As our news media stirs the primordial swamp for profits, our policemen have been murdered, and young men and women are waging war without reason for causes they cannot fully define.
I rarely quote anybody, I tend to want my words original, and coming exclusively from my tiny brain.
But I found this quote from George Santayana, and I think it sums up my perspective.
“redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim”, as quoted from George Santayana, Philosopher (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952). He was referring to fanatics and fanaticism.
The reason I have brought up the quote.
It has come to my attention that I’m now labeled as the following: a racist, a bigot, and I’ll file the rest of the barbs into the singular – an idiot.
All because I admitted I voted for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America.
If someone had predicted two years ago that I would have voted for Mr. Trump, I would have laughed, and advised that someone to seek a mental health counselor.
I was not voting for a P T Barnum stand-in with yellow hair and an orange spray tan, who was as emotionally sensitive as a pregnant bride wearing a white gown about to marry her first cousin at a Southern Baptist church.
In other words from my hillbilly mother tongue, “it ain’t goin’ to happen, period. There ain’t no way.”
But there I was last November, 2016 – standing at my polling station, at the time living in Houston, Texas.
Unless the other souls nearby me that day were either a Republican zealot or a Democratic zealot, I remember the rest of the crowd had expressions along the lines of a “Let’s get Mikey moment”.
As in from the Quaker Oats breakfast cereal commercial for (drum roll) – Life cereal.
“I’m not going to try it, you try it!”
Any who, the photo I pasted to this post I took this morning as I walked near the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. There are some huge, beautiful banyan trees within a few blocks from my home base.
Banyan trees are metaphors unto themselves for a variety of reasons.
I think the thought was best expressed from being part of the “coat of arms for Indonesia – one country with many far-flung roots. As a giant tree, it also symbolizes power.”
From a distance, the trees appear large and healthy.
But if you take a close look at the branches, you’ll see the scars from weather, and human beings.
At some point, people have consciously carved into the trees flesh.
In time, the wounds healed and the carvings have faded, but the wounds are still visible.
I know a thing or two about living with emotional scars.
After all, I wrote a novel about child abuse and suicide.
I know what it feels like to silently hurt. I don’t recommend it as a way of life.
Perhaps if we all take a moment to find a dictionary, we can all read the definitions for racist, bigot, fascist and even idiot.
These are serious words, words that have meaning, and when used without great care it leaves me to consider the source.
Fair enough, I’m a big boy, I can take a punch.
I’ll make a simple recommendation for word usage going forward, before labeling another human being, as the carpenter saying goes, “measure twice, cut once”.