Staying on this balance beam for one more time . . . We all know that eating a balanced meal is far better for us than one of junk food and if we neglect the fruits and veggies long enough and devour enough Big Mack’s we will end up either on a gurney or kicking our fat stomachs with our knees as we shuffle through the McDonald’s parking lot on the way to ‘super size me’ hell.
What we tend to forget is that to continually eat the greasy drippings from our favorite Right OR Left wing guru’s plate will clog our minds as quickly and as deadly as the hog’s fat clogs our arteries.
This balancing act takes place on many levels at the same time. Respect is the glue that holds it all together. It is a corner stone in the mind, body, balance equation.
Lao Tzu coined the phrase a very long time ago “Know your enemy.” Does that just mean to know his name? Or perhaps know what he’s up to? Or to know who he is? Yes all of those things count, but on a deeper level old Lao is saying in order to know your enemy you must also respect him. How much respect is there in the US today for people of other positions and circumstances?
Every since our resounding victory in ww2 the US has been riding this huge self righteous ego trip of invincibility. We have ridden this wave of belief in Manifest Destiny to the point of stupidity and are about to crash onto the shores of hell, flag/slogans and all.
In Korea our famed general Douglas Macarthur (who was much of the time an arrogant jerk) refused to believe the Chinese would ever oppose him as he sped towards the Yalu River . . . well they did. He sent entire divisions into a frozen meat grinder ill equipped in every thing from clothing to ammo and thousands of them died or were captured because of his arrogant buffoonery. He failed to respect or know his enemy.
In Vietnam we entered into that country on a six week military exercise to teach (the slopeheads) a lesson. Ten years later, after accumulating 50,000 KIA and a couple hundred thousand causalities, we left with our tails between our legs. Why? Because we had failed to respect our enemy.
In this last round of invasions (Iraq and Afghanistan) I’m afraid we are doing no better, We STILL fail to respect our enemy as we search frantically for a way out of his trap.
Now this is all military stuff, but we could just as well bring this attitude home to our government as well as ourselves. On a day to day level our enemy is not quite so obvious and it’s easy to get lulled to sleep by a good speech.
Rush spouts something on his radio show we like and we nod our heads in agreement, even get pissed off at the target of his angst. Does anybody bother to check it out to see if it’s even true?
Obama gives a long and lovely speech about how the recession is over . . . really? Well, Mr. President where’s the jobs? . . . Or “Where’s the beef?” like the little old lady asked in the Wendy’s add.
So to really know the enemy one needs to understand and RESPECT his thoughts, his motivation and just how bad or how far is he willing to go to get them. We must quit belittling him and stop taking our knives to a gun fight. Nobody has all the answers. Actually we will never be closer to wrong than when we are convinced without doubt we are right.
If we settle down enough to listen to his side of the story we may find we have a lot in common with him. Maybe we can even negotiate some sort of a compromise, not just TALK compromise either like the politicians do, but actually mean it. Actually find a middle of the road balance where everybody can, if need be, even suffer equally if that is what it will take.
We won’t always agree or find common ground with our opponent either. Some times we will just be too far apart, but we don’t have to agree in order to be civil. We can argue an issue till the cows come home and still maintain a certain decorum of respectability.
We don’t have to revert to back stabbing and name calling as we seek to shout down our opponent do we? This polarization and “get even attitude” in the long run is probably going to end up being far more dangerous than the problem was.
When it comes to our personal lives it’s merely a matter of choice. Do you want to or not. Either way you choose you can expect the law of sowing and reaping (or karma) to fall heavily upon your shoulders. It always does and we are the products of our thoughts, both individually and collectively.
On the political scene it’s a bit more complicated. Our system has been compromised by special interests to the point that our elected officials are mere mouth pieces, puppets and panderers to these assholes who have infiltrated our Constitution and changed it to their benefit. Nothing happens good on that scene until we the people take back what’s ours.
Warfare is sometimes the only answer, but once begun all rational thought and compromise goes out the window. It’s blood, guts and bayonets. . . that’s what it may take to get our country back, but this stuff we’re doing now with the name calling and polarization is not doing any of us any good. We are just playing into the hands of the true enemy.
We must get to know HIM. We must respect his ability. We must find a weakness in his armor. It’s there, but only to those willing to deny this rush of emotion that seems to have taken over the American argument. We must reveal this enemy by passing laws and enforcing them until he has been drug out from under his rock and allowed to shrivel and dry in the sun.