How many of us would go to prison if our closet doors were opened and our skeletons were allowed to be seen?
That is a question that rolls around in my head a lot.
After all, the only means of judging on this Earth is by our own peer group, by other humans just as fallible as the next person.
While it is true that some people seem to make better choices in life that keep them above the fray of the law, all of us know that it may just be a draw of the cards allowing us to “pass go, collect the $200 and get out of jail free”.
My point in all of this is that pointing fingers at those that have been caught, tried in a court of law and convicted are not always guilty and those that are may only represent a small number of society that really are guilty of similar crimes; crimes that have been determined to be crimes by a society comprised of people that are just as fallible as the next person, even those convicted and sitting in prison.
So maybe the next time we jump on board the band-wagon to jeer when an alleged person is convicted and actually deemed a felon, we need to stop and think what pushed them to the level of insanity that caused them to do what they did that landed them in prison. The phrase “if not by the grace of God” may sound cliché but all of us living in this chaotic world are subject to the same kind of energies and forces that led that convicted person to the act they committed. And maybe, due to their background or current circumstances the trigger in their own mind got pulled causing them to react in an irrational manner losing all restraint and common sense for just that moment.
I’m not advocating that we allow all people that commit crimes to run free simply because they may seemingly have had one bad day they couldn’t control themselves, but I am asking all of us to have compassion for even the lowliest in society. These people have emotions too, that’s probably what got them into trouble in the first place. They may not have the same kind of ability to restrain their emotions as the majority of society. They may also have family members that care deeply for them, and these people need our support through the trying days of their kin’s incarceration. However, maybe the convicted person doesn’t have family members that love and support them, and that could be part of what lead them to their moment of insanity.
So often the victim of the crime gets made into a victim-hero, and that is quite understandable given the torture and torment of the crime. But try to remember that the person that committed the crime may very well be a victim of their own life as well. Victims become bullies, and often become criminals for lack of anyone in society seeing what is happening to that person in plain sight.
For those that suffer victimization and do not end up a criminal it takes tremendous willpower to maintain their emotions and overcome their abuse. They still suffer, but they suffer quietly harming no other person. But often they end up harming themselves, they internalize their abuse. Not so with criminals who end up going on the attack of others. But anyway you look at it every victim has to deal with their past abuse in some manner, some choose to deal with it internally, some deal with it externally. Sometimes it is literally a draw of the cards. Those that deal with their abuse internally, and may attempt suicide are usually pitied and eventually shown how to get help through counseling. But those that deal with their abuse externally by harming others are incarcerated and many times never receive any help at all.
I realize this may sound like I don’t believe in incarceration and that I believe in rights for the criminal and not for the victim. This is factually untrue. I believe in incarceration for those that harm others, but I also believe in the right for everyone, no matter how they display their internal demons, to receive the mental and emotional help they so desperately need and are crying out for.
To live in a mind that has been brainwashed into believing that you are worthless and will never amount to anything, to live in a mind that has been twisted by the environment you grew up in to believe that you are scum, to live in a mind that has been bullied by your peer group or family members, causes a person to have a distorted way of thinking. It is only through deep, deep self-evaluation and being offered a much different view of the world that a person might be able to unlock the box their mind has been placed in by former authority figures when they were but a small child growing up in an uncertain world. If a person is never exposed to a clearer point of view then no clarity will ever be introduced into their mind. The tapes of the past will continue to play and the distortion will only become more distorted with time and age. Eventually something will trigger the submerged hurt, anger and rage and someone will pay the price, either the person harboring the distorted beliefs and/or victims of their distorted ways of thinking.
