This isn’t hiking related. I read a thing and I want to talk about that thing. As a preface: I hate that I’m in a situation where I feel that I need to talk about this, and I also am not the kind of person who falls into doomsday prophecies. I also gain exactly 0% enjoyment out of beating people over the head with my ideals and debating for the sake of debating. I’m only addressing this once.
We’re at a strange crossroads right now where we found ourselves in a situation and we’re worried about what to expect. I hate to say that yes this is about the election and – again – I absolutely fucking do not want to talk about it at all but well.. I kinda do at the same time because it’s one of those situations where it’s overlapping a thing I do care about. I’ve always had a certain contention with our world and the way things are done, and I still do. This much is obvious due to how much I loved and yearn to disappear into the wilderness. There’s certain things that drive me to that.
One underlying cause is mostly frustration. That frustration used to be channeled into various political groups and protests. That frustration evolved under that environment because I realized the utterly infuriating and confusing aspect of our society as Americans: We can not under any circumstance infringe upon the freedom of others to believe what they want to, and we absolutely must listen to people and consider their point of views even if they refuse to reciprocate, because that’s the foundation of our belief system. The biggest group I was involved with was the Occupy Wall Street protest and I threw every available bit of energy I had into that only to see it fall apart because of what I mentioned among other things. In a nutshell I felt very strongly that our rights were infringed upon by a group of folk who held their needs above others, crashed the economy, and got nothing but a pat on the back and a helping hand while the citizens of this country (and other countries) were left to pick up the pieces all the while being told to “Stop complaining and asking for handouts”, or “Just be hardworking Americans and you’ll be okay” (Fun side note about that impression: We live in a country that firmly believes that but also believes in stripping the rights of people who work hard. I think you can see my frustration). In the case of the Wall Street incident, those who had interest in seeing those who fucked everything up for their own gain spread the delusion that striving for better put you in the wrong, and those who followed those leaders perpetuated that delusion. I’m trying very hard to stray from using terms like sheeple (because it’s fucking stupid) or saying I’m right and that you’re wrong, but it’s kinda what happened.
When Trump won, I felt nothing. I have for a very long time been in this attitude where I felt that if this country faltered, it’s because we asked for it. If it happened, I have the option to just not be a part of it and live my own life. That and I kind of feel that on the grand scale of things: Adversity is what paves way for progress. My life of being vocal and standing against things like certain policies or striving for better workplace conditions utterly failed and I realized that people enjoy the power they hold and will under no circumstance give it up as long as they can help it, and therefore there isn’t a thing we can do. The best we can do is improve our own situation. That stance of mine always came crashing down when I saw others being marginalized and beat down simply for being who they are however, which is what made talking about this possible.
So today things are happening that – to my complete and utter frustration and reluctance – bring out the person I was who was involved more with politics solely on the basis that the human rights of others are under threat today. The very core of my morals are that not one person has the right to dictate or end the life of another being and whenever I see that happening I feel more inclined to be involved.
What makes me feel something is the people Trump is surrounding himself with. Trump during his campaign was insane, delusional, and inflammatory but without the support of others that kind of thing may not have had any ground to develop on. Even when he got elected I had hope that enough people would be there to challenge him, but I worry that that’s not the case. Something caught my attention as someone who has zero involvement with politics: The people he’s bringing in are those who deny. Deniers are scary to me because there are absolutely no grounds for challenging their stances. No amount of logic or discussion can bring them around, they have an agenda and will follow through with it so long as they are able. The biggest ones are the denial that climate change is present, and the denial that humans should be treated as such regardless of their culture, race, beliefs, etc. Economies can collapse, systems can fail, but we can rebuild within relative haste. We’re good at that. People can be disenfranchised and berated and our planet can be damaged, but those issues take extensive time to repair (if possible at all) and set us back as a society and have very negative consequences in the future. The repercussions of those are not controllable and we’re at the mercy of them regardless of our personal involvement. We can’t throw up our hands and say “I didn’t do it” and be in the clear.
Probably my biggest frustration and confusion with our world is that we all share the same dream. We all want happiness and we all want a peaceful life. Despite that we let visual and cultural differences set us apart and we hurt each other on that basis. To be completely fair, the administration ahead of us shares that dream. The problem is that their dream is represented by prejudice and delusion IE: America would be awesome if it didn’t have illegal immigrants, Muslims, gays, etc. They want to prosper but their view of a prosperous nation is extremely misguided and harmful. They also have their own prosperity in mind rather than that of others. What frustrates me beyond belief is these are perceived as easy ways of bringing your social bubble to happiness and peace. The reality is they’re easy to act on but not to maintain over any kind of long-term. The thing that’s hard upfront but easy in the long-term is compassion and acceptance of those around us. There isn’t a single thing that I can think of that would make that route difficult, but here we are and it’s just completely ludicrous.
I don’t have much in the way of pride for a city, state, or country. Borders to me are invisible lines we draw to differentiate ourselves from one another and serve as ways to manage different populations of the same planet we all live on. My pride lies in the land I stand on, and the people standing on it with me (So: Earth, humans). This much gives me hope because I know the chances of there being people in that crowd who will not allow societal degradation are pretty high. There’s going to be people in that crowd who will help someone up if they fall. The problem lies within the population who see someone fall but don’t help them because it’s not accepted within that group to help them up even though they know they should. Or they think “Someone else will help them up, I don’t need to worry about it”.
We’re walking towards a cliff right now. There may be a bridge there or there may not be, regardless we have to keep moving forward no matter what. What we need is to start building bridges for others to walk across instead of watching each other jump off. We need to be very firm on the basic and undeniable ideal that every human being on this planet has the right to a prosperous life and those that threaten those rights shouldn’t be given any amount of power. Overall our government is a very small minority, it’s up to us whether or not to follow their lead. If they tell us “Do not build a bridge over that cliff”, we can choose not to listen in lieu of the well being of those around us. Because at the end of the day, those shouting at us are already at the bottom of the cliff and just want us down there with them.
I’m not going to tell you to rise up and fight. I’m not going to give you links to “Contact your local senator today!“. I’m not going to ask you to sign a petition. I’m not going to talk about this again. I’ve said all I can say and all I’m asking is that you remember that the person next to you has as many rights to exist as you do and if you want to maintain your own prosperity, the only humane and acceptable route to do so is to help those around you. There is no alternative. You can not shut people out without risking your own happiness, you can not build a wall (no not that wall, a metaphorical one) of prejudice and negativity and expect it to hold under the weight of the rest of the world. It has not worked in the history of ever. It always fails and there’s always people who want to try it again under different guises. Do not follow them, do not help them build, do not make it okay. I don’t give a shit who you voted for, I do not care what