Friday Night at 8; Staying Human

So many of us have been writing about events that tear at the human soul, from hatred and ill treatment of our fellow human beings to the ultimate evil, torture.

I’ve learned so much of tragedy, from Winter Rabbit’s essays on how Native Americans and their precious culture are treated, to Robyn’s essays on having to fight to even go into the ladies’ room without fear of attack.  And those are only two examples.

Now there are going to be hearings this upcoming week on torture.

I wonder how I can stay human with such deep knowledge of the evil we can do to each other.

I think of what I hate.

And I believe in order to stay human, I also need to think about what I love.

I’ll tell you, sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes I despair.

(courtesy of YouTuber SidewalksOfNY315)

I think, “oh I love the seashore, I love to hear the waves crashing on the beach.”  And then like a demon a voice says to me “well too bad, Kitty, we’ve destroyed the planet and soon there won’t be any beaches to enjoy nor waves, the sound of the sea.”

Well you get my drift.  Thinking about material things or even nature doesn’t do it for me these days.

So I think about what I love.  It’s such a small thing, and it doesn’t last more than a few moments most times, at least not for me.  But when that light appears it just doesn’t matter to me that there is so much evil in the world, I am happy and I feel love.

I call it the human connection.

We’re so conditioned in our culture.  We have good manners or bad manners, we see people and say hello and make friends and then it all falls apart, or becomes different, an obligation rather than a joy.  We love, but we don’t always connect.

I think that’s why so many of us are here at the blogs.  We’re searching for that connection through actions that are important to us, we want to save the world, we want to make it better, we want people not to suffer when there are solutions to be had for that suffering.

And every now and then we make a connection with each other and it is pure joy.  Doesn’t matter what the subject, doesn’t matter whether it’s online or in the world, with a stranger or someone we’ve known forever.

We connect.

And when we connect, we share existence with each other.  There’s more than enough for everyone, there’s such abundance it makes one dizzy!   We share.  We share.

Hurting other people, be it through marginalization or all the way to torture, destroys that connection, narrows the view, brings poverty amid all the abundance of existence.

There was a comment over at the orange in Buhdy’s essay (linked above), someone who said they were so afraid of seeing what Sheldon Whitehouse promised would be information about how we treated other human beings that would sear our souls.  They were so afraid to even know.  

And I felt that connection with the commenter, I don’t even remember his or her name, my heart went out to that commenter.

What do I love?  I love being able to be who I am knowing I am not hurting someone else.  That doesn’t happen often, I bash into people or they bash into me, and there is conflict, fear and ego make us hold ourselves and our hearts apart and refuse to share and it is so painful.

For those of us who have been immersed in the fight for human rights, for justice in that pursuit, I think it is important to stay human, to share our hearts and our existence with others, to believe in that abundance and never let ourselves forget why we are struggling for this, to make a world where we have more and more opportunity to share with each other, to lay down our arms and take down our walls.

There is no limit to compassion and love, there is no limit or boundary to our existence.

That’s what I love.  And as long as I remember that, I know I will stay human.

In the coming weeks and months our fellow human beings are going to find out some awful information, painful information.  I hope we all will try to look first to see their pain before we assume they are not on our side when it comes to human rights.

Friday, Friday, what a week!  Hope everyone is well and a happy Friday to all.


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  1. (Video courtesy of YouTuber c1wang)

    and by the bye …

    tahoebasha put up a comment in buhdy’s essay sharing what Bob Fertik predicts on how folks who approve of torture (many Republican senators among them) will respond to this opening to national dialogue.  Not surprisingly, and terribly ironically, they will shriek.

    I know that will not work any longer with the citizens of the United States.  Their shrieks will be utterly hollow in the midst of this information.  Bush is gone and Obama is, regardless of what you think about his actions, not afraid.  And in that, Obama will lead.

    • Alma on February 28, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I’ve been feeling for so long.  It can be damned hard to go on sometimes when we read and think about all that has been done.

    Like you, I’ve found less and less as a comfort, but then I’ll get a stranger that looks sad to smile, and I figure I can keep going, its worth it.

  2. I need to hear this as part of the mix.

    And it reminds me once again of what Alice Walker wrote to Obama on the day after he was elected.

    We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise… There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people’s spirit…We see where this leads, where it has led. A good model of how to “work with the enemy” internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved.

  3. TACULAR essay.

    I am speechless, after all that has occurred today, or I would say something profound!

    This just blew me away and then your essay on top of it….well….

    As Rachel said the other day…..wubba wubba wubba!

    • Pluto on February 28, 2009 at 3:16 am

    I opened this Essay to say pretty much the same thing:

    …someone who said they were so afraid of seeing what Sheldon Whitehouse promised would be information about how we treated other human beings that would sear our souls.  They were so afraid to even know….

    I just can’t do it, either. I shut out lots of information that I’m aware will traumatize me. There are pictures I refuse to look at, movies I won’t see, topics (like animal cruelty) that my friends know never to bring up in front of me. Unfortunately, it also shuts down the love, in the way you describe it.

    I’ve been admiring you and Buhdy and everyone here for the work you are doing and the commitment you have made. Dogged, unrelenting heroism — that’s what it is.

    • kj on February 28, 2009 at 4:21 am

    There is much in this world that I won’t lend my energy toward; but I will look at those pictures, read/listen to the stories, take in as fully as I am capable.

    Because I agree, Kitty, torture is the ultimate evil we humans can do to one another… which means it is part of me, too.

    So there will be no turning away on my part.

    These days, I’m staying as much as possible in the moment, not looking for interaction beyond what confronts me at work, which right now, is plenty.  I want to lash out, or cry, or both most days… but have stayed centered to date, remembered to smile, as Alma says- and hope every day there are inroads made with this woman who is my boss.  Who is, if nothing else, a serious challenge to communication.

    She smiled a true smile yesterday, and it was like the sun.  But last evening though, I was exhausted with her moods and hormones and fear and control.  God, let that not be me!   😉  

    Stabbed in the back by the resident asshole, and oh, I wanted to break his balls, but didn’t.  When it came time to speak, found my voice was soft… which surprised me as much as it did him.

    I don’t know… but I have just enough ego to know that whatever it is that is playing out in my little world is a microscopic grain that plays out in all of our worlds.

    And if there is to be no torture, then it must begin with me.

    • kj on February 28, 2009 at 4:36 am

    • kj on February 28, 2009 at 4:49 am

    some video wizard make up a vid for the Kerry campaign with this video… images of Iraq… i used to listen to it every night and cry.  the same person made a video of Kerry with CSN&Y with “Carry On” with pictures of his (sigh) anti-war days.  then i’d go to bed.

    it’s been a long, long, long journey.  i applaud everyone working to bring the torture stories to light, because we are accountable for this, all of this, and for the blowback, too.

    so, 🙂  we aren’t numb, but we are, but we aren’t.  at least, speaking for myself!  LOL

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