“Nothing will work unless you do.” — Maya Angelou
Hello. I’m Ed, and I’m human. My life experiences have taught me that I am part of a complex, tragic and mysterious part of the universe. I’ve discovered there is no perfect ideology, no perfect religious life, and that I’m part of a miraculous, yet flawed, human species. What a relief. I’m not alone!
I’ve concluded that those who believe in church teachings can learn from social and political activists who are stressing justice, peace and compassion for others. Also, social and political activists can learn from many religious leaders in their opposition to the ethical distortions, violence and injustice in our world. They are all around us. We are not alone.
My conservative values support children, families, working people and equality; this requires the liberal values of free speech and compassionate conversations to heal the Disunited States of America. One example: Do what it takes to increase school funding and health care in the interest of children, families and all Americans. This requires the resistance of ideologies locked into Republican, Democratic, liberal and conservative.
This includes the military-industrial complex, with its huge budget that takes away from social programs such as health care and education. As I see it, this has been the focus of the local Resist Raytheon group calling attention to the ongoing warring of our country. I call this “sacred activism” that counters the justification of creating jobs that support the arms industry. Promotion of the arms race is a reckless way to create jobs when we need more people in the helping professions, including health care and our schools.
Once again I’m reminded of the need to transform our way of living. A few weeks ago, the local Resist Raytheon group distributed information which included “Green jobs = more jobs” at the Jean Webb Park greenway along the French Broad River. A heckler spoke his “absolute truths,” then proceeded to ridicule us in mocking tones and statements. I wonder what kind of schooling he had that rejected a respectful conversation. (Google Reject Raytheon AVL and Veterans for Peace Chapter 99.)
My hope for significant transformational change is on younger adults. Focusing on money is important, but only as a means to a meaningful and fulfilling life. Commit yourself to things that matter: your passion, your purpose, abilities and your life situation.
Seize the moment. Make now a precious time to inform yourself. It will never come again. You are not alone in this complex, confusing and tragic world. Our future depends on the democratic participation of young and older adults who have the courage and energy to work at transforming our way of life in the Disunited States.
I say this because I’m amazed to be in my 26th year of active retirement. Never, never could I have imagined the major changes I experienced and still be around to do my small thing in my small corner of the world. You can, too, if you prepare yourself for the future.
Our encounter with the world depends on our souls to be fully alive. It is not only a democratic requirement but a sacred duty to ourselves and others. As Maya Angelou said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive … with passion.”
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— Ed Sacco