Sunflowers, Hummingbirds, and Change …

Good Morning To All!

This post stands as an interlude, interrupting – at least for today – the pattern emerging in what I’ve so far posted. Consider this post a comma in a very long sentence! (Or a lengthy parenthetical intrusion!)

Perhaps I am over-committed to “social change”. Am I truly so dissatisfied? No – not really. I perceive each and every living, breathing, aspect of this earthly experience as sacred in some sense. Even our “human doings” have this quality for me – when I shift to ‘overview’. Land, water, plant, critter, ourselves – I know these to carry beauty, grace, transcendent essence.

So why (you might, and I do, ask) does it seem so important to review, and write, and post, on “flaws” or “shortcomings” presently observed? Why an underlying theme calling on us human folk to “wake up”?

Ever somewhat attuned to individual psychology, ever attuned to underlying motivations of human choice, ever attuned to how individual and group perspective run a feed-back loop — I am also ever attuned to dynamics at play. My mindfulness creates “panoramic comprehension” of what emerges from human doings. Comprehension of how we lead ourselves to where we end up

I witness what to me is unnecessary suffering as a result of the feedback loops, the dynamics. I believe none of us deeply wishes this to be the case. I believe nevertheless, both individually and in groups, there is a strong ‘feedback loop’, a perspective, to accept suffering as inevitable. Not inevitable personal suffering in a day or set of time in an individual life – I do not deny “misfortune” as an experience for any human.

But I deny misery as un’fixable’ when it is created by human paradigm – paradigm can be shifted. There is unlikely perfect, enduring, remedy to earthly suffering, but there is suffering that can be addressed. And it certainly cannot be addressed unless/until there is intention that unnecessary burden be lifted. First: individual realization, second: individual confidence in human capacity to alleviating suffering, third: individual shift in relationship to existing group perspectives that ignore a call to respond to suffering.

I regret to toss in this observation, but we seem far from belief that much suffering is unnecessary. We seem distant from acknowledging much suffering results from lack of realization, lack of confidence, lack of intention on the part of collections of individuals. We seem (generally, as a world of social beings) strongly oriented to support status quo if we are relatively comfortable, Even on grounds of pure curiosity, we seem not to ask about dynamics that create suffering.

Those not relatively comfortable seem discouraged. We lack confidence, believe “humanity can never change”. We may resolve to seek what comfort we can, whatever our circumstances, no matter how constant the effort required.

Yesterday’s news gave us information of a significant group mobilized to “take back our country”. In terms of “citizen participation” I agree with them wholeheartedly. I share some of their concerns.

But I am also struck at news coverage which said these folks equate “health insurance reform” with “bailing out Big Corporate CEO’s”. Even in this I share some of their views. But I have one lingering, persistent, view (if reports are accurate) that is very, very, different. I did not hear report of the question: “How would changes help a fellow citizen I do not know, a fellow citizen, for example, who is impoverished, who has no health insurance, (or is underinsured, or has gone bankrupt)?” I did not hear reports of “I am here on behalf of myself, those close to me, and also unnamed citizens who have not time, money, or health to be here themselves.”

I observe aspects of this protest are similar “in paradigm’ to protests expressed at other times, from other groups. Emergent calls to “empowerment” often begin with a group distinctly identifying themselves from the larger population. “Suffering, disenfranchisement, oppression” outside the group is at first irrelevant.

I have studied emergence to empowerment in groups previously without power. It has seemed to me such groups initially operate from awakened anger about their situation. Excessive blame statements are often made; there may be a call for heads to roll. As they begin to gain actual civil power, they begin to perceive a larger picture. They begin to realize their ‘distinct group’ situation is not so ‘distinct’ after all in the human experience. They begin to realize their human needs are thoroughly entangled with those of other groups and other individuals.

I can point this development pattern out to myself. I can reassure myself yesterday’s show of anger is early development in a disenfranchised group “calling for fair and just power”, as I have witnessed before.

Right now, it does not ‘feel’ the same kind of emergence. Right now, it ‘feels’ like voices from a portion of the population that has only very recently “lost something”. Group patterns (to claim absent power) I describe above have, to my observation, come from segments of the population disenfranchised for many generations, perhaps from the beginning of our particular American way. Multi-generational disenfranchised experience provides deep historical experience, both to individual and to group. Voices, when raised to remedy hundreds of years of disenfranchisement, come from – it is my observation – a deeper understanding. They carry deeper potential to eventually acknowledge suffering of others outside their ‘group’.

My efforts to “spin” reassurance for myself on an emerging “citizen voice calling for their country back”, are not effective. I wonder about potential for backlash to the backlash. I wonder about a momentum toward cultural chaos. I wonder if we can ‘catch ourselves’ before we create even more suffering and misery than is already present in so many lives.

I wonder how to get off my own track of repeated themes of the value, even the need, to realize that even though “power” may need to be re-balanced (I certainly agree it does!), it cannot ultimately succeed if it does not have intention to uplift the lives of all. A call to power cannot succeed in “today’s world”, if it does not include intention to acknowledge one another’s human condition not only nationally but globally.

How we got to where we are, nationally and globally, is better known when questions are directed at exploring all possible answers. It is valuable to understand individual psychology, group behaviors, feed-back loops, paradigms, and ancient teachings that remind of The Golden Rule in various statements.

For today, following this post, I resolve to give myself a day of special notice of sunflowers, hummingbirds, sky, earth, and all that is perpetual.

For today, following this post, I will drop concern with whether we humans will, in the end, find desire and will to coach, teach, and lead ourselves out of our present morass.

It seems so “simple” to do so! As easy as drawing an imaginary circle on the floor – and stepping into that space, an ever-available awareness, that lets us know we already possess power to practice and experience care of one another: in interpersonal relationships (the individual), in social policy (group), in equitable resource access (our economic ways.)

So Simple ! – MaggieAnn

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About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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