Thursday, November 12, 2020

How can we move forward?

 Living in a world where it feels like we're walking through mud all the time, it's difficult to keep moving forward. At least, I am working, and can keep moving as long as I have some people who need to keep working with me. I'm one of the lucky ones, meaning that I've worked hard, so have luck.

The elections are, or should be, over in the United States. The people voted, and chose a new president. But, the current president is unwilling to concede defeat, claiming fraud, where there is nothing to support his claims. However, there are followers, people who are angry and afraid, and who want to be led, who have been seduced by his image. And, it is an image. It reminds me of Adolf Hitler, amongst others. Imagine if our president were president in a country that did not have as much freedom as we do. 

I never believed that I would live to see the ugly head of fascism rise its head in the United States. Regardless, it is gratifying to see that many people, and institutions, regardless of their political beliefs, are rejecting the lies of an unstable person. Have his followers ever studied history? Can they not see? Is blind belief a sickness? Is there any way to cure it? I guess, to begin with, it has to be exposed.

Regardless, I believe that the United States is a country that represents the best of freedom and democracy within its borders. 

How do we move forward from this? Neither civil war, nor polarization by politics are helping. We need to be able to disagree but respect the other, and be able to come to an agreement. Most call it compromise, but I like to think of it as synthesizing so that everyone is satisfied. 

To do this, to move forward, one of the ways I believe we can is to demand a referendum in future elections to decide whether we want to limit the number of terms a Senator and a Congressman can serve in Congress. After FDR died, Congress did vote to limit the number of terms a President can serve. They saw his longevity in office as a threat to democracy. I've never heard them say that this belief and perception of reality be turned on themselves. I wish they would. But, I doubt I'll see that while I'm still alive. John McCain was the only Senator I believed had an awareness that did lead him to try to limit campaign funding. If it had won approval, perhaps we'd see fewer politicians who seem to be working for private interests, and themselves and their political beliefs, instead of serving the country.

I don't believe that members of Congress will ever limit themselves. They have too much to gain in power, influence, and money. Are there other people in the country who agree with me?

Let's find a way to move forward.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Freedom is hard

 I know that I have been extremely lax with my blog. I realize it's because I stop myself from writing the blog because I tell myself that, because I work in the theater, I'm not allowed to express opinions that don't relate directly to my work. I'm realizing that this is just a means too hold myself back. It's an old problem that can still affects me, unfortunately.

In reality, I believe that my work is wanting to know and understand human beings. It is my passion. I happen to express that passion working in the theater, writing, directing, teaching, even producing. I am fortunate to be my own boss. Whatever success or failure I have, I have no one else to blame or take the credit. I feel that I am free. It is what I love most about being American. I've traveled and worked in many countries, and deal with many people. I have never been anywhere that had as much freedom as Americans have.

In the times we are living in, which is changing our lives, we are seeing people's behavior when we are at our best and worst. It's hard to live through the pandemic we are in. To mask, or not to mask, don't get close, don't touch. We see people who ignore the reality completely, people who deny it's very existence. And, people who live in continuous fear and anxiety. It's very hard to stay rational, able to navigate our lives on a day to day basis. What should I believe? What should I do?

Freedom exists when people take responsibility for their actions. Freedom is not license to do whatever we want. Honestly, there are times I'm walking down the street somewhere and I see someone not wearing a mask. I want to say something. But, if they're not hurting anyone, if they're not close to anyone, what harm is it? 

Some in Michigan planned to kidnap the Governor of the state because they don't like what she's doing. Is that freedom? Or license? How do you know what is real? People seem to believe what they want to believe, not based on much sense of what the reality is. How do you know what the truth, the clearest and most accurate perception of whatever reality you are focused on, is?

The only answer to that is because it's what you feel, what your senses perceive to be. It's not a great comfort because it's not a easy, mechanical reality to measure. History shows us that many great men and women who discover realities that the rest of us don't sense, are often ignored, sometimes murdered for perceiving a reality, a truth that most people don't see. And, that isn't in a book, or accepted officially.

This problem of perceiving what is true is the center of the world we are living in today. We are inundated with information, virtually. And, misinformation! To see clearly, one has to know that one is in contact with reality, which means with what we sense and feel, including contact with our emotions.

Of course, I think I can write about this because the need to be in contact, to sense and feel, perceive reality, is what I do for a living. The difference is that I have to create an imaginary world, based on the character and the life that surrounds that character. I have to read and understand the play, which will be greatly affected by what I know about life. I merge my life with the play. It is a fantastic life, honestly. I feel lucky.

But, applying that capacity to real life, as a doctor or a scientist, in the true sense of the word, does. And, nowadays, we see that even many of them are out of contact with reality.

So, we must know whether we can trust ourselves. And, that comes with experience. Experience that is based not on believing that whatever we think is true. But, on what we observe in Nature. Including human nature.

We are living in sick times. And, people are sick. They can't see what is real. The virus isn't simply the Covid 19 virus. It is the virus within us, that spreads. It is our fear and anxiety that leads people to want to be led, to be told what to do. We give our power away. Staying free doesn't mean that whatever I want to do is okay. I need to know what is real. This can only be done individually, through our desire to become the most human we can be. It is how I define greatness. Great human beings are more human than most of us. They see the world clearly. They do not get sick with the virus of fear and inability to trust their perceptions of reality. 

Can you tell who sees more clearly?