Why Do I … ???

Friends say to me, “Why do you spend so much time worrying about politics?  What will be, will be.  Why not spend your time enjoying life?  You’re going to drive yourself to an early grave.  Just chill and have fun.”  This post is my response to those people.

Why do I spend so much time worrying about politics?  I don’t.  I spend that much time worrying about what is happening in this nation, in the world.  I spend that much time speaking out, sometimes ranting, about the injustices I see in this world.  I look at our government taking innocent children from their parents’ arms, tossing them into detention centers with naught but a piece of tinfoil for a blanket, and I say, “This is wrong!”  I see decisions being made by a few in the upper echelons of government that completely disregard the concerns of scientists and environmentalists … decisions that are hastening the end of life on this planet, and I say, “This is wrong!”

I see a ‘man’ who is supposed to represent this nation, who is supposed to represent the ideals of a nation founded on “liberty and justice for all”, denigrating people in the LGBT community, calling Hispanics and Muslims terrible names, making racial, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs and more, and I cannot help but say, “This is wrong!”  I see decisions made that ensure the rich get richer while the poor are denied adequate health care, housing, food, and the basic necessities of life, and yes, once again I say, “This is wrong!”

A number of my friends claim that I just don’t like Trump.  No, I don’t like him …anti-TrumpBut, it isn’t only Trump … it is also those who either support or applaud the policies of this administration, policies that are discriminatory against minorities, against women, against non-Christians, against LGBT, and against the poor.  Policies that put this nation and its people in grave danger.  Policies and rhetoric that alienate our allies, while patronizing our enemies.  And it is also the people who turn a blind eye, who know that these things are wrong but bury themselves inside their bubble, their comfort zone, and pretend they don’t see the children in cages crying themselves to sleep at night.  It is those who believe that they have no obligation to do their part to clean up our environment, who tell me that somehow some magical creator of the universe will make everything right again in good time, so they can continue tossing away their plastic bottles, driving their gas-guzzling SUVs, and living life just as they have always done.

And it is those who believe that somehow, they are better than others, either because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, or their ethnicity.  Those who worry that the people with pale skin will someday not be the majority, will not have the final say in what this nation will be.  It is the arrogance, the ignorance, and the greed that I do not like, can no longer tolerate.

Those same friends then say, “Well, you cannot fix the problems, so why not relax, enjoy life, have some fun … lighten up.”

No, I cannot fix the problems by myself … no one person can.  But I can do my part, and I can keep using the little voice I have to make others aware of the many injustices happening right under our very noses.  There is an old saying that, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”.  I am attempting to lead the horse to the clear, cool stream in hopes that he will drink.  I cannot do otherwise, it is who I am.  But, I am getting tired …

Tired of seeing people surrounding themselves with so much noise that it drowns out the things that actually matter.  Tired of people burying their heads in the sand, wearing their rosy-coloured glasses, sticking their fingers in their ears and singing, “La-la-la-la-la … I can’t hear you!”

Why do I do what I do?  Because it matters, at least to me.  Because we are on a collision course, and much like the passengers aboard the Titanic, the majority will still be dancing, posting pictures of their last meal on social media, and pretending they just don’t see, when the ship hits the iceberg.  We all have a choice to be a part of the solution, or a part of the problem, but there is no neutral choice.  If you choose to ignore it all, if you choose not to be part of the solution, then you ARE the problem.  We have all contributed to the problem for long enough.  Now it is time to be part of the solution.

Quite by coincidence, as this post was a work-in-progress this morning, I saw a comment by our friend Roger who offered the following quote by Elie Wiesel …

“Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Think about it.

93 thoughts on “Why Do I … ???

    • Thanks John!!! Yep, it had been weighing on me for a while, and every now and then, I just have to say what’s on my mind! If I don’t clear out the old mind every now and then, it gets cobwebs, y’know? 😉

      Like

  1. We live in oppressive times and we must all take the better path. We must not stand still and let evil wash over us, but move to higher ground and take as many as will go, with us. It is survival, both in a physical, and a metaphorical sense. We have to keep moving forward, for to stand and watch, doing nothing, seals our own destruction. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, excellent post and comments. When the president’s lying sets policy is where my concerns are highest:
    – the Dept of Defense says climate change is a threat to national security, but Trump calls it a hoax and is pulling the US out of the Paris CC Accord (and blows off a meeting at the G7)
    – The debt and deficit worsen as the interest cost rises, yet this is ignored and a tax bill and two spending bills make them worse
    – Tariffs are an unwieldy tool, but he supports them by routine lying on who pays for them; he slipped up the other day and told the truth about tariffs, but was lying once again on Friday – this means he knows and is purposefully lying.
    – the immigrant issues needed to be addressed, but were not near the problem that he has created under his words and actions.

