Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Downfall

There is never peace.
Whether it be your personal life, social life, or political life... there's an ongoing war. Just when you stop and say, "This is the answer. The solution to this set of problems. Nothing can go wrong." that's when another rocket goes off. You find yourself being pointed at and yelled at and blamed, whether you were the perpetrator or the victim. Oftentimes, we are both.

We live our everyday lives thinking we have things planned out, that the love you take is equal to the love you make.... We have our friends and family and this life that, just, works! That's such a great feeling. Yet, even when things are going so swimmingly, we find our problems. We have this innate urge to find trouble. If challenges were heat-seeking missiles, most of us would light ourselves on fire.

This is not a bad trait or an abnormal one, simply the nature of being alive. Relationships, work, school, travel... whatever your path, there will be, there must be, and there always will be conflict. Sometimes internal, and other times, external. The world can seem to be against your happiness and comfort. Then there are times when everything and its mama is going your way! 'Tis the nature of the beast. The beast is the heartbeat. The beast is the blood flow.

When I travel, I look to find how different cultures fight back and cope, and how they hurt. I think there are three universal answers to any crisis: religion, rebellion, and retaliation.

Religion can be a terrible response. When you live amongst murder and hatred and pain, religion can be a great excuse to pull out a weapon and say, "This is what I was told to do by God/Mohammed/angels!" It can be a cathartic solution to some.  Sickening as that may be, this is how some groups/individuals find their peace. That is not to say, on the other hand, that religion has no healing powers. I don't believe it works in a metaphysical way, but a very natural and, even, scientific way. It can soothe masses of people with its focus on inner-peace and mantras. Gospel and hymns can be very positive influences on the body and mind. Heck, you can go into a large, beautiful room and speak of everything that is pressing you at the moment. Whether it be sins or challenges, those doors welcome you and allow you to release. Bullets from the mouth to the sturdy walls, instead of steel bullets to the chest.

Rebellion is a risky choice, as well. Rebellion is absolutely necessary. It is how the world continues to thrive. It's how cultures and civilizations and any possible system you can think of in history made it... or didn't. Rebellion in most societies is what set the people free from fascism, dictatorship, injustice, and lack of general righteousness. Methods vary, however. Protests, rallies, demos, parties, lectures, sit-downs, stand-ups, starvation, screaming, silence, bombing, hugging... endless options are available for those who wish to send a message. The simplest form of expressing dissent is found everywhere: graffiti.

Graffiti is illegal in most places, of course, so what finer way to express frustrations and qualms with "the man"? Realistically, most of these vandals aren't in the game to be heroes or change the world. They just want their name "Homieslize bizznezz" on some wall. This is their claim to fame, their art for the purpose of posterity.
Then you have the artists who use their art and words to inspire youth and every onlooker who may eye the work. Words like "Eat the Rich" and "Revolt" are found in every country across the world.
I find it incredible how methods and messages such as these can reach the entire world, yet we still all see ourselves as so different from one another.

Retaliation kind of sums up both these options, as well as every other response. It is the most brutal option and has the most victims. We are all swayed by the beautiful model of what's "fair", what's justice, what's "getting even". Revenge! The code of Hammurabi was one of the earliest displays of this. Law #196. "If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of silver. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price."

Those who have been wronged salivate for revenge. But who or what is the true moral compass? Does anyone have the purity to say others deserve punishment? It seems easiest to cast stones upon others when we ourselves know we are deserving of them ourselves.
I may not have been caught committing my sin, but it is almost certain I have committed, at very least, one act of poor judgment, myself.
This topic gets into an entirely different philosophical conundrum, however. Involving the legal system and what have you.... All that aside, retaliation is probably the oldest form of catharsis, along with other emotional divulgences.

On a personal note, what this is all relates to in my own life is how I've seen my own obstacles turn from hurt into one (or more) of the three Rs. Recently, I came to a high point in my life. Details aside, things were happening for me that I did not think possible. Good things. Great things! I had an inkling it would not last forever - that was when, only a couple months later, all that was good began to dissolve. I'm not going to claim it was an utter travesty and my soul will never recover, but things began to roll downhill at an unexpectedly quick pace.
As far as I know, that's done. The boulder has hit a ledge and is resting for now. My reaction is still heating up, though. I don't see religion coming into play here. I won't assume karma will take care of things, nor will any force make everything all better again. I can't rely on that. Rebellion? I suppose I could fight my case and reveal the truth and hurt everyone involved. It won't fix anything, but it might give me a sense of accomplishing something. Of standing up for myself... maybe? Or, I could retaliate.

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