I hesitated greatly before deciding to post today’s article. The dictionary is a bit – but only a bit – tongue-in-cheek. My analysis is dire, but hopeful. I try to keep this blog positive. I want people to find in it place they can come every day to be inspired, englightened, or reminded how special they are.
Sometimes, however, light comes along with heat. Satire is a tool for awakening. And so, I present a dictionary of words that might differ slightly from the definitions you’ll find in Webster’s or at Dictionary.com. Unfortunately, these definitions are, all too often, closer to the truth.
You may find yourself chuckling because it describes someone you know or even you at times. Actually, it describes all of us sometimes.
What I’d ask you, make that implore you, to think about as you read these is whether a world in our current situation can long survive while so many still embody these definitions? The weapons of mass destruction genie is out of the bottle. The choices we continue to make in our own self-interests on this planet are very soon to have consequences, if we do not mend our ways and our fences.
General Omar Bradley once said,
“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.”
We need to be quickly about the business of reversing that trend. So, read, laugh, enjoy, and think today.
Dictionary of Human Behavior
- Evidence – a set of facts neatly arranged and carefully worded to support your point of view.
- Proof – “independent” verification of your evidence by those who share your point of view.
- Truth – the set of evidence and proof you are not willing to part with no matter how much evidence and proof others presents to counter it.
- Lies – the label given to any evidence or proof contradicts or disagrees with your point of view.
- Traitor – the label given to others who present legitimate reasons why your point of view may not be valid. The label is a last resort to silence them.
- Peace – a beautiful, but ultimately, impossible dream shared by children and the naive.
- Naive – people who just can’t understand why we must kill all of them because they are a threat to the world.
- Hypocrisy – a word used to describe how they don’t live up to their principles without requiring a careful evaluation of how closely you live up to yours.
- Sinner – the practicioners of any system (political, religious, or otherwise) that does not precisely conform to your point of view.
- Evil – a label used to describe the practicioners of other systems used to rally support among us for attacking them.
- Nuclear war – 1) a war making use of highly destructive devices designed with the extinction of your opponent in mind. 2) The unthinking person’s answer to every world problem as in, “We should just nuke’em.”
- Enemy – see Them.
- Me – the center of the universe where all truth resides. An individual ego structure that gives you the unalienable right to believe that your nation, religion, political system, culture, family, needs, wants, or dreams are of more value than those of others on the planet simply because they are yours.
- Us – we (as opposed to them) those who look, think, believe, and were, by fate, born in the same place as you. A group ego structure confident of its complete and eternal superiority to them. A group thus blessed because of its good fortune to have had you born in it or join it.
- Them – see Enemy. Those who look, think, believe, and were, by fate, born some place different than you. They are lesser than us and should conform to our world view of the world or face the destruction they deserve.
- Religion – an institution invoking God as the final arbiter to prove the superiority of everything about you and us over the inferiority of everything about them.
- Politics – an instrument used for implementing your point of view as the official policy of a political entity up to and including the entire world.
- Justice – the justified act of exacting revenge upon them by us as redress for a real or perceived wrong.
- Murder – the unjustified act of exacting revenge upon us by them as redress for a real or perceived wrong.
Now, I can already sense fingers starting to rise and point at the opposition and the words, “BUT, THEY…” forming on your lips. Fine. That is working well for us. Let’s keep it up. In another generation or two (maybe sooner), that should have us and them nose to nose ready to unleash nuclear, biological, or chemical war on each other.
General Bradley has another famous quote that is applicable here, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the sermon on the mount.” Was he right or was he wrong?
There are four camps that allow this situation to persist and put all of us in peril. Keep in mind that both them and us have all of these factions.
Profiteers – those who profit from the global war economy and see profit as superior to an end to human suffering.
Partisans – those who really, honestly believe that our problems will be solved by killing all of them.
Moral High Grounders – by far the largest group, these are the enablers of the first two groups. It usually derives some benefit from the status quo (economic, political, or spiritual). This group recognizes the problem I’m describing but sees no options. This group doesn’t really think peace is possible. It has really bought into the idea that they get up in the morning with nothing more on their minds than to hurt us. We have no option but defend ourselves. However, this group sticks to the moral high ground that, “We will put our weapons down and stop killing them right after they put their weapons down and stop killing us.”
Activists – this is the small group of people in every society who recognize the precipice we dance upon. This group speaks and acts to wake the other three groups. This group goes by names like reformer, protestor, social commentator, poet, prophet, sage, writer, radical. Generally, they are people ridiculed by the status quo for daring to challenge it. Others are discouraged from joining or thinking such blaphemous thoughts about the established order.
Albert Einstein said:
“The significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”
The U.S., China, or Russia cannot solve these problems by adding another $100 billion to their “defense” budgets and engage in a “surge” to solve these problems. This problem is not just caused by “Muslim extremists”, “American imperialism”, or “UN inaction”.
It is a crisis, as it has been from the beginning, of the human heart. It is a crisis created because our fears are bigger than our dreams. It is a crisis driven by the belief that killing each other is simpler than co-existing and respecting. It is a crisis that will only be solved by thinking at a level beyond the thinking that created it.
The stakes for the planet and for our species are huge! We are facing change or extinction – plain and simple. The problems are large, but the promise that lies within each human heart dwarfs them. The cumulative promise of eight billion human hearts is incalculable.
I know only this, in closing, if eight billion people decided today that we wanted a different world. We would have it in an instant. Why shouldn’t we?
Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!