    There are so many more things to mention, but thess give a flavor of his illicit stewardship. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Keith! Yes, he has failed to honour his oath of office, has failed miserably at upholding the Constitution, and has failed to even attempt to represent ALL the people, but only a chosen few. He has brought shame on this nation and on the office of the president. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s the same for me Jill. My heart has been heavy I find it hard to feel hopeful. I am powering through the drak feelings which are worsened by recent work issues. Sometimes it is wise to step away and breathe, to remember that this life is a gift and one moment of any of us feeling joy is making it a more joyful place. It’s a tough balancing act but is vital to your own survival. Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There are tough times, and we all have to find our place in our heads where we can take a bit of time to breathe, to relax, to just … be … for a while. I have a hard time finding that place, but every now and then I accidentally stumble into it. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jill, As evidenced by all the comments, you have struck a chord with people; your blog posts mean something to all of us. You have a wonderful way of putting into words what I am thinking and feeling. Plus it’s nice to know that I am not alone in having such thoughts. I thank you for your efforts in keeping us informed and making us realize that there is a better way. By the way, the quote about how you can’t make a horse drink; I saw an add-on to that quote once that said, “but you can make him thirsty”. That is what your blog does, it makes me thirsty for wanting things to be the way they should be.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Truly I did not realize how many find my writings useful … I was amazed and quite happy! You’re right … it is good to know there are others who are as frustrated, who feel that the world has suddenly turned upside down. Good ending to that quote! I think we are all thirsty for a return to planet earth! I have been watching, but no statistics are available yet … but I fully expect to see the rates of suicides and alcoholism increase during this tumultuous time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 💖 Thank You 💖 | Filosofa's Word

  6. Hi Jill.
    Thanks for the reference.
    You will of course be Jill and you will of course continue with your splendid work on your blog, supporting, enlightening and encouraging others in this War for the Soul.
    I use the analogy of War for a particular reason.
    It is an acknowledge fact troops need to be pulled out of the front line from time to time to rest and refit. Constant combat reduces their cutting edge.
    Just saying 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  7. So right, Jill, and so many good comments here too. The only thing I want to add (or repeat) is that these posts, these comments, these discussions are not just a waste of time when you could be ‘enjoying life’ (whatever that means when we are deeply worried about where life is going), but every time they make even one person stop and think about consequences that may not have occurred to them before, stop and wonder whether all these voices crying out about wrongs might actually have a point, then that is a success and lots of these little successes will lead to large ones. The majority must not be the silent majority!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Worry is something we do needlessly over things we cannot control. YOU, JILL, ARE NOT WORRYING. You are defining conditions which must be addressed for this earth to continue as a viable space for humans to inhabit. We all write what we write, not to see our thoughts in writing, but to share our concern, hope and vision for a better world. Just a thought from an old man who refuses to “worry.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Larry!!! Yep, we write what we see … it’s funny that we can all look at the same thing, but interpret it differently. I don’t worry, I rebel, only instead of rebelling by marching in the streets, my rebellion is on paper. As they say, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  9. A brilliant and powerful post, Jill. And the comments are fantastic too. I want to share a Howard Zinn quote with you, because he makes the point that the future is made up of many small actions in the present. Your voice does and will will continue to have an impact ~ just look at the comments of already left here.
    ”To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.
 It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty,
but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. 
If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.
 If we remember those times and places — and there are so many —
where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
 And if we do act, in however small a way,
we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
 The future is an infinite succession of presents,
and to live now as we think human beings should live,
in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
    Howard Zinn
    ~ Big hugs ~

