by Joe Courter
We are here on this planet at an absolutely stunning time of knowledge and awareness. In all the vastness of time past, our present science and technology give us a clear window of understanding into the timescale itself, the mechanics of living organisms, and the components that make up our physical world, that of the other planets and galaxies beyond.
Never in history have we humans been able to know so much, have the tools and ability to enhance our lives and life experience. Yes, we are making an environmental mess, but damn, what a time to be alive.
That said, as usual, huge amounts of poverty and repression exist throughout the world. We who are immune to the pain and insecurity need to have in our minds these truths as well:
The wealth, technology, and ability to improve the quality of life of the masses of the planet exist but are bottled up by greed, nationalism, and mistrust. Powerful cliques work to retain their control of the systems of governance and industry. Within this nation over half the economy is wedded to the military. There is always money for weapons in addition to systems and corporate bailouts, but healthcare and education are portrayed as wasteful and too expensive. Versions of this exist around the world, but nowhere are such realities as blatant as here in the USA.
The roots of the worldwide migration crisis of desperate human beings has links to climate change in some cases for sure, but the impact of wealthy nations through colonialism and its after effects are great. Greater still is specifically by the USA and its export of weapons, the funding of dictators and authoritarian regimes, and direct and indirect war making, leading to massive regional destabilization. Primary cases: Central America and the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Black Lives Matter is not a hard concept to grasp. It is an acknowledgment that for the past 400+ years Black lives did not matter — Black people could be property, be deprived education, be ghettoized and red-lined, and be subject to prejudice and discrimination. It is three words that say so much.
Attention all men: Male supremacy is a fact and ingrained in our culture, and in most cultures in the world. Women justifiably fear rape and assault and do not feel safe in many situations. Fashion and appearance expectations place physical and psychological demands on them that men do not face. Please check yourself on judgmental attitudes and how much space you are taking up in conversations. And speak up when buddies make sexist comments.
Careless and arrogant humans are a virus’s best friends. Crowded indoor areas with stagnant air are viral playgrounds. We modern humans who can travel so easily are the viral facilitators of a global pandemic. Modern science has done an amazing job of vaccine production. We’ll get through this, it’s a damn shame we lost (and are losing) so much time with anti-science behavior and leadership.
Truth is, the term “mental illness” is pretty much open to interpretation, but there are other maladaptive behaviors that could be considered for inclusion. In a world with so much need and suffering, being a millionaire, a billionaire, or especially a trillionaire who is just sitting on all that wealth or spending it ostentatiously, is not a well-adjusted human. Is that mental illness?
One final truth, as I said back in the Jan/Feb Publisher note: the Right does not want everyone to vote. Across the country we are seeing restrictions on voting introduced, even in Florida, which at the time touted how well-run the election went, but now is joining the repression chorus. The truth is, most humans have empathy and value helping others. Yes, many can fall into the mental trap of fear and hate, but we good people outnumber them and need to be heard and visible. Do what you can.