"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart..." Linda McCartney

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

Sticks And Stones

In Brotherly Love, Civility, Feelings, Morals, Music, News, Society on October 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Conscience: a personal sense of the moral content of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character

with regard to a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. Conscience, usually informed

by acculturation and instruction, is thus generally understood to give intuitively authoritative judgments regarding the moral quality of single actions.”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Once upon a time, good conscience used to be a character component PARENTS, some sort of faith, and community instilled in their children. Children also learned from the example of community leaders– their teachers, their preachers and their neighbors.
Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”–Probverbs 22:6
It’s disturbing to me how the media is making it appear as though all of a sudden there’s this prolific increase of lack of good judgement and good conscience. The truth is, this is a social phenomena that has been going on for quite a long time.
Without a conscience, there can be no empathy.  Conscience is the little voice behind you saying:  Do you really wanna say, do, wear that? Conscience is: The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong.- The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
I don’t believe more Internet cyber-etiquette classes are gonna cut it here.
Linda McCartney very famously and poignantly put it this way:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but *words* can break my heart.”
That, literally, is what’s at the heart of this matter. People not stoping to consider anyone’s humanity– their  feelings– anymore, probably because their own are so dulled down.
“…how can YOU speak good things, when YOU are wicked? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”— Matt 12: 34, 35
Words are powerful.  They are double-edged swords.  They have the capacity to heal and humiliate. Words can kill! They kill the spirit. People who think it’s fun or funny to kill another person’s spirit are, in my opinion, MURDERERS!

The cumulative effect of all of this seemingly innocuous, funny ha-ha mendacity is that it slowly, insidiously, bit by tiny bit, transforms potential friends and talented individuals into frightened, uncertain, helpless victims. Victimization leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. Anger devolves into resignation. Resignation leads to self-loathing and creates The 21st Century Zombie. Going through the motions of living on the outside. Dead on the inside.

It’s a slow and wretched existence. First of all, the psychological and emotional energy it takes damping down all that pain, reigning it all in– persevering and enduring, often with no end in sight every day. It. Is. EXHAUSTING!

Job only had to endure his torment three years. So did Jesus Christ.

Because you’re the victim, you have to do all the work. No one must ever know you’re angry, annoyed, disappointed, hurt, scared– fighting the good fight all by yourself in your head and in your heart.

Second, if you fail to understand how victimization works–  Poof! All of a sudden you’re not only a problem, you’re the one with the problem. You’re the difficult person, the malcontent, the complainer, the irritating source of all the friction. You don’t know how to “go with the flow.” You’re INFLEXIBLE! Everybody has bad stuff happen to them. You need to develop a “thick skin.” You have only yourself to blame. You should stand up for yourself!

“How does it feel to be a problem?”– W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

These young people know: Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier, and Hope Witsell, just a few of the former members of the sad and tragic fratority of the walking wounded– the living dead.  Then there are the countless unnamed victims who dull their pain with alcohol and drugs and sexual promiscuity or acting out rages.  “How does it feel to be a problem?”

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?— Bob Dylan

There are so many more stories like theirs in the naked city and silent suburbs.  Not only are children, teens and young adults bullied in schools and on college campuses all across America, but adults are being bullied in the workplace as well. People with children, and car notes, and student loans, and mortgages, and credit cards to repay are being forced to quit their jobs (another form of suicide) to escape the harrassment.

It’s neither fun nor funny to deliberately or maliciously make another human being feel like a victim, to kill their spirit.  When someone physically assaults you, or steals your property, or you lose a limb as a result of medical incompetence or malpractice, the law’s the remedy for you.  But when someone hurts, or assaults, or maims, or lacerates your feelings, where’s the remedy for you?

“Ouch! That hurt my feelings! Quick! Call the police!?”

Society says you just need to suck it up, act like an adult, shake it off, grow up, be a man, turn the other cheek, give it to God. But when mean people, their lies and their hateful machinations interfere with your ability to sustain or even have quality of life itself– when it interferes with your pursuit of happiness–  it’s a tad harder to just shake off.

And the effort. It takes soo much out of you, requires soo much energy.  It’s soo exhausting. Nowadays not even your home is a safe haven, or shelter from the storms or respite to recharge and gain your bearings and endure another day. There’s a note posted on your door. A message on your answering machine. An email in your inbox. A text on your mobile phone. A video on Youtube.

They’re following you home.

You want a friend you- can rely on
One who will never fade away
And if you’re searching for an answer
Stick around. I say  It’s coming up, it’s coming up
Its coming up like a flower
Its coming up. Yeah– Paul McCartney and Wings

No rest for the weary.

What needs to be talked about more, everywhere, is being of good character and valuing a good conscience. Having a good FICA score is not an indicator of good character! All that demonstrates is that you can pay your bills. And yet, that’s all we publically associate character with– a record of bill paying. No wonder no one really cares or has any regard for how anybody feels any more.

True happiness and joy rests in having a good conscience.  You get a good conscience by having goodwill towards everyone every day and all the time. It’s not how well you treat people, it’s how well you make them feel. A lot of the time, being good to one another requires no money at all.
When we can get back to being a society who cares more about the emotional health and well being of people and less about their credit scores, there may be hope for less of these true and tragic stories of people who are just plain mean to other people.
C’mon People now, Smile on your Brother
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now!
Right now!
Right now!

