A Proposed Gestation for Self-Preservation

Yeah, so the title is the only part that rhymes. This one gets deep. I apologize if this causes offense. But ideas like this are my motivation for a lot of what I do. In the end, it’s about love.

I love you. Your pain hurts me. The rules I put into place cause you to feel an eternity of pain if you don’t subscribe to the right idea of me. You will burn continuously in spite the fact that you were taught from a young age that your idea of me is right. I am perfect, infallible, and all-knowing. But you must save yourself from this eternity of pain. I tell you to love each other, all the while causing a large portion of you to be tortured because your beliefs are not accurate. But this punishment is not behavior modification. I do not hope to change your behavior by causing you to feel this pain. I intend for you to feel pain for eternity as a result of your ideas during your short life on Earth. No changing of your heart will relieve you of this pain. You were inaccurate in your understanding of me and will be punished forever, with no hope of release.

…Do we really want to believe this? We aren’t talking about good versus evil here. We are talking about understanding of God. Still, I hear on occasion that the only way to avoid “Hell” is to accept Jesus. Come on people. Does this even make sense from a completely unwavering perspective?

And what of “evil” acts among humans? We are taught to believe that belief in the correct idea of God is not enough to deliver us from an eternity of pain. We must also be good people. This thought that God will punish those who hurt us is comforting to some of us. This idea gives us solace when it comes to dealing with those would seem to engage in uncompassionate or rapacious behavior. This belief encourages us to hold on to hurt caused by others, to not forgive, understanding that they will be punished for their actions. We feel a sense of justice in the thought that “evil” people will be punished for all of eternity. Revenge may work as a powerful motivator. But this attitude is detrimental to our species. We will not coexist peacefully until we break these competitive and judgmental shackles which paint a higher power as one of bias and condemnation.

If God is a god of love, our different perspectives of the world and of him/her/it are not reason for punishment or reward. They are simply products of his/her/it’s beautiful creation and should be celebrated, not condemned.

Bigotry and Humor

I have relatives who have expressed views some may view as bigoted. One relative in particular has made habit of relaying to me several times her perspectives on homosexuality and Hispanic immigrants. As a result, I have joked about bringing home an Hispanic homosexual friend. Although such an act may produce an effect not dissimilar to dumping gasoline on a fire, my original motivation for the formation of this idea was not the purpose of humor. I understand how these relatives may feel comfortable viewing homosexual and Hispanic individuals in the way they do as a result of their lack of interaction with people who fit into these demographic labels. But familiarity with any individual would seem to work as means to empathy. When a one-dimensional idea of a person is replaced with a more accurate humanization of the individual, blind judgement becomes a much more difficult task.

I was recently corrected for joking with an Hispanic homosexual friend about the potential for him to meet my family. I was told that kind of joke made people uncomfortable as a result of the sensitive nature of the issues. This correction was puzzling to me. I wasn’t belittling my friend. I was only mocking the perspective that said to belong to one of these demographic groups made someone a bad person. Moreover, I was owning the perspective, implying that I loved these people in spite of the potential for their seemingly flawed perspective of my friend. This made the joke more a form of self-deprecation than anything else. Intolerance is a product of ignorance. Pretending it doesn’t exist only enables it to continue. Joking about it, renders intolerance impotent. Joking about it says, “In this space, these perspectives have no power”.

It is more difficult to win minds with a fist than it is with a hand. A fist says “You will”. A hand asks “Will you?”. We cannot convert intolerance by regulating it or declaring the perspectives we associate with intolerance to be wrong. We can only attempt to persuade those who hold intolerant perspectives to open their hearts to the possibility that such a simplified view of the world is inaccurate.

My Leg’s Asleep

Dangling from lamp posts
Bitter taste of your ghost
Blue light in a cold room
We might be going home soon
And the echoes of still life
The absence of a wife
No caffeine or chlorine
Just the smell of morphine
In here we can fly
But the clouds are too high
Because we are bound
By our love of the ground
And we taste something sweet
When the ground leaves our feet
But the remnants of you
Are not nearly as true
So I grab at the dust
Of something more than lust
But the aftertaste
Surely goes to waste
And the feeling lingers
As it slips through my fingers
But we can be sure
It’s not something more
No caffeine or chlorine
Just the smell of morphine
And that tingling buzz whispers
“Asleep, not numb”

Long, Jagged Stream of Thought

Here is a long, jagged stream of thought
Some parts are meant to rhyme… others are not

No shirt
No shoes
We step over you
Gold trim
White Cadillac
But we have to take care of us
No shirt
No shoes
No… pulse
But who would get close enough to tell
Besides, he smells
And is probably sick
And she bleeds from within
Her sin
So she’ll scream as the flies drop off
Buzz around so eager to save
But only if we learn to behave
Like bees, busy making honey that will never be tasted
Snatching nectar from the highest urban gardens
And the insects look perplexed as the jungle they visit rages in chaos
Ids screaming “Feed me!”
While we well-off ask “Need we?”
And we point to the sign: “No shirt, No shoes, No service”
Ready to explode when we know a bomb could level the ground
One sound
And it’s all around
Love, electricity
Conservation of energy
Some Cadillac here
Some suffering there
And we wake to the reality that possession of matter is temporary, that suffering is unnecessary, that pain is the product of fear, and that love can still the raging jungle