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Hi Jill,
    I want to thank you for a brilliant presentation. It moved me so much I opened up my “like” button and actually used it; for me that is not an easy move, given my social media philosophy.
    I can say I agree to a large degree, if not fully, with everything you say. Most people believe in “Divide and conquer.” But sometimes it is necesssary to divide to learn who your enemies are, and approach them one by one, not “en mass.” Most people are easier to talk to when they have no one around to impress, or show off to.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow!!! Thank YOU, rg … you put a smile on my face! 😊 And you know, I never thought about it before, but you make an excellent point when you say that most people are easier to talk to one-to-one, when there is nobody else there to try to impress. You’re a wise man!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Jill, this post leaves me speechless…okay, almost speechless. I do not wonder WHY you do it, I wonder HOW you do it without it taking its toll on your mind and your body?! What you do is important and meaningful to those of us who cannot find the words to express ourselves as eloquently, as truthfully, as unabashedly, as Jill Dennison via Filsofa’s Word. You bring clarity to our thinking, promote discourse through our comments, enlighten and entertain whilst teaching. You have earned my humble gratitude for a job well done. The words from John Pavlovitz are the perfect accompaniment to your writing. If you will indulge me for a bit, I will tell you a bit about the man behind those words. I think that he is an unknown to many of your followers and mayhaps yourself too. John Pavlovitz is a minister and author who became known for his political writing with a Liberal Christian viewpoint. He was raised Catholic, but became a Methodist after college. He was a youth minister when he began his blog in 2012 “Stuff That Needs To Be Said” and some articles that were deemed too provocative earned him his dismissal from the United Methodist Church in 2013. He continued saying what he felt needed to be said in his blog and went on to become a youth minister at a Community Church. What you may find surprising is that he has written about acceptance of homosexuality, promoted the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and unflatteringly about Donald Trump. The blog continues and is worth reading. I suggest his July 3, 2019 post titled “Donald Trump, Fear Evangelist”. He also writes another blog titled “The Good Men Project”. He has authored some books, among them are these two that I have read : “A Bigger Table” in 2017 and “Hope and Other Superpowers” in 2018. Forgive my allowing my Propensity for Loquacity to ramble on, when all that was needed was a simple…Thank-YOU!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you so much, my dear Ellen! Never apologize for your propensity for loquacity, for you are always interesting and I always learn much from you! I have long followed John P. … he and Padre Steve are the only two religious people whose blogs I follow, for they don’t preach, and both are humanitarians, never judge people by any criteria other than behaviour toward others. Thank you again, my friend … 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • I must admit, somewhat shamefully, that I would not have expected you to be a follower of John Pavlovitz’s blog!! Here I was displaying my bombastic P for L with the intention of enticing you to give him a chance and in the end I was preaching to the choir (get it?)!! As Benjamin often quips : “Silly Gem”! I’ll just venture further out on that limb and ask…have you read either of the books mentioned? Just two other things to be added : You are welcome and Thank-YOU!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can certainly understand why you didn’t think I likely followed John’s blog, for I make no secret of the fact that I have no use for religion. However, John is a humanitarian who almost never uses his blog as a pulpit, doesn’t force his religious views on others, and is basically just about treating others right and being a decent person. If you could see some of his responses to others on Twitter, you would die laughing! I don’t shun religious people, only religion. The people like John and Padre Steve, who are tolerant of all, patient, compassionate, intelligent, and most of all, humorous, I actually enjoy! No, I haven’t read any of John’s books. You are welcome, and thank you, my friend!

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    • Thanks Gary! Yes, I think there are two basic types … those who try to leave the world a little bit better than they found it, and those who try to take as much of the world for themselves as they can. Sadly, today we seem to have too few who put the many ahead of the few. It really needs to change soon, while we still have a world to change!

      Liked by 3 people

  12. First, thank you for your voice and your courage. Your words are having a powerful affect on me because I struggle with how to use my voice. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a tendency want to avoid conflict. Sometimes it’s been downright unhealthy for me to avoid conflict. But usually I feel overwhelmed by conflict. It makes me want to run. Sometimes force myself to make a stand. I’m being extremely honest here. So the way this translates to social media and conversations is that I often try to be the peacemaker. About taking sides, I fear the polarization that divides my country. The mainstream media reinforces this. I would love to help people find common ground, though sometimes that is very hard. I take sides sometimes, and I suspect that I am often on the same sides as you on many issues. I try to figure out ways to say what I am in favor of, which is why I like your meme about being pro-humanity, pro-diversity, etc. I keep thinking that people are going to wake up and realize, like in the fairy tale, that the emperor has no clothes on. But if that’s happening, it’s a very slow process, and this is not a fairy tale. Reading or watching too much negative news can be toxic to me and manifest in physical symptoms, but I read some of it anyway, seeking balance. I think it’s okay to enjoy life as long as we are each doing something to make the world better and help others. There may come a time when I will have to raise my voice and make a clear stand. I feel like I’m edging toward that. This is a big issue for me. Thank you for helping me explore it further.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. This is one of your best bests!
    I too let it all worry me and yes upset me and I’m old and I don’t have children to worry about, so why do I care?

    I think it’s the sheer obscenity that we have so much here on this absolutely gorgeous planet with all the diversity in the plant and animal life here. And so much potential from the human race with our intelligence and ability to figure things out, work together and to appreciate just being alive and we are f – – – – – – it all up for no good reason.

