How much of how we feel about our fellow man has been dictated by the prejudice of others? Resentments from the sins and sorrows of those who have come before us remain, festering and growing in their absence. We feed them, we nurture them and we pass them on to the next generation without wondering why.
We copy and paste them into our own psyche, we adopt them without question. Sheep following an unseen shepherd to the slaughter. I too often hear people trying to justify and defend their attitudes and opinions with false arguments and phony indignation. The thoughts they think are not their own, merely recycled resentments inherited from family, friends and foes of people they may have never known.
If we stopped to think for ourselves, would we see their experiences are not our own? Would we realize we have shaped our world based on the broken model of theirs? Would we notice we’ve damaged it even more in the name of progress and change? Would we see we can’t look at our own experiences through the tainted lenses of the past?
Our country is more divisive and separated and prejudice than ever, instead of eradicating these things we despise we seem to have inflated them. Since the beginning of mankind there have been the haves and the have nots, there has been social, economical and racial prejudice. Our society has managed to twist the dreams that once were, we have found new ways to undermine each other, to build walls of separation as we pretend to tear them down.
Sound bytes and sensationalistic headlines invade our minds from the left and from the right and we choose sides, ignoring the the good from the side we’ve not chosen and ignoring the bad from the side that we have.
We say we want equality in this country, but equality is just a concept, it can never be achieved, especially when everyone who cries out for it seems to want more than the rest. There can never be equality while there are those who have no means to even stand in line to receive it.
We use the word acceptance when what we really want is applause. We fight for what we call human rights when we have forgotten what human rights really are. We fight for freedom of expression but place restrictions upon it. We fight for freedom of religion but we really want everyone to agree with our own beliefs . . . at least that is what we accuse each other of, slowly molding it into a reality.
The needs of the some have become more important than the needs of the many. We champion the rights of criminals and forget their victims. We shout platitudes to placate the masses in a cacophony of false hopes and empty promises. The ones who fight for our country are now second in line to those who invade it.
Every cause and crusade has a mouthpiece, a puppet being manipulated an unseen hand. They herald their chosen truth, claiming to speak for the masses until the masses think they really are and begin to believe what they say. We are conditioned to follow, conditioned to believe. No need to form our own thoughts and opinions, the majority rules and those who do not follow their lead are considered radicals and extremists.
We are being broken by the choices we’ve made . . . Soon, there won’t be enough to mend.
Crystal R. Cook