sometimes denied, sometimes inflamed, almost always repressed. It takes lots of internal reflection to chase these ghosts from within, hold them up the light, see them for what they are and let them go. A lot of hard work. Therapy. Meditation. Prayer. They are embedded in our psyches and, like pine tar, get sticky and near impossible to let go of.
Jews, like canaries in long ago coal mines, are an indicator species. So are the mentally and physically disabled. So are the addicts. So are the homeless. So are ex-cons. So are women. So are children. So are those sexually different from the norm. So are Muslim Americans. So are Hispanic Americans. So are African Americans. So are Native Americans. So are weight-challenged people. All indicator species. Why? Because how we treat them, how we regard them, how we think about them when we first see them is an indicator of the consciousness, the compassion, the tolerance, the empathy, are the indicators of the very humanity of a society.
What is your level of consciousness? What is your level of empathy? What is your of level tolerance and compassion for those around you who are different in color, in ability, in gender, in sexual orientation, in station in life?
President Kennedy, an American, called himself a Berliner and sent a powerful message to those imprisoned behind the Berlin Wall of that time. Can you do the same for those in our society who are different from the norm on the surface, but people who are, essentially, the same as you inside? And what of the Golden Rule? Can you apply it routinely everyday, all day. Are you teaching it to your children and grandchildren? Do you still even know what the Golden Rule is?
Just in case, let me end with my simplified version: To treat and regard others as you would like to be treated and regarded. Others, of course, include all sentient beings, which pretty much includes all who live and breathe on our planet and beyond.
Take good care of yourself…and others. Protect democracy. The alternative is literally hell on Earth…as we have seen from history.
I will be taking time now for reflection, contemplation, grieving, and Buddhist dhutanga practice. It will be my last post for a time. Maybe forever. We’ll see. After all, I get one person who consistently shares my posts, which I deeply appreciate. No one ever “likes” my posts, nor does anyone leave comments. And of course, no one has offered a paid subscription. So without that encouragement, that overt appreciation, I’m, as Bob Dylan put it “…burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail, Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail,
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn.
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
Yep, I’m needin’ shelter from the storm, and right now, this blog ain’t givin’ it to me. Good luck to ya, take good care, and see ya’ll later. My books will still appear online, and my songs will be available on many streaming platforms. And eventually I’ll put all these posts over the last few years into a book…when my wife lets me!
And I’ll also continue golf360.substack.com. Playing and writing about golf is a great form of enjoyment which encourages the practice of Zen Mind, Beginner Mind as I, a five year cancer/heart failure survivor, approach my 78th birthday on Halloween.