This is one reason why it is society’s responsibility to offer support to those they deem worth of incarceration. Not only does it cost taxpayers millions of dollars to hold these confused people in prisons across America, but it serves no one any good purpose to keep all of these people sick in the head when they may be able to be made purposeful contributors in and of society. While it is not possible to redeem everyone that has been victimized beyond repair, completely ruined, nor totally “fix” those that have been born with a mental disability, it is possible to evaluate and help those that only need to have their thinking re-shaped and their self-esteem rebuilt through channels of proper support on an individual by individual basis depending on the needs of each. We can either spend taxpayer money on keeping these people locked up serving no real good purpose in life, or we can spend money on real rehabilitation helping them to become the people they were originally intended to be from the moment they were born upon this Earth before their environment and life circumstances caused them to get off track.
I only ask the next time you feel the urge to shout and jeer that a certain alleged criminal has in fact been convicted and has become a legitimate criminal in the eyes of the law, stop and feel the adrenaline pulsing through you when you are celebrating their conviction; this is similar to the feeling they felt when they committed the crime. We all have it, it’s a “rush” of excitement and we all live for that feeling to different degrees.
©2013 Machelle Pacion
There is something intriguing about the mountaintop. It draws me with a mysterious luring, beckoning me to climb, promising solace and rest. Every so often, I find my way to the mountain and bask in the mystery shrouded by canopies of trees and backdrops of refreshing rivers. The climb never disappoints, as my Spirit is renewed taking in the pure air untouched by the business of society and what remains below. On the mountaintop, I find clarity and see glimpses of what it all means. My body relaxes, thoughts slow, and the rhythm of my heart falls in cadence with the natural essence of the Spirit of nature.
On the mountain, I sense I have returned home and in the midst of enjoying the songs orchestrated by nature, I long to remain. Deep within I sense a longing to stay and nestle into the forest taking nourishment from the refreshing river. On the mountain, shaded by nature I know I am one and my soul has sated its hunger from the peacefulness. I am in harmony and need not speak, for words are not necessary in the Presence of Love. The mountaintop is where I go home and release all costumes of conformity. Competition is not required, for all on the mountain live for the common good. Nature has no reason to compete, for it understands that each part creates the orchestrated melody that whispers through the valley, for those who have ears to hear.
Nevertheless, the mountain is only a resting place, a place to renew, refresh and nurture my soul. It is a place to visit and rekindle the fires of passion, but I was not born to live on the mountain. I was born to visit the mountaintop and walk out the message in the valley. My journey is in the shade of the precipice bringing the message of unconditional love and forgiveness.
On my journey through the valley, I met a soul sister with a message. The earthly connection was short, but the message will resonate with me throughout eternity. Julie was an amazing woman, full of passion for life and compassion for the living. Last week when she made her transition the door opened for contemplation, giving me an opportunity to reflect on the impact Julie had on my life. Her life had meaning, not just for me, but also for everyone that crossed her path. She was Love in action and it radiated through her words and constant smile. Quick to offer encouragement and slow to anger, Julie was the reminder that good is in every situation and in every person. She was Love personified and a living example of goodness.
At her memorial, I heard one after another speak of her selfless acts of kindness for everything breathing. She rescued animals and humans without fear of consequence. Julie simply responded to every situation and every person from a place of Love. Her family spoke of Julie’s decision, early in her life to follow Christ, and yet as hard as I tried, I could not remember a time when she attempted to change or convert anyone to her religion. As I listened, I began to understand even more.
Julie also lived on a mountain. It was her place of refuge and her home. She spoke often of the life there with her family and the peace that surrounded her home. She loved the mountaintop, but she also loved the valley. As I traveled down the mountain after her memorial, I noticed the treacherous roads she drove every day. For her to drive down the mountainous road spoke volumes of her passion for those in the valley. Julie lived on the mountain, but she walked through the valley without boundaries, judgment, or needing to change anyone.
Today I see the gift in Julie’s life. She was an example of living in the Divine Presence but willing to make the journey into the valley. She lived out her passion with a heart of joy and compassion. She was a living example of Pure Love and a reminder of what it means to follow the Master Jesus. She was willing to leave the serenity of the mountaintop to bring the message of hope never complaining about her mission. Her work was in the valley; her message was that of unconditional Love, she was the embodiment of the Christ, walking amongst us daily. She was the reminder of what Love in its purest form looks like and that it is something we all can do. Julie came with a message and every life she touched was changed.
