How can you know if you're in the right?
Many people past and present have and will go to their graves in the belief they are right.
Over 620,000 Confederate soldiers died for the cause of the South during the American Civil War.
1,773,700 plus German soldiers died during World War One.
Then the German people still believed they were right and the rest of the world was wrong and for a second time they went to war with the world and over 4.3 million soldiers were killed and over 500,000 civilians were killed.
3 million North Korean soldiers died for their cause.
1.1 million North Vietnamese soldiers died for their belief.
This doesn't count the tens of millions of non-believers killed by these true believers during these conflicts who murdered the other under the assumption that there can only be one truth.
We today can see who was on the wrong side and who was on the right side during those conflicts.
But why didn't the people during those wars see the writing on the wall?
Why couldn't they see they were wrong?
There are big questions of right and wrong, but also there are everyday interactions, conflicts, issues that need answers.
How do you know you're in the right?
How many of us are willing to kill for a belief?
In our nation, many believe that they have the right to own guns and to kill whom they want when they want for their own reasons.
No one can stop them from killing not even the Constitution they believe.
We have subtler folks who casually discriminate based upon race.
Discrimination is a kind of casual death sentence upon the victim who is never given a real chance to thrive.
Greed drives many to gather and amass wealth through fraudulent business's, charities, religions.
Greed instructs the follower that the innocent are sheep, and you are the shearer.
Take from the stupid they'll never miss it.
Does at any time taking from the poor to make oneself rich ever raise a flag of morality for some?
Does a type of social, economic racism allow the person to convince themselves that this other kind of person doesn't deserve to be happy?
I'm of the mind that you either like humanity or you don't.
You're either willing to lend a hand or are of the mind that life is a party and it's there for your taking.
I'm also of the mind given our current time we live in that this split between those that are aware and support versus those that don't care about the common good is around 60/40.
I'm being an optimist and think that based upon the current polls demonstrating 40% of our citizens support our current President, and 60% don't.
That ratio can be reasonably applied to every issue that comes up today.
There are 40% of the nation who want children locked up.
There are 40% who want to discriminate against brown people.
There are 40% who don't want women to have equal pay.
There are 40% who would be happy with a dictator as long as that dictator favored them and oppressed the 60%.
There are 40% who want no restrictions on their right to kill with guns.
There are 40% who don't want the LGBTQ+ community to exist let alone have equal rights.
There are 40% who don't want abortions for any reason.
There are 40% who believe that the rich and corporations like them.
There are 40% who don't believe Man can change the climate.
There are 40% who don't want to share, food, neighborhoods, the street, the sidewalk, waiting in line, your right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It's really a sad thing to think about.
How could so many be so willing to destroy so much and yet still believe they are in the right?
What blinds people to pain?
What makes people deaf to the sound of sorrow?
What makes people ignore the crippling predatory power of poverty?
What takes away a person's ability to feel the anguish of hopelessness in another?
Is it as simple as, "At least it's not me."
How did generations, these generations that share this nation with us turn their hearts and minds away from love?
What put up the walls?
What burned down the truth of the common good?
What ground up common decency?
How did respect become hate?
Why did so many stop dreaming?
Why did so many of us stop dreaming of a better world?
So many have swallowed the pill of bitterness and now spew rank hatred in their wake.
How can a person believe that hatred, discrimination, intolerance, selfishness is standing on the side of right?
Personally, I'm gobsmacked.
America and please psychologists tell me if I'm wrong has a personality disorder.
An example is the opioid problem.
Yes, a corporation and doctors got together and made money off their product.
However, there is another problem that is more disturbing than corporate greed and the willingness to throw their customers into the morgue.
It's called personal responsibility.
Vast swaths of the Midwest have seen and are living in the aftermath of losing heavy industry and manufacturing to other countries via corporate boards lust for their ever-growing profit monster.
Unemployment, economic downturns, even depressions of the past meant everyone had to work harder.
Tough times made a tough people.
Can do spirit.
It didn't mean that they threw morality, social respect, belief in the rule of law out the window and went from no job to heroin addict overnight.
Historically speaking, if you're out of work, you became an alcoholic.
How is that doing right?
What makes one say I am different from the rest of these losers, I'm not an addict, I got this under control, I'm in the right?
I need this to get my life straight?
This personality disorder that America has did not develop on its own.
People do bad things when you take away their dreams.
When dreams become nightmares, some people strike out in fear and anger.
There is something we as a nation needs to know, something we all need to hear.
We can dream again.
We must, and it is our duty to dream again.
We don't have to believe we need to tear up and burn down what we have to make a clean start of it again.
You don't set your house on fire because you need a new pillow.
Some of us need to calm down.
Open our eyes.
Understand that the first principle of being right is to believe in truth.
Even if that truth reveals that we are in the wrong.
There is and only has been one truth in all of human history.
Not your truth or my truth but one great universal truth that has united us from birth to death.
Wisdom comes from compassion.
It's why a man a long time ago said, "What parent would give their child a rock if they are hungry?"
Too many fellow Americans believe they are in the right and are handing out rocks to the rest of us to suck on.
That's got to change.
Love means doing more not less.
Love asks more of each of us every day.
Reach out to that brother and sister and give them some of your courage.
Lift that box off their heads called fear.
Push away the night terrors created by their fear.
Ask them to join in a new dream.