Six of Ten

In Life, Living, Music, News, The Bible on September 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm
“The worst thing you can be is a liar….Okay fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but THEN, number two is liar. Nazi 1, Liar 2″

Justin’s dad*

Boys who killed dad seek fresh start

The Today ShowKing brothers call murder a ‘mistake’

After serving time in prison for slaying their sleeping father, Derek and Alex King talk to Matt Lauer about what they learned behind bars and their plans for the future.  Full story

chicken of the seaAsk any person you happen to see– “What’s the worse person anyone can be?” 9 out of 10 people will probably say “murderer.”  It’s Black letter law.  It’s the sixth of the Ten Commandments:

‘You shall not murder.’ Right..?

I say  Dat’s not iiiitttt.

The worse person anyone can be– is a malicious LIAR. Justin’s dad gets an A for effort, but his short list is ordered wrong.  Liar-1. There is no #2.

Maybe that’s why it’s so easy for murderers to get a second chance. Their story may have some mitigating circumstance.  They may be young like the King brothers. It may have been self-defense, unintended, an accident. Once they’ve served their time– paid their debt to society, rightfully they should be able to regain their rights as citizens, get a job, and get on with their lives. It’s easier to be a paroled/released murderer (or should I say ex-convict?) than it is to be a job seeker these days.

These boys are young.  They don’t have the yoke of an employment history to lug around. Or an ex-boss or colleagues who don’t like them enough to torpedo any potential future prospect with a LIE.

You hear about it, but the problem still does not get the media attention that it really and truly deserves.  The majority of people who are out of work are people who have been the victim of workplace bullying and some LIE that keeps following them around like a bad credit rating. The comparison is especially appropriate because if you’re unaware there’s a “mistake” on your credit report, it can literally rock your world, and quite a few of you know what that’s like and how that feels. The shock. The surprise. The embarrassment. The dream deferred or worse, the plans postponed, even derailed. Maybe even forever.

The cumulative effect of the LIE is that it slowly, insidiously, transforms the Object of the lie into a victim.  Victimization leads to frustration.  Frustration leads to anger. Anger leads to desperation.

David Banner/The Hulk“Please don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.”

The caveat to that?  The psychological and emotional energy it takes to damp it all down and reign it all in.  You’re the victim but you have to do all the work.  First, keep the secret. No one must ever know you’re angry, annoyed, disappointed, hurt, scared, humiliated.  Second, Remember you are made of iron.  You’re not only a problem, you are the one with the problem. You’re the difficult person, the malcontent, the complainer, the irritating source of all the friction.  You’re INFLEXIBLE. You don’t “go with the flow.”  You’re a rock and an island.

The Rock feels no pain
And an Island never cries | Simon and Garfunkle | I Am A Rock | 1966

”How does it feel to be a problem?” | The Souls of Black Folk

I’ll bet’cha Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold know knew.   Seung-Hui Cho.  I bet he knew.  Megan Meier, John Hinkley,Jr.,  Jeffrey Weise, Perry Smith, John Merlin Taylor, Joseph M. Harris, Aileen Wournos, Thomas McIlvane, Mark Richard Hilbun, Bruce William Clark, Travis Bickle, Jennifer San Marco, Mark David Chapman, Willie Loman.., just a few of the former members in the sad and tragic fratorities of the walking wounded and the living dead–

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal | Bob Dylan | Like a Rolling Stone | 1965
“How does it feel to be a problem?” | WEB Du Bois

If only they knew how to articulate their pain, or get the “help” they needed or maybe, just maybe could one kind word have averted any or all of these disasters? One tiny apology?  One small gesture of empathy? One olive branch extended, one promise kept? One LIE left untold?

You want a friend you- can rely on
One who will never fade away
And if you’re searching for an answer
Stick around. I say  It’s coming up, it’s coming up
Its coming up like a flower
Its coming up. Yeah*** | Paul McCartney & Wings | Coming Up | 1977

It’s neither fun nor funny to deliberately and maliciously thwart another human being’s pursuit of happiness.  When someone physically assaults you, or steals your property, or you lose a limb as a result of medical incompetence or malpractice, the law’s the remedy for you.  But when someone hurts, or assaults, your feelings, or robs you of your opportunity to make a living or adequately care for your children, have a life– who you gonna call?  The police?

Society says you need to act like an adult, shake it off, grow up, be a man, turn the other cheek, give it to God. But when mean people and their lies interfere with your ability to sustain or even have a quality of life itself, it’s a tad harder to just shake it off. And it takes soo long, requires soo much energy.  It’s soo exhausting. Mean People, jealous, hateful, judgemental, gossips– these office PARIAHS who cause other people to lose or leave their jobs are socially acceptable, predatory murderers. They get away with their crimes so they repeat their offenses.  They never pay their debt to society.  And the worst part:  They believe they’re “nice.”  People always use that particular word to characterize these killers of the spirit.

That’s the insidious, paradoxical beauty of the lie.  At first glance the lie looks so innocuous, so inconsequential, so small; it’s fun. And yet the lie is responsible for all the aforementioned people and all their murders and all their victims, and all our collective pain.

Everybody who wants it and is willing to work hard for it deserves a second, third, fourth, fifth… 900th second chance. Stop being a Hater.  Stop hatin’ on Chris Brown, Michael Vick, Ted Kennedy for God’s sake, Jane Fonda.  Stop hatin’ on that girl at the office whose “look” you don’t like or that fellow who doesn’t watch American Idol so he “just doesn’t fit in,” or those Mormons or that “geeHovah witness” ‘cause “Most Christians believe they’re a cult.”

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments | Matthew 22:36-40.

It's raining loveLove is all you need.

“If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar (claiming to be a Christian) and you there remember that your brother has something against you (because you’re making his life hell at work), leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away; first make your peace with your brother, and then, when you have come back, offer up your gift. Be about settling matters quickly with the one complaining against you…” | Matt 5:23-25

One thing leads to another | The Fixx | 1983

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