Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Fall of Another Great Empire

How did this happen? Me. Ms. Politically Aware, Ms. Get-Out-and-Get-Your-Voice-Heard, Ms. Get-Yourself-Educated-About-the-Politics-of-the-Country-You-Call-Home, Ms. Stand-Up-For-Something...blah, blah, blah. Me. I have totally lost touch with U.S. policies, politics and the futileness of it all. Living outside the U.S. as I currently do, you would think it would be important for me stayed tuned in considering my past passion about getting this ((**ahem**)) fearless leader out of the White House.

What a strange place for me. We are a few short weeks away from an election that 4 years ago, I eagerly awaited (technically, I have been waiting 8 years). I am so checked-out, that I don't have a clue what the issues are that have the hot seat in the manipulated American mind. I know what the REAL issues are, but I also know that no matter what Obama or McCain promise regarding Iraq, health insurance, global warming, etc., anything that will actually commence much needed change, will be quickly dismantled with the red tape of politics and lobbyists. What is really needed -- a complete 180 in the way the U.S. is set up and operating on this planet -- I just don't see that happening.

I cannot seem to let go of the disappointment of the RE-ELECTION of Mr. Bush 4 loooong years ago. This disappointment is combined with the fact that the U.S. still has the Electoral College in place. Yeah, you know? That government branch that has the power to o-v-e-r-t-u-r-n popular vote? That same operating system that 4 years ago was known to be obsolete – it still alive and kicking in the upcoming election. Is that really democracy? How can my vote be overturned by some official that has no idea what is in my best interest, or how deeply I am impacted by the government that rules me? Yet, that is exactly what happened in the 2004 election. If Bush lost the popular vote in 2004, how was the Electoral College able to overturn that which directly opposed the popular vote? The U.S. does not have a true democracy until the Electoral College is dismantled and popular vote alone decides all elections.

They say when hope is lost, all is lost. I ask myself why I have become so disconnected and the answer is, I just lost hope. I lost hope that the U.S. will ever recover from its decomposing condition. I have lost hope that enough U.S. citizens will wake from their slumber. They will continue to see the writing on the wall, yet behave as if illiterate.

It is impossible to get enthusiastic about any administration change. It will be more of the same decline of the U.S., regardless of which candidate is elected. If all of this is what it means to be a proud American, than perhaps I don’t have it in me. This will be the first election in nearly 20 years that I will not be participating. I know, I know, I become part of the problem if I don’t. I just really do not see how who is in the White House will be able to change the mindset of a nation that has been lead astray and doesn’t even care to see the truth.

I watch from afar as election day draws nearer. The top 2 news stories are 1) the Election and 2) the crashing U.S. economy. This is where we get to get off the ride, folks!! 8 years ago, the U.S. was in a much better place, internationally, domestically, environmentally and integrally.

Throughout history, all of the great empires have fallen after long periods of world rule. The U.S., is on her way to meeting the same demise. Put your hand over your heart, ready....begin. ...

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Everyone has their opinion or idea of what "paradise" actually is. How it feels. What it looks like. Something that one person defines as paradise may for someone else be simply ordinary or uninspired.

My "paradise" is a feeling. It is it the state of mind when everything inside me emotionally, spiritually and physically just feels "on". It is that place in time where I feel that I have passed a milestone and at that moment in time, I have gained just a bit more insight about life and how the world operates. It is a place where life has granted me one more serving of wisdom.

At that exact moment there is such a state of bliss. There are no stress or worries. There is simply this amazing feeling of contentment. It is as if I have taken a huge inhale, exhaled all the bad inside, and simply let it all go. Everything seems perfect. The wind blows at exactly the right speed. The sun beats down on my skin juuuuust right. Conversations are stimulating. Everything just "is".

I often wonder if it is possible to sustain this state of bliss. Perhaps as I navigate through life and with each of these milestones, I will be given just a smidge more paradise. Each episode will last a bit longer than the last and the space between each milestone will get shorter and shorter. In time every day will be my own paradise.

Is it possible to live life in such a state of "on" that we become capable of maneuvering around obstacles that we so easily entangle ourselves in? Why not? We are such brilliant and smart beings. Why do we allow ourselves to be ruled by emotions rather than common sense? I would like to think that sustaining this feeling is a decision. That when life situations come in to distract me from this feeling of contentment, that I can quickly take myself back to right here, right now and remember that this is how my spirit is supposed to feel. That the chaos of every day life is a fabricated reality that I can decide to participate in, or leave behind in favor of paradise. Mind over matter. It is an experiment in the making. Paradise can be wherever or whenever I choose to participate in its existence.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Human Encounters

I often think about those I've crossed paths with. Some have been significant players in my life tale. My friends, my family. Others, however, are those small characters that some would forget are part of their story at all.

There is the mechanic who entertained me with his thesaurus laden tales of recent news events and American history. Or the cleaning woman in my building, Maria, who greets me every morning with an exuberant "Buenos dias! Que tal?" as she mops the lobby. What about the security guard at my office, Tony, who counts down for me each and every day how many days left until Saturday. And of course, the kid at the salad shop who never forgets how much I love the sesame bars and makes a special effort to save me one.

Do they take mental note of me as I have of them? Perhaps Maria enjoys our short dialogue every morning because every other person hussles past her as they dart off for work. I wonder if anyone stops to acknowledge the early hours she is working to keep their environment clean and pleasant. It’s possible that the security guard that everyone whisks by at lightening speed in an attempt to punch that ol' clock by 9:30 a.m. appreciates that I slow to engage in our ritualistic approaching weekend banter. Maybe the kid at the salad shop gets a kick from my childish glee at being offered my sesame bar. I am merely speculating as to where, or if, I've blipped on their radar.

It would be easy think that these people are not significant players in my story, but really, they are. They have engraved themselves in a small nitch in my memory. When you think about it, there are countless characters such as these in our lives that we interact with on a daily basis, yet don’t always acknowledge. Some are a one shot encounter, such as the person in the car next to you at the stop light that you have the opportunity to exchange grins with. Perhaps the person waiting beside you at the crosswalk that you discuss the horrible traffic conditions with. Others are those that you "know" – the ones you see every day as you rush to catch the bus or wait in line next to in Starbucks. You know the ones, those you recognize on the street, but have never talked to.

In our hustle to get to ...where ever it is we are so hurried to get ... we have forgotten the simple pleasure of human interaction. A pleasant and genuine "Good Morning". An authentic smile when you catch someone looking at you, rather than the annoyed "what the hell are you starring at?" reaction. A brief exchange of ideas in the elevator. Taking the time to acknowledge those that perform services for us, such as the janitorial staff at your office. What about saying a caring "hello" to that homeless guy you pass every day? We have missed out on an incredible number opportunities to share a brief moment in life with another.

Have we forgotten to interact? Have we forgotten to appreciate the small human exchanges? Have we forgotten how important even the most minuscule of things actually are? I for one want to remember. I want to remember every face I see and I want it to register that just like me, this person is a story in the making.