Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Talking Contradiction

You might ask, how can I, on the one hand, embrace a sentiment like The Prayer of St. Frances, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love. . . . . “ and on the other hand, write a scathing rant about the corporate aristocracy, spiritual pied pipers, or people willing to be rounded up and branded by the political elite? “That’s not very loving”, you might say. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical? Well, that would be a good question.
To modify a Kris Kristofferson song lyric just a bit,
I’m a talking contradiction, partly smooth, partly friction.
Y’know, anyone willing to open their mouth more than once and profess an idea, or an opinion, is probably going to contradict himself with the second thing that he has to say.

Too many people, knowing that, choose silence over humiliation or embarrassment. Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with contradiction. I find something wrong with practiced, and groomed, conformity of thought. . . . . Scientology, Cabala, if you will. In case you haven’t noticed, human beings ARE a contradiction. As embryo’s (developing people), we float, and swim around in our mothers womb, like guppies in a fish bowl, and then are born and can’t wait to get up and walk. HUH? Is that not a contradiction on the most primitive level? As children we are encouraged with “free to be you and me” kinds of cultural ideas, but trained in the path of conformity. Is that not a contradiction? And does either one really invalidate the other? Is it not a contradiction for a teen-ager to both love and hate his parents? But who’s to say that each of these feelings are not equally legitimate? Is it not a contradiction for adults to want to both protect, and encourage independence in their children? Can I not enjoy the warmth of the daytime and the mystery of the night? Do faith and doubt not co-exist for most of us at times? Or are we just too proud, or scared to admit it?

It is not a contradiction for me to rail against the narcissistic, and self-serving, Madonna’s, the Pelosi's, the Bill and Hillary’s, the Jackson’s (Jessie and Michael), or the Al Gore’s of the world, and then to also pray “Lord, where there is hatred, let me sow love”. It is, in fact, evidence of clear, and rational, thinking. These people (and many like them. You know their names.) pose and position themselves as our cultural, religious, environmental and political leaders. They use us for their own aggrandizement, pretending all the while to care about ‘our struggle’, but actually, they care about power, they care about money, they care about fame and adulation. Oh yes, and they care about writing their own versions of their place in history.

Love requires honesty, of purpose, and of practice. To remind you to not give your support to, or put your faith in, phonies such as these IS an act of love, in, and of, itself. In a world of contradictions, that certainly is not one.