As I watch the reports of horrific events around the world today, I am reminded of the days of the 60’s. I was not happy in those days as a pre-teen. My memories of television news reports of war in Viet Nam and protests in the US are those of feeling greatly confused and angry. I did not have the understanding of an adult, only the raw feeling of a child who was trying to understand his world around him. As I went through junior high school and then high school, the world kept changing quickly, and the center of our universe was not Facebook or Twitter, but television. I experienced the sweeping change from a fall TV season including Batman, Star Trek, and Bonanza to All in the Family, Maude, and M.A.S.H. The change of cultural focus was not as swift as it is today, because the entertainment industry was steered by the change of the media cycles. But in reflection, it was still too swift to comprehend. And in the news we daily saw reports of bombing and killing in Viet Nam amongst rioting in the US. Protests were anti war, anti establishment, and anti police.
I am not finding it different today – it is only faster. Because we have the instant access to information, be it true, factual, exaggeration or slander, it has immediate impact. We are bombarded with violence, hatred, extremist propaganda. We are seeing acts of violence in the Middle East and our own cities. Again, I am hearing protests of anti war, anti establishment, and anti police.
It is time for us as a people, to just stop and remember who and what we are. We need to create a space for ourselves, not alone, but in community, where we can be safe from this onslaught of violence and hatred – not to be separated from one another by belief, but just to enjoy each other as human beings. We cannot continue to be in a safe, sacred, loving world if we build walls between us. Instead we should be building communities where we celebrate each other without media, without information, without forgotten passwords in order to simply communicate with each other.
My way of dealing with all of this is to workout in a gym where there are no machines, treadmills, nothing to push buttons, just bars and plates of steel. I prefer to play an old fashioned piano rather than keyboard, and to listen to music played on acoustic instruments.
But … take away my iPhone and I will chop off your bloody hand.