    I have no appropriate words to describe my feelings on this, so yes it bothers me and always will and yes I know there is little I can do but vote and express my feelings in the hope that maybe one person will see the light.

    But ultimately I want our planet and our human species to someday be counted in the grand universe as one that was successful and that survived and went on to do great things. Even though someday Earth will be obliterated by our sun, in some cosmic way we could be one of the success stories instead of failure.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thank you so much, Mary!!! You brought a big smile to my face when you said it’s one of my ‘best bests’! 😊 These are tough times, and I’m not sure whether life on earth will survive or not at this point, given several madmen in power, the existence of nuclear weapons ’round the globe, and most importantly, climate change that our own nation stands alone in disregarding … well, almost alone … Bolsinaro is doing a number on the environment as we speak, but that’s a story for another day. Sigh. Hang in there, my friend … don’t let it get you down, for we’re all doing the best we can … hopefully it’s a battle that can be won. Hugs!

      Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you so much, dear friend, for the kind words! Yep, I always think that if just one person stops and thinks about something a little differently, if I open just one person’s eyes, then it will all have been worth it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Jill. Well said grand lady , very well said. I am glad you have a megaphone to speak so well on these issues. By speaking out you do a lot of make the situation better by making more and more people aware. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Scottie!!! Yes, I am glad to have a voice to express myself, to shine a light on that which I see as wrong, and to hopefully help people understand the urgency of our situation, especially factoring in climate change. I don’t know if I actually make anything better, but I know that I try, and sometimes that is all we can do Hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. This is such a powerful post, Jill. I’m tired of people saying “Well, both sides are crap anyway” and ignoring all of the atrocities that this administration is guilty of. Just because the other side isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that the current crap is acceptable.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Thank you for your post. I’m glad you’ve been feeling the same way about multiple issues. It is frustrating whenever I mention similar things or historical facts not talked about in school, people freak out at me. I can’t ignore reality. Great quote by Elie Wiesel. That’s one quote I’ve never seen before, but it rings so true and I can relate to it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • In the words of Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls”. They also try women’s souls, but back in Thomas’ day, we women didn’t count. It’s easy to become frustrated, to fall into a rabbit hole of discouragement, not knowing how we can change what we see happening. I think that we each have our niche … for me, it’s this blog, for some, it’s marching in protest, for others, it’s knitting pink hats … whatever we do, every little bit matters, it is the best we can do, and we hope that it makes a difference. Hang in there … don’t let yourself fall into the rabbit hole too often or for long at a time!

      Liked by 3 people

  17. Jill, here’s a view from Europe you might appreciate:

    suburban tracks [https://urbansimulator.wordpress.com/] commented on August 22, 2019 at 23:58 [https://thesecularjurist.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/a-dangerous-precedent-a-deep-crisis-in-democracy-and-trumps-megalomania-is-running-amok/comment-page-1/#comment-27833]

    In Hongkong a million and more people are going on the streets in order to safeguard their rights and freedom. And in the USA nothing like that. I do not understand why people are accepting seemingly an undesired “fate” while hoping that certain court decisions in the future might improve and change the ugly precedings of today. The malicious Wall of Berlin would definitely not have fallen with such an attitude. All the best!

    Liked by 4 people

    • And that is absolutely the truth! I don’t know what it takes … I think that culturally, we in this country are not conditioned to make loud noise, to take to the streets, but then, I remember the riots after the Rodney King beating, and then there was the women’s march after Trump’s inauguration. We can do it, but for some reason we don’t. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if ultimately there will come a defining moment when people will rise out of their chairs and say, “Okay, that’s enough!”, or if we will be like the Germans in the 1930s and just keep believing that the worst cannot possibly happen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Robert. I read a short post a few days ago that said the reason we do not have the massive protests like those in Hong Kong is due to how large our country is compared to how compact Hong Kong is. What do you think? They said something like if NY City was the entire country we could have a similar type of demonstration but with a hopefully a more fruitful impact. I am interested in how where we live, the geology of our nation effects how much effect we can really have on our government and our politicians. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • America’s political apathy is quite recent being only about four decades old. I’d point out that the anti-Vietnam War protests and civil rights protests of the 1960s (which I participated in), the very violent labor protests of late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as many other examples, indicate that geography isn’t much of a factor. Historically, Americans have been exceptionally active in politics and current events as evidenced by our revolutionary birth.