I am reminded of my longing for the mountaintop and the knowing that my work is in the valley. I am reminded that the mantle of passion is not meant for just one, but for all who are willing to answer the call. The Master reminded us that “many are called, but few are chosen”; the choices becomes ours, as we must decide will we be the embodiment of Pure Love or remain imprisoned by the chains of unforgiveness. Julie walked this earth in a mortal body for a short time, but long enough to spread the good news and be a shining Light of Love. Her life and transition reminds me that waiting until tomorrow to share Love is no longer an option and it is no longer enough to preach about Love, the time is now to Be Love in action.
I wonder if anyone else has felt the tug of Spirit beckoning you to forgive and Love? I wonder if anyone else has heard the call to make the journey to the mountaintop so that the walk through the valley is one of Peace and Harmony? I wonder if anyone has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying as we are called to Be Love personified?
Now is the time to take inventory and release the things that no longer serve your highest good and make the journey to the mountaintop for renewal and refreshment orchestrated by the harmonic whispers of nature.
Now is the time to wake up to the call that will not let you sleep and tugs at your thoughts as you run to and fro through the daily agenda.
Now is the time to rekindle the fires of passion within your soul and release yourself from the self-created prisons.
The call to Love is a call for all, but the question remains, do you have an ear to hear the Voice that whispers in your soul?
The world does not need another person to establish or maintain the rigid rules of dogma, the world is crying out for people who are willing to respond with compassion and unconditional Love.
Now is the time to hear what the Master is saying, that Love Is, now and forevermore.
© Jounda Strong, July 22, 2012
“one who advocates a doctrine of direct action,” 1915; from active (q.v.). Activism in this sense is first attested 1920; earlier (1907) it was used in ref. to a philosophical theory.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
~Recently, I guess because of the 2012 presidential “election year” at hand, I have been bombarded with all kinds of issues I could become an activist for and against, so many in fact that they are too numerous to list.
The fact is though, I already have my own agenda and I’m not about to change my position or jump on someone else’s band wagon, or a new band wagon, I have all intention to remain firmly planted in my own philosophy.
Yes, I’m a member of the infamous “Facebook” social networking site where people post their rants and raves that correspond to their deepest beliefs and philosophies. And as I perused through my own personal account this morning I became increasingly bored with the posts I was reading. Is it the friends I keep? Or is it merely their beliefs that I no longer identified with? Of course, realizing that my friends and their beliefs are one and the same, I quickly came to realize it is not my friends I am having the problem with, they are not changing, it is me.
I know my friends have good hearts and well-meaning intentions, they do, they are kind people who love others and want good to prevail over evil. It’s just how the majority of people go about getting “love” back into our world that I am finding myself detaching from.
So as I read one post after another I found myself reading each post in a removed manner, as though I was not a part of “that world” any longer, as though there is a much, much larger world encircling “that world”, holding “that world” in a warm and comforting embrace, waiting for “that world” to awaken to a much easier, more balanced way to enter into the kind of love that each person in “that world” is so desperately fighting for, yes, fighting for.
As I read post after post after post with a semi-hidden agenda, I realized that under each and every one of them lay a dormant amount of hate, anger, bitterness, fear and mostly hurt. I realized that my friends are only attempting to convey for themselves, and the people they love and care for, that they are absolutely worn out and frazzled to the end with the fight for peace, freedom, equality and love. Their confidence, self-esteem and worthiness have been shattered by others who do not yet begin to understand the tiniest bit about real love. The other side uses the word “love” is as a manipulative tool to gather body numbers in buildings so that battalions of people can be accumulated to be sent out to war for inhumane reasons against the very people fighting for…peace, freedom, equality and love.
