Daily Archives: September 23, 2009

Kum ba ya My Lord

“Note that in this country, there is no longer any ‘WE’ left in America. Only ‘Us’ and ‘Them’.”

Good morning. It’s a rainy morning and the breeze through my patio doors feels a little chilly for a change…if those of you further north call 68 o “chilly”. According to the weather radar, the storm seems to have passed and the rain is back to being a light, not quite ended, mist.

For a change, after I let Ri-Leigh out this morning, she decided to come back in. Perhaps she is tired of getting wet. She’s lyng in her usual spot along the wall between my TV and some kind of gigantic “woofer” that my son has left for me to store for him. I guess she claims that space as her safe little den. She is protected on three sides as she lies facing the room. I appreciate that behavior because it means I don’t have to worry about tripping over her as I walk around during the day. However, it saddens me to wonder what trials she must have overcome in her path to my home that she feels she must protect herself so.

Just to set the record straight, something I said in my blog about “the first kiss” was not correct. It was not the summer before eighth grade but after. I had very recently turned fourteen because I remember being able to say “Sweet 13 and Never Been Kissed.”

Part of the reason I think Duane was more attracted to me was that I had finally slimmed down somewhat. I weighed the same as I did in the picture I posted August 16 of “The Perfect Nurse Part 3”. I was still large by today’s size 2 standards for teenagers, but it was a good weight for my large frame. Also, I had just gotten contacts as part of a graduation present from grade school. Prior to that time I wore “coke bottle” lenses covering my eyes. I started wearing glasses in third grade and my eyes got progressively more nearsighted. He never would have looked my way the year before.

Now, to get to the quote that I started this blog with this morning. This was posted as a reply on one of the blogs I discovered, but I’ve lost which one.

Obviously, if you are a fan of the History Channel, the “us” and “them” mentality has always been with us in America. It was the Patriots vs. the Loyalists vs. The Fence Sitters, the Colonists vs. the Indians, English Americans vs. the Irish. The Catholics vs the Protestants. (Remember Kennedy?)

Then it was the Irish gangs vs. all others in The Five Points section of Manhattan Island, the cowboys vs. the Indians , and the Buffalo Soldiers vs. the Indians, the ranchers vs. the farmers.  Although we were fed the story of the contented slaves, there were the slaves vs. the plantation owners. Of course the big one was the Yankees vs. the Rebels. Then came the whites vs. the blacks during segregation, the corporations vs. the union workers, the outlaws vs. the law, men vs. women, the straights vs. the gays, the corporations vs. the environmentalists, Wall Street vs. their investors, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. Now it is even the loyal sports fans of individual teams who are beating each other up in the stands.

Has America EVER been a place of US? The history books printed for our children would like us to think so. They rather gloss over the dissension in our ranks and sanitize our brutal history. I celebrate the easy access to the internet for our students. There is much to be learned at a deeper level than ever before. They can see history from other voices. As it is said, history belongs to the victors, and the victors always write history from their own point of view.

Now to a degree unseen in many years, we have the Democrats vs. the Republicans, and the Fundamentalists and Evangelicals vs. all other believers in Christ or for that matter, those who believe in one God of all,  the atheists, the  agnostics, and the Islamic infidels…or is it that the Christians are the infidels….so much hate to keep track of these days.

Each side is branded by the other as being wrong. There is only one way to believe, and that is “our” way, not “your” way. It troubles me when student lawyers like John Wall (see September 21 blog) start talking secession once again. It is easy to stir up support or dissent and cause conflict by saying “I want a divorce”. 

I am not a sociologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, an historian. I cannot tell you the reasons behind what I see as an upsurge in conflict in our country. Perhaps it is racism, the Recession, a government that appears to be more out of control than usual, fear of the future, or even road rage. There are probably myriads of reasons for our unrest and loss of civility.

John Wall mentioned Kum Ba Ya in his divorce letter in a dirisive manner as if asking God to “Come By Here” is a sign of weakness to those who sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic“.

He seems to think ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” is a vapid little ditty sung by impotent “peaceniks”.

Since he mentions “We are the World” he must prefer not to think of himself a part of the bigger picture. Due to instant communications, we are breaking down, at the speed of light and sound, the boundaries that separate us as nations. Considering ourselves as part of the whole is more crucial today than ever before in our history.

Of course this rendition is extremely easy to criticize for the John Walls because it is sung by Hollywood, Heaven forbid.

What is my point today? My point, I guess, is that there has always been a them and us (Cain vs Abel) in the history of the world. But just as it has always been, does it have to be always so? One of Albert Einstein’s famous quotes is the definition of insanity.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

Is there enough time to change our thinking before we hate each other to death? Must we continue to stay in little “boxes” like my dog Ri-Leigh? Ri-Leigh doesn’t know it, but nothing would happen to her if she slept out in the middle of the room, but fear keeps her contained when she is inside. What would our world be like if we were all one? Of course that scares some people to death also. What would happen if the song we sing, “Let There Be Peace On Earth” actually did begin with the “me s” among us? “Let it begin with me”. What a powerful thought.

As far as God, now more than ever, don’t we need to ask God to “Come by Here, O Lord” ?































































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