we humans have devised many methods of separating ourselves from each other in this collective society we all share & make together. we sort by gender, skin color & country of origin, social class & income level, political affiliation, church membership, sexual orientation, degree of education, body type & relative attractiveness, age…and on and on it goes.
it seems a fundamental human wish that we be elevated while others are not, although we seldom admit to such baseness. even our religions, which are in theory meant to unite us all together with god, have a nasty habit of predicting who is in need of hell or is granted heaven, nevermind the grace of purgatory or reincarnation. perhaps it’s due in part to our heritage with our animal ancestors; in the wild, certain distinctions are literally the difference between living and dying. sadly, our ‘civilized’ society has mirrored this principle, rather than replaced it with something better. we just won’t outgrow the fight, or the taste for blood. in the end, we believe, someone must reign supreme.
to be fair, it must be acknowledged that we have attempted a few ideologies in this vein of commonality: communism, socialism, democracy, free love, community & church among them. none of these models has ever been totally successful though, and we have largely chosen to believe that these failures mean that everybody making it will not ever be the natural order of things here.
truth is, it won’t be until we make it that way, & we won’t make it that way until we all learn how to love & heal ourselves. we have all been wounded by being alive here; most of us have a tendency to wound in return. call it the reverse golden rule: do unto others what has been done to you. sometimes, thankfully, that is a beautiful thing, but largely it’s a vicious, toothy cycle.
i was raised to trust in a power outside of myself for goodness, and over time, i came to believe that i was actually incapable of making anything ‘good’ happen: ‘thy will be done, mine cannot be trusted.’ how tired god, or the thing from which goodness arises, must be with most of us capitulating to ‘the way things are.’
i think we all seek redemption or elevation of some kind from our shortcomings, our outright failings, our bloodlettings; but in all honesty, we just need to do better than blindly react to whatever befalls us, & we need to quit looking outside of ourselves for that something bigger, quit hoping to be raised above the crowd by someone or something else. the hard work of being ‘good’ truly boils down to accepting & loving ourselves, without permission or majority, & in believing that we possess value & worth enough to share.
shit, after all, does make great fertilizer. so grow on, you beautiful people, you; all of us, together & good.
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