        Discover what changed over the last forty years and you’ll see why Americans are now apathetic. I have my own thoughts, but it would take too long to detail that here.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. A great post, Jill. Feeling your angst here, though likely not as deeply. I do question the “taking of sides” because in hindsight that is what exacerbates the sense of them versus us. And what if there really is no clear choice available? What if it is always a circular duopoly of the elites exchanging positions on the thrones of the land? I remember a tale of a little princess with a wicked step mother who sent the girl into the forest in the dead of winter to bring back a dozen blooming roses. Sure to be eaten by wolves the girl walked through the deep snows until nightfall when she saw a light in the forest. She hurried to it and saw 12 beautiful women of different ages sitting in a circle around a fire. The oldest was sitting on a throne and had a crown on her head. They invited the girl into their circle and asked was she wanted. She told her story. The women consulted with each other, then the older one rose, left her throne and handed her crown and sceptre to the one across from her. She took the queen’s power and sat on the throne. Immediately the snow was gone, there were green boughs and sweet smell of flowers everywhere and birds sang in joy. Her name, of course, was June. For one hour, she ruled the earth and the girl was able to pick a bouquet of a dozen roses to take back the her evil step mother. Before she left, the queens exchanged positions again. December went back on her throne and winter returned as before.
    The girl didn’t have to make a choice, she just told her story. Well, maybe that is what you are doing, and maybe you will see that light in the middle of the dark forest. What happens next depends a great deal on how we tell our story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sha’Tara!!! What a lovely story! What is it called? I suspect it will take more than me telling the story, but perhaps if enough voices are heard? I think we each have a role to play, something we can contribute. For me, at this time anyway, it is this blog. For others, perhaps they can find ways to make an even bigger difference. At least I hope so. Thanks again, my friend!

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  19. I’m so thankful you’re doing what you’re doing. We have a duty to warn do we not? This is unprecedented stuff we have going on right now. Obviously, most people in the country are going about doing what they do while this horrendous person wrecks our democracy on a daily basis. Perhaps those who question why you care so much ought to look themselves in a mirror and ask why they do not. That, to me is the more pertinent question. I see Hong Kong and look on with wonder and admiration at how those people are speaking out about their oppressors, and then get depressed because I know we will never get to that point here. The abject silence and obliviousness speaks volumes about who we are as Americans. Again Jill, thank for what you do.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Sorry, Jill, but I have to comment.
      Dear Nameless,
      This is not just about Americans. This is about the world, and all life on it. I hate that America has this much power, but everything that effects one nation affects ALL NATIONS. You cannot pollute one country without polluting all countries. You cannot mistreat chidren without all children being mistreated. You cannot dirty the water of one one nation without dirtying the water of all the oceans of the world.
      “The abject silence and obliviousness speaks volumes about who [you] are as Americans,” I will agree, but it does not end at your borders. Americans are part of this world, so what you do affects the WHOLE WORLD!
      PLEASE BELIEVE THAT!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I can understand the trepidation. This period reminds me of your 1850s to 1860s in the run up to the Civil War, when the same emotions of Ignorance and Bigotry masked themselves beneath a banner of Patriotism and Religion.
      History is starting to repeat itself, only you would probably be better off even with James Buchanan as a resurrected president.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The above reply from anonymous is actually from your’s truly Jill. Sorry about that. Did it through my Ipad and I thought I was signed in to WordPress. Duhhh!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Jeff! I think those of us who can do have a duty to warn, and you’re right that this is unprecedented for the U.S., but not necessarily unheard of in the annals of history. Unfortunately, we have two added factors that DO make these times more urgent than other times past: nuclear proliferation, and climate change. Either of those could well put an end to life on this planet before the end of this century, so it’s urgent that each of us take the responsibility to do what we can. I don’t understand those who are still wearing their blinders. Thanks again, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. For many of his supporters the blinders are because they believe their god is the only one powerful enough to control the climate of planet and their god wouldn’t let anything bad happen until he is ready to come back and save them. Then their god will let it all go to hell to punish those evil LGBTQ and their supporters who want to force all women to have abortions paid for by the government. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah yes, how could I forget, when I’ve had a few of those conversations with friends here who claim that god put everything on earth for the pleasure and convenience of mankind and that he will replenish everything as needed. Bah HUMBUG! This is why I’m coming back as a wolf next time … humans in general disgust me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hello Jill. Did you see that Russia has a floating nuclear reactor on it’s way up into the attic to park next to Russia across from Alaska? With their resent nuclear accident that is being reported as a reactor by radiation experts, and with the disaster in Japan what are the odds that the water will soon be contaminated? Then destroy most of the ocean life? Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

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