Hopes fails, dreams shatter. Sadness emerges, and, with it, fear. Concern for one’s own future sharpens, fear blossoming into anger. And then anger mutates into self-righteous indignation at anything perceived to be the root cause of one’s problems. Even if the people or choices targeted actually have nothing to do with one’s problems, they become the focus of one’s hatred.
Within the morally vacuous, cacophonous self-pity factories that social media sites and other internet message boards often are, one’s indignation grows while at the same time, however, the size and origin of one’s problems stay the same. Soon, anger spills over into aggression, hot and sour words hurled unnecessarily at others in one’s web of contacts. The hurt doesn’t go away, prompting one to pile on the grief in an effort to smother it. Still, it lingers, now a sucking and festering wound wrapped tightly around the once-soothing tendrils of ever-loving heartspace.
Gradually, one’s web of social contacts shrinks, its individual strands broken, severed, neglected. More and more isolated does one then become, so isolated and lonely in fact that fear and anger appear more and more real. Suddenly, it’s all one can seem to think about, how stupid and foolish and misguided everyone else is, how simple the solutions to this nation’s and this city’s and this block’s problems are. ‘If only people would just listen to me,’ one thinks, an angry, lonely voice screaming into the yawning void. Pitiable, the soul struggling to withstand twin onslaughts of negativity and self-loathing, the world suddenly an evil and unwelcoming place, the last strands give out.
Yet there within the charred and blackened ruins of one’s real and online lives glimmer, diamond-like, the compressed jewels of love, hope, and compassion. And rebirth beckons.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
He opened his eyes to find three paths branching out before him.
To the left was a straight and easy path that culminated in a state of benevolent non-being.
In the center ran more a difficult way that promised however much earthly fortune.
On the right, strewn with rocks and pitfalls, ran a road of anger, grasping, loathing, and pain, plunging suddenly into a gorge of eternal suffering.
The correct choice was clear to him, yet he preferred to take the side-routes.
americanifesto / JPR / whorphan / 場黑麥
During my yoga teacher training, I discovered that I have powerful skills of empathy. When persons choose to direct their feelings and emotions at me, in my current condition I receive that power mostly intact and largely unfiltered. If others direct love at me I am learning to let it buoy my heart; if they thank me I am trying to wallow in gratitude for as long as I am able to; but if it is anger or disgust or discontentment that they feel toward me my heart grows cold, rage builds in my chest, and I become deeply irate. At some point in my life I learned that sponging anger in this way makes me feel powerful, that it is proper to answer like with like, hatred with hatred. My fellow Americans exhibit this type of behavior frequently, and over the years I have been wont to retreat into it much as my compatriots do. As however I study the ancient truths and leave behind the clouded and the confused path for that of the warrior I am beginning to understand that anger and hatred frighten Spirit and that our connection to the Divine is severed if instead of compassion and grace we cultivate in our hearts loathing, coldness, and fear. My path is for me alone to walk and I am not saying that other people are acting incorrectly, only that they seem to have abandoned action for reaction, consciousness for unconsciousness, beauty for ugliness, and that it shall take a lot of effort on the part of each individual, individually, for our the soul of our nation to become bright, once more. The greatest journeys of the world start with just one person stepping forward, and so I lift my foot. Mahalo.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
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I bicycle, write, surf, and strive.