I've experienced depression, frustration and anger recently.
That doesn't surprise anyone who knows me or reads my posts. Something is usually irritating me.
In this case, my sources were recent Supreme Court decisions and state legislative activities. It seemed like the decades of efforts to establish civil rights, freedoms and efforts to fashion and maintain a society where everyone is equal, regardless of you know, anything, were being undone. We're people, people, and no one has the right to say that they have the right to deny others the same rights or to limit their rights and freedoms.
I thought it was a simple premise, easy to understand and grasp. Some, though, have issues.
Take Pennsylvania, where they're busy eliminating the voter fraud that doesn't exist. That seems to be a popular approach: create a fake problem and then solve it by taking away others' rights and freedoms. That's usually only the first step in nations and countries where groups are segregated and classes are established. The next step is typically more dehumanizing activity to convince us all that those people whose rights were removed aren't really people and are the cause of all of our problems, followed by some sort of violent cleansing. We'll see what happens next in America, just as we're watching to see what happens next around the world, like Syria and Egypt.
The upcoming 'Fourth of July' salebration ads in America have fueled my fury with these issues. It seems so hypocritical - to me, in my simple, idealistic way - to see us hold Independence Day parades and celebrations in honor of our great victory over that evil British King and his Parliament, and all those other countries that would presume to curtail people's life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness while we're taking rights away.
It's particular galling - to me, in my simple, idealistic way - to see us celebrate our great nation as we increase our emphasis on military spending - to keep us free, you know - while cutting veteran benefits and pay, increasing the funding and technology for our government to spy on its citizens while denuding our education system, letting our infrastructures fall apart, and dismissing the poor and needy as fakers and frauds while bending over backwards to help the rich get richer.
But then I remembered a book on plotting.
The book was written by Damon Knight, a pretty good writer and editor. He noted that a simple straight line - A causes B, resulting in C - as a plot is pretty boring. That complications arise, and these complications add tension by putting the outcome in doubt.
And I read about the many petitions the English used throughout their history to redress greivances with their ruling kings and queens, along with declarations, such as the American Declaration of Independence, which is really just one of many such declarations through human history.
So in this story we're in, not just in America, but around the world, the story is still unfolding. We're enduring some plot twists that throws the outcome into doubt. We'll just need to remember that, like the heroes and heroines of so many novels, we'll need to adhere to our hopes and principles and fight through adversity to achieve our goals of freedom, independence and equality for all.
The End is still to be written.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com