Jul 4, 2007

Fourth of July

by MaryW

Today is the Fourth of July; America's birthday. Putting aside for now my personal feelings regarding the arrogance and brutality surrounding the birth of this nation, tonight might be an appropriate time to recall Tom's thoughts as expressed in a Seattle Weekly interview in 2003:

Quite probably the worst thing about the inevitable and totally unjustifiable war with Iraq is that there's no chance the U.S. might lose it. America is a young country, and intellectually, emotionally, and physically, it has been exhibiting all the characteristics of an adolescent bully, a pubescent punk who's too big for his britches and too strong for his age. Someday, perhaps, we may grow out of our mindless, pimple-faced arrogance, but in the meantime, it might do us a ton of good to have our butts kicked. Unfortunately, like most of the targets we pick on, Iraq is much too weak to give us the thrashing our continuously overbearing behavior deserves, while Saddam is even less deserving of victory than Bush.
~ Seattle Weekly, March 5, 2003 ~

What's to be done with this violent child? Fratboy counselors advise that violent behavior stems from low self esteem; but could it be that our own bully boy suffers from too much self esteem?

How to deal with this bully that is us? True, it might do us good to get our butts kicked, teach us a lesson...but isn't there another way? A time-out?

What if...what if each of us in this country assumed parental responsibilties for our out of control child. What if... all of us together took a clue from Mr. Robbins--neutralized hatred with love, tears with laughter, violence with play, brutality with gentleness, theivery with generousity, horror with joy. What if...we taught this child that is us--to write an epic poem, one that would take a hundred years (or two) to set down in rhyme; that the power of idyllic metaphor is so vivid it can become our reality. What if... we sat this unruly child down in a roomful of fingerpaints and let him paint his way out of the corner, taught him to share his milk and cookies and play niclely with others.

Tom said in another interview (can't remember the cite just now) that "there are some things worth fighting for, few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for." Good to remember and a vital lesson to teach our children.

Especially the bullies.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July. Celebrate your independance--nonconform freely.