The interesting thing about all of this is though, no one seems to remember that no matter how blunt the arrows are, they are still arrows. In other words, no matter how a person disguises their agenda, all of the soft spoken words that blanket the real anger and hurt, the words are still intended with anger and hurt, and fire cannot extinguish fire, only water can put out a heated flame. It is for these reasons I will, from this point forward, choose more carefully the posts I select to share, for my cause is not about gaining numbers of “Likes”, it is about building a World of those who understand the depth of Truth in the word “love”. “Deep” searches “Deep” and it is Within that “Deep” that Truth is found, understood and communes in peace and harmony in absence of all types of violence, both openly as well as hidden.
Many people are now calling themselves “Warriors of Peace”. This is an oxymoron. One cannot be a warrior and bring peace, only Peacemakers can bring peace. The main crux of a warrior is to fight a battle, even if it’s a battle of good faith, it is still a battle. Peacemakers attempt to bring resolve to any situation, but understand that it is sometimes a long and drawn out affair where both parties are given an equal and fair hearing, without judgment. Then it is through the conversation, with the Peacemaker as the mediator, that an agreement is reached and the dispute is settled, albeit at times a compromise sometimes must be made where neither party is completely satisfied, but both parties must give up something, yet both parties also receive something they wanted as well. It is not always a “winner takes all” situation, because in peacemaking there is no winner, there is no loser. Peacemaking is a much more intense and noble of an action than what a Warrior can offer to any situation. (Peacemaking is…) (click)
So it is I am an activist.
I am an activist for love by way of peacemaking.
I come bearing no weapons. I wear no armor except for I am clothed in love, compassion, temperance, kindness, understanding and patience. My ulterior motives are to include, embrace and to love.
Willing to negotiate for as long as it takes, as long as the negotiation is manipulation and violence-free, yet admitting I am not perfect, I can only offer myself as one who joins in the love that encircles and embraces helping others see there is an easier way.
“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.“
- The Dalai Lama
The Inner Silence
In all that is living lies this beautiful gift of silence.
This silence that cannot be found in thought,
nor can this silence be found in noise.
This silence that is so precious
lives within our being.
This gift of silence points us to be one with self,
yet One with all that is living.
As you become still,
surrendering your thoughts,
just becoming One with All,
listen as you breathe in and out.
This very breath you breathe
All comes from the same energy.
We are all connected, we are All One Being.
Within this gift of silence
you will find compassion,
All that flows from the positive energy
you will find within silence.
Look within self
and it is from within you will see!
Behold the beauty of silence.
©Jeff James 2012
Mother earth who gives life,
longs to rid all the strife
that lies within human kind.
Beautiful we are All created to be
but it is this beauty that some cannot see.
Mother Earth is always there
to lift us up from despair.
Nature sings her melody
to lead humanity into unity.
We rage war from left to right,
Mother Earth is hurting deep inside.
Her heart beats and longs for us to see,
love is the answer that will lead us to peace.
Oneness we were meant to be,
but suffering has separated humanity.
When things get rough,
cling to Mother Earth
for she will give you peace.
The heart of Mother Earth
lives in all human beings,
always there to guide us to our destiny.
©Jeff James 2012
Mother Earth’s grace awakens
in the dawning of each new day.
As the sunrise brightens the morning sky,
night then fades away.
As the Sun’s rays breaks through gathering clouds,
they shine down from above giving light,
Onto the world directing us
unto joy, peace, and love.
Though some will wonder off,
Mother Earth is always there.
Just call on her,
for She shines an eternal promise
that none will be forever lost
and All will soon be One.
Life: Mother Earth gives to all.
Though we are destined to fall,
get back up and learn from it all.
Created to be one human race,
let’s get together in unity.
No more polluting the water we drink,
no more trashing the earth
where we lay to sleep.
No more raging war.
Mother Earth is here
living in our hearts.
When storms of life
darken your day
Mother Earth offers a safe,
Nature sings Her melody
directing humanity to Its destiny.
Be slow to speak,
quick to listen,
for Mother Earth is always saying somethin’.
Be still and know that she is Life,
for in Her, and within All, lies Eternal Life.
©Jeff James 2012