TRUMP REPORTEDLY ACCUSES AUSTRALIA OF TRYING TO SEND THE NEXT ‘BOSTON BOMBERS’ TO U.S.
TRUMP’S YEMEN RAID MAY HAVE RESULTED IN MORE CIVILIAN DEATHS
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR MICHAEL FLYNN PUTS IRAN ‘ON NOTICE’ FOLLOWING BALLISTIC MISSILE TEST
TRUMP TELLS MITCH MCCONNELL TO ‘GO NUCLEAR’ FOR HIS SUPREME COURT PICK
MILO YIANNOPOULOS SPEECH CANCELED AT BERKELEY AFTER VIOLENT PROTESTS
TRUMP PUSHES DARK VIEW OF ISLAM TO CENTER OF U.S. POLICY-MAKING
These are headlines that greeted me this morning in my inbox. I realize this is just one day, one sample if you will, but each day since our President raised his right hand and put his left hand on that stack of Bible’s proclaiming that “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now” I haven’t felt very secure. In fact, at this point in what seems like years rather than just weeks, the “American carnage” he promised to end appears to be escalating and honestly it is self-inflicted carnage from his bully pulpit.
I am as tall now as I was when I was fourteen years old. I haven’t grown an inch vertically in forty-two years. Sadly, I can’t say that is the case for my dimensions horizontally. So in junior high I was six feet tall, a giant that towered over my classmates. I played fullback and defensive end on the football team, center on the basketball team and did the high-jump and ran the final leg of the 440 relay on the track team. I like to tell people that I peaked, at least athletically, in junior high which is true.
My size and my achievements, though glorious for my ego, also had one very negative connotation, it made me a target for bullies, guys who wanted to make a name for themselves, guys who thought I might be paying a too much attention to their girlfriends, guys whose self-confidence needed a boost. Picking a fight with the popular kid, a kid that considered himself a lover not a fighter, was a sure-fire way to get your name passed around the “press” of the lunchroom chatter.
So I fought, during lunch, after school and at the Mall. The majority of the fights were silly, typically ending with me holding my assailant down on the ground, remember I was a big kid, until they cooled off and I could assure them that whatever “slight” they were fighting for was simply not true or just imaginary. But there were a few that kept coming back for more. Unsatisfied with the outcome, boys who thrived on the attention of being thought of as a “tough guy”. Fortunately, by high school, my classmates had caught-up or surpassed me in both height and popularity and I was able to go on with my life peacefully.
I don’t like bullies. I don’t like what bullies stand for. I don’t like what bullies are trying to achieve which is one thing and one thing only, attention. When I read the headlines above my first thought is these aren’t the actions or words of someone trying to protect us, love us, help us grow or move us forward these are the deeds of a bully. Someone who craves attention. Someone who has a total disregard for the repercussions of their actions and words, a bully on steroids whose playground is the world and all you and I can do is hide behind the monkey bars and pray.
I need to catch my breath, I need to remember the Buddha’s words that “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.” I need to remember that the world is filled with chaos, from the smallest atom to the complex, and insecure creature sitting behind his “magnificent” huge desk at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Hoping for some semblance of stability outside of ourselves is futile. It doesn’t exist. What can exist and what we should all be striving for is finding both peace and stability within ourselves. We all need to catch our breath, calm slow breaths, and allow the chaos to exist around us as it has and always will. If we can calm our hearts and our minds we each will be in a position to make the world a better place. Remember, that any calm, any stability we may be searching for has to start with me and you. That is the only thing we can control and unfortunately it won’t make the headlines of the New York Times.