Can We Talk About the State of Our World
As I lay witness to the state of our world, I want to hang my head and cry. My tears will not do anything to change this world, but my heart will. My words will. My passion will. Over the whole of my life, I have been a soulfully compassionate, passionate and empathic person. I love with my whole being and I am all in if I feel passionate about a person, a lesson or a cause. I know that if I can make the words come out right, that I can have an impact on the division, chaos, hatred, fear and self-loathing that is engulfing our world, especially this United States. So here I am, heart open and gushing the love I feel for my fellow humans.
What I ask of you, as you read this, is that you read it as a human, as a citizen of the United States and not as a republican, democrat, black, white or any other label that has been forced upon us in this society. Thank you for allowing me the space to share my observations, concerns and love with you.
In the media, that we are inundated with at every turn, we hear the same horrific stories, the ones that the anchors, or “powers that be” want us to hear to promote how they want us to see the event. We see this story repeatedly, witnessing each tragedy until we think that there is only hatred and devastation in the world. The stories are edited, opinionated and skewed to however the news desires you to interpret the story. They tell you their contorted interpretation of the event instead of the facts, limiting your ability to determine your logical thought and conclusion of what happened. The media and the politicians do not want you to think for yourself, but to utterly and unquestionably buy into their opinions and agendas.
I see fear being instilled into every aspect of our lives. Fear around the opposing political party, the Russians, the color of your skin, the neighbor, THE and ANY virus that is the hot topic of the season, and any social issue you can think of. One side is creating fear around racism, guns, homophobia, gas prices, food scarcity, vaccines, abortion, validity of any and all social systems, as the other side opposes any and all that the one side promotes. Should I go on? Are you seeing the injustice and manipulation?
Fear is a scare and control tactic. Fear is the lowest vibrational emotion a human can experience. When we live in fear, we are vulnerable, weak and easily manipulated and controlled. When we live in scarcity, we will fight to have our basic needs met, regardless of if there is enough or not. Our politicians and media are feeding us fear and scarcity. Most people are clutching onto this story with a death grip.
There is so much hatred, fear and anger around racism. I acknowledge fully the prevalence and demise that racism takes up in our world. How do we overcome it and be united as humans with love in our heart? I have witnessed lifelong friendships come to a halt over discussions about race, political views, vaccines and so much more. But we should not be divided on these issues. We are shown the worst of the human spirit day in and day out. We have become so wrapped up in the negative and the worst that society has to offer that we are blind to the good and philanthropic efforts being made every day and all around us. We are either in the throes of fighting about racism or in silence because we dare not speak our thoughts for fear of being called a racist, a supremacist, or any number of other labels that are thrown at people. The media and politicians, on both sides, work to keep us raw and riled up in order to keep us divided, weakened and easily controlled.
Remember the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where they go through the tunnel of horrific scenes like a chicken getting its head cut off? That tunnel is where the United States is anchored right now. Horrors, negativity and fear are flashed before us in incomprehensible and constant rates, to where we only see those horrors. But there is beauty and love in this world, if we can just remove ourselves from the tunnel of hatred and terrors.
Let us talk about basic needs. The basic needs for humans are food, water, shelter and love and belonging. Without those needs being met, we cannot function to our full potential. Consider that creating scarcity and fear can keep you low and in lack and not allow you to live in your power and create a life as you were intended to be in this world.
Our farmlands are not producing food like the always have. Fields are standing empty. I noticed this as I transversed North Carolina in early August. There used to be lush fields growing cotton, tobacco, corn, wheat and more from one side of the state to the other. This is no longer the case. Why? Why are we depending on other countries to provide food for our nation, while vast fields stand overgrown and empty? What is the purpose to not growing local, fresh and nutritious foods in our own country? What is this creating in our society? And that is not even taking in account the nutritional values of the food once it has been commuted for thousands of miles. Or what about the global environmental impact, that supposedly we are working so hard to minimize?
Are we being told the truth? Like Real. Honest. Truth. I dare to say, not even close.
I was recently in downtown Asheville. Where once stood “the” monument, were signs plastered everywhere that said things like LOVE WINS! Love is the answer! Love is Love! Of course, we know these words as they pertain to the LBGTQ+ citizens. I, too, believe love is the answer. I often have posted things such as, “we must start by loving each other if we want to heal our world!” I have heard people say, about my take on healing our world… “Carrie just thinks that we can love each other and that everything will be ok. She denies reality and dismisses truth.” Well, here is my question… If the basis for the validity of the LBGTQ+ community is that Love is the Answer, then why is that also not pertinent to all of us? Love and belonging are basic need of the human condition. Without love, we are not complete and whole. Without belonging, we become isolated. Are we without the very foundation that created us? Without love, we feel disconnected, alone and empty. We must start and build upon with this foundation of love.
It makes me wonder when people say that love is not the answer to our societal demise, if that just means that they are not willing to be vulnerable and open to the possibility of loving those that may not share their same opinion, experiences and goals for healing?
Recently, in a conversation with a friend that is not the same skin tone as me, I was referring to a job I did not receive, that I worked so hard to earn, because the hiring supervisor did not think I could handle the “large, male, minority population at Asheville High School, because I was young, attractive and blonde.” I graduated from Asheville High and had/ have no issues or fear around the male, minority population. My reason for expressing this story, once again, was to remind her that I can empathize with being judged for my appearance. She proceeded to tell me that my one experience 25 years ago was just not pertinent. This stung because it is pertinent to me, and it is pertinent to my ability to understand her experience. Instead of saying that she is glad I could relate, she voided my experience, because I am white, and I cannot possibly understand how she feels. What she did not receive was that within this story is me, working to understand. It is not something I deal with every day, but I was trying to remind her that I have experienced the judgments and I am passionate about doing something about it. When did we lose the compassion for our friends to share our stories. When did it become a competition to have a harder life? When was it that we vie for victimhood, strive for anger and, daily, look for anything to prove that we are being treated poorly and thrive on what YOU THINK others think or feel about you? Most people are so wrapped up in their own disfunction and selfishness that they just do not even think about others, at all. As a white woman, I have been judged for being white, privileged, blonde, from West Asheville, the car I drive, the books I read, the way I believe and practice my relationship with Jesus, my opinions, and more. I have been followed in stores and watched like a hawk. I know how judgment feels, and I am here to stand by anyone and hold their hand as they work through the judgments that land heavy on their heart. I want to help those who stand in their judgment, to understand, that judgment comes from their wounds or raising and not from the people who they are judging. Both sides lose to that judgment that them versus us mentality.
But, what if, those judgments are truly not about you? What if yesterday, someone came in a store and stole $3000 worth of items, and the manager is raw and vigilant because he got wiped out. What if, that rude waitress has a sick child at home, and she is so worried that she cannot afford the medicine to treat her baby and that is where her mind is? What if, that officer was threatened just hours ago and his adrenaline is still pumping hard through his veins and he is approaching you, and he is scared? What if, that 17-year-old has been taught nothing, but fear and survival and he knows not how to be calm and collected when he gets pulled over?
What if we all approached each other with kindness, love, compassion and concern? What if, we were all just a bit more generous with our hearts, our tips, our ability to help others, even if all you have to offer is holding the door for the person behind you, or letting them out in bumper-to-bumper traffic? What if we were all a little less selfish and a little more selfless? What if we look for the good in the world and stop focusing on the bad and only yourself? What if we took responsibility for our reactions, our energy and the interpretation that everything is about you. Because we all know how others treat us is about them and how they are and the experiences they have lived. You just may happen to be on the receiving end of their energy. But you can choose to reject their judgment and negative energy and stand in your power and self-love.
As an example, have you ever walked into a room where a fight just ended. Could you feel the heavy, hot and thick energy that was left in the wake of this intense exchange, we recognize as a fight? Yes, of course you can. Now, consider this, you have had a bad day or week and you walk into a restaurant, already armored up because you just cannot take one more challenge and refuse to put up with one more problem. The waitress greets you with a smile and seats you at your table, but you grumble and snap at her when she asked you what you’d like to drink. So, when she comes back to your table, she has read and absorbed the energy that you gave off when she seated you. Now, she is armored up and resistant to engaging with you, for fear that you may get angry, threatening her job and her livelihood because her manager is insistent that customers be kept happy. Could it be that she is responding to the armored-up energy that you brought in and not that she is making a judgment about you based on how you look?
We are all responsible for the energy we are carrying around with us and give out in this world.
Just today, I saw several moments that reminded me how alike, and in need of connection we all are. I get to see these beautiful human moments because I am looking for them. I was in Marshall’s and flipping through the clothing rack. Two ladies with a baby in the stroller, were close by and discussing life with children. These two ladies were white. A black woman, standing looking at the clothing, also, said to them, “I hate to interrupt, but I just dealt with the same thing yesterday with my son.” As I walked away, these ladies we have a caring conversation about the challenges of being a mom. I smiled as I got to witness women coming together for a moment of support, nurturing and love.
Just a few minutes later, I was in Target looking at the baby clothes for my new great niece. An older black lady pushed her cart further in the aisle and said, “Oh excuse me. I didn’t mean to leave my cart blocking the aisle.” I looked at her and told her she was not in my way, and I was just trying to decide what to get my baby great niece because everything is so cute. We went on to have a brief and beautiful conversation about the gift of babies and how precious they are. I left smiling because all babies are gifts and should all be loved as such and it was nice to chat with another loving soul.
This is the law of attraction. What you seek you will find.
Some days I see a Hispanic man holding a door for a white lady. Some days, I see a black man helping a white man change his tire on the side of the road. Some days, I see a black teacher putting her heart and soul into teaching each child as lovingly as the next. Some days I see a white man helping a black lady with her groceries. This is the beauty that still exists in our everyday lives. We just must want to see it. And want to be it.
How about this so called “privilege.” As I grew up, my parents taught me that I must earn privileges. This always meant that my room needed to be clean, the dishes need to be done and maybe some extra chores, depending on what I was asking to do. When I hear I am privileged just because I am white, this gives me a visceral rejection to this social construct. (A social construct created by, most likely, a professor in a college that feels the need to label every aspect of our world.) I have not earned a place above or anything where I deserve to be treated differently than anyone else. I am not sure how a human could ever do that. I am the same as everyone else. I may have earned my ability to have the car I drive, but I have never earned a place socially above another person. That is why I totally debunk the “privilege” theory.
While we are discussing social constructs, what about labels? Today, we must check boxes that identify us as our race, our sexual orientation, our marital status, our gender, our income and so on. Once again, this is a social construct to keep everyone categorized and placed neatly in boxes. Within these boxes, we are isolated and divided. If love is love and human connection is the answer, then why must we separate ourselves by checking boxes that define who we are? When honestly, you cannot truly define the magic and spirit that we each bring to this world. These labels, this social construct, is a mechanism to separate us and highlight our differences as opposed to interweaving us together with all our similarities as humans, allowing us to benefit from each other’s gifts.
A few years ago, I went to a 9 week “training” called Building Bridges. Their mission stated it was to build community between the black and white people in the Asheville area. Out of 70 or so people who showed up to this 9-week experience, most were white, a handful were black and a few Hispanic. As I sat through the presentations and discussions, I got frustrated. What this experience ending up being, for me, was finger pointing and telling the white folk how horribly we have treated black folk for centuries and all the detriment the white community has created for the black community. One night, I got upset because I listened to a black woman, who was leading the group, tell us a story about putting the fear of God in her 18-month-old grandson because he was playing with a water gun. As a mom and a social worker, I could see this toddler being frightened and not understanding. I felt she has set him up to live in fear, especially from white police officers. This fear will feed into him possibly reacting from fear and not from logic. This story and overt fear, made me sad for this child, that from 18 months old, to his death, that he will now live afraid of guns, afraid of cops, afraid of white men. This leads me right back to fear being the weakest and lowest vibrational emotion a human can feel. If he constantly lives in fear, he will never be able to experience the love, belonging, and compassion he deserves to feel all his life. He will be blocked from his full and exquisite potential because he can never outrun the fear that is instilled in him from such a tender and impressionable age.
And before you reject this because of the “need” to keep our black boys safe, I want you to consider the energy scenario in the same situation. It is a human reaction to read and protect ourselves from negative and fear inducing energy. To control our reactions takes skill and practice and learning that not everyone is out to hurt you. This is human experience and God gifted resource to keep each of us safe from harm. Consider that instilling fear that will lead to mistrust, that will lead to heavy energy that can lead to escalation of a minor ordeal is possible. This goes for everyone in every situation, from a fight with your spouse to an interaction with an authority figure. What if we learn and teach our kids to be open to listening to their intuition, to work toward trusting, engaging and opening up to the innate goodness in people.
As for the Building Bridged experience, I left that 9th week disappointed and sadden by the idea that people think that this program would improve anything. You cannot shame, guilt and blame people into change. (refer to any research explained by Brenè Brown.) These, too, are very low vibrational emotions and will never produce motivation and propel change. What I had hoped to be a part of within this program is coming together for real solutions, creating programs for adults and kids that can bring them together to work on a united community and instill pride into their hometown while building lasting friendships with people of all races, backgrounds and experiences. This is not that program.
Society cannot move forward from this place of blame, negativity, armored up, fearful and victimized citizens. We must dig deep into our very souls and decide that we are not going to stand for the fear, the division, the hatred, the buying into the battle of politicians that are no more that schoolyard bullies. Enough is enough and it is time that we see each other as the unique, beautiful, interesting, talented, and purposeful humans that we all are. We are all fighting battles and fears that no one sees. We are all experiencing moment of self-doubt and worthiness. But we are all here for our own one-of-a-kind purpose and to contribute something to this world that no one else can. How sad is it that we are missing out on what each other has to offer just because some politician or media mogul told us we should be scared of each other? Seriously, how sad is that?
That almost sounded like an ending, but I have more to say.
Our children!! Lord, help our children and grandchildren if we do not stand up to the dimly lit and treacherous path we are going down. In most schools today, students are not taught creativity, or logic. My youngest is in her last semester of high school and I can almost exhale as she will graduate in January. She hates school. She is not challenged at all and just regurgitates what the teachers throw at her. I have witnessed the demise of our educational system since my kids came out of elementary school. Never once, have they written a creative writing paper. Rarely, have they had homework or projects assigned to them. More often than not, worksheets replaced textbooks and notebooks. Children are not being allowed to experiment within the classroom and take that knowledge and skill home to practice. They are not being taught to freely or critically think. They have diminishing amounts of active play outside. And I cannot even fathom the agenda of all the gender and non-gender curriculum that is emerging. To me, and many others, children should be curious. That is how God made us. Children should also be innocent for as long as possible and allow their innate selves to emerge with full love and support. They are inundated with sex from every angle as it is, and it need not be in the classrooms of elementary schools. What needs to be in practice is counselors who are educated to handle questions from kids and parents as the naturally emerge. Not a curriculum that lays out questionable theories to young, curious and impressionable minds.
I said what I said!
How about the Climate Change concept? How is it that the “powers that b”e who are “fighting climate change” are also the reason we are shipping oil, food and other resources from other countries, using fossil fuels to do so, perpetuating the very climate change that they claim to be battling? How is it better to use foreign resources when we must use so many natural resources to acquire their resources, let alone pay for them? And why do said “powers that be,” fly around in their private jets and have large limousines to take them wherever they want to go, but ask us to use public transportation more? Ride our bikes more?
Can we do better at taking care of our world? Absolutely! However, I feel more harm is done to our habitats by building 800-unit apartment complexes on the side of Sweeten Creek Road, displacing wildlife and disturbing the beauty, trees and natural cycles, than driving myself to the grocery store in my gas-powered car.
Another thought… If the northern ice caps are melting, what is happening in the south? If the earth is tilting a little more toward the sun in the north, is it not getting a little less sun in the south? Hmmm… Water does not disappear; it just changes forms.
Let us dive into the cyclical food, pharmaceutical, insurance, political arena. We are shipping food across the ocean, to, at least, the detriment of nutrition. In turn, most everything that is on our store shelves is processed in some way. The most processed foods are the least expensive, which is mind boggling. Why is an organic tomato $3 and two bags of processed, packaged and shipped potato chips also $3? And we ask why our country struggles with unhealthy and overweight citizens? Then we go to the doctor, and they throw pharmaceuticals at us that are insanely expensive, and many are not covered by certain insurance. They only mask the problem, never solving the underlying issues. 75% of those issues are created by the foods we consume as a nation. Yet, we keep creating GMO, processed and convenient foods and pills to counteract the detriment that continue to perpetuate disease. Are you asking questions now?
Let’s relate that to poverty. So, a single mother of three children must focus on quantity of food to sustain her children throughout the month. One tomato will not be sufficient for lunch for her children, no matter the nutritional benefit. Two bags of chips will last three or more lunches. Which would you choose as a single mother with limited income? These are also the people most likely on Medicaid and food stamps and counting on government assistance. We are creating a sick, sad, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted society and a foundation of continuing generational poverty. When you lack basic human needs and live in scarcity, you cannot even fathom creating a life of joy, purpose and health. (as the repeated theme is highlighted) And as the fields stand empty, they could be providing healthy, local foods to these struggling families. Food addiction to sugar, salt and convenience prevail, our families get sicker, our waistlines get broader, creating weakness in mind, body and spirit, our pharmaceutical companies get richer, and our politicians get more powerful and wealthy.
Related to this is body image and the destructive nature of comparison, especially to our young women. Young, black females are sexualized earlier than any other population, creating a cycle of self-worth around sexuality and not the valuable people they are innately meant to be. Young, white females are more prone to eating disorders and unattainable body images that create self-destructive behaviors. Comparison is the death of creativity and self-love. These are just a few examples of what are the enormous burdens and social issues that consume our children, our future. Because they are always in comparison and survival mode, they are blocked from learning who they are and who they are meant to be. Our school systems are not equipped to support and guide young girls to be empowered. Social media and marketing are overly responsible to the demise of all our self-worth, self-love and blockages that keep them from becoming a happy, healthy, well-rounded and joyful member of society.
Gas prices and inflation are a crucial and crushing social issue. The increased minimum wage has had little to no impact on the financial status of those that are earning such a wage. If you pay goes up 5% but the cost of EVERYTHING increases but 10%, you are actually worse off than you were. How people cannot understand that the financial status of the country is very much a social issue, is beyond me. Let us go back to the struggling single parent. If you cannot afford to put gas in your car to get to work, to be able to put food on the table and pay the rent, this is a huge social issue Basic needs, once again, are not being met. Nothing else has an impact on a homeless, cold and empty stomach. Nothing can trickle in if your basic needs are not being fulfilled.
Hypocrisy is PROFOUND.
· “My Body, My Choice” is a stance on abortion. But it is not My Body and My Choice if it comes to the vaccine.
· You must have the baby and cannot have an abortion as an option, if you get pregnant, regardless of the circumstances. But there is no help, programs, abundant daycares, flexible and affordable job training, education and funds available for the children of and the mothers who are forced to have the baby. Where is the father’s responsibility in the future of this child? How many “unwanted” and “unloved and uncared for” children living in the foster system with minimal needs met? How many of these children will go on to repeat the cycle that has been perpetuated upon them?
· “January 6 is horrific and an attack on the democratic way of life.” But protesting, for justice, and wreaking havoc on small businesses, homes, families and whole cities, is justified? Were the people who were at the Capitol that day, at least taking their concerns directly to the people that they held animosity against?
· Both are wrong. How do you justify one and condemn the other? Where is the right is right and wrong is wrong values in our society? Where are the morals that I was taught? That I am teaching my kids. How are we supposed to teach future generations how to behave when we cannot even agree on the definition of right and wrong behaviors?
· Protesting is a constitutional right, unless I do not agree with what you are protesting.
And these are just a few examples as to the messed-up “logic” of our country and it comes from all sides. It is confusing, dividing and ridiculous to watch grown people create and justify their stances when none of it makes any sense at all!
So, what from here? Forgiveness. Love. Vulnerability. Truth. Unity.
In an Oprah podcast from June 2021, titled Forgiveness, https://www.oprah.com/own-podcasts/oprah-winfrey-forgiveness, Oprah states that what truly changed her life was realizing that forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the events of the past could ever be different. We have no ability to go back to yesterday or 200 years ago and correct our mistakes, our traumas or anything we wish could have been different. Holding on to this resentment blocks us from opening our heart to possibilities of who we are and are meant to be. Resentment is the antithesis of resilience. Resentment leaves us behind in the past and in the muck of trauma. Resilience highlights our lessons and growth so we can be better humans and not perpetuate our traumas onto others, especially our children. Forgiveness will allow our hearts to open to love more, be more, feel more, and create more peace for ourselves and our world.
In closing, I feel, and I know that we are being lied to, manipulated, and instilled with fear and scarcity, in order to be controlled and manipulated into being followers and subjects instead of actual, active, contributing citizens of this United States of America. I lay witness to the division and accusations from longtime friends because of the political chaos of this time. We are allowing us to be divided, isolated, pitted against each other and being victimized. All this leads to is sadness, fear, shame and guilt across the board. Divided, we are weak and easily conquered. Isn’t it time that we come together to stand strong in what we know and experience as love and unity. Isn’t it time we stop finger pointing and start embracing, supporting and cheering each other onto each of our unique and soulful gifts we have to offer this world? Isn’t it time we stand up to those that we put into power and question who they truly are and what their true intentions are? Then release them back into society to live in the mess they created, demanding that they work to repair the destruction left in their wake.
Will you take my hand, brother, sister, neighbor? Can we take this challenge on together and start to live in the harmony that we are destined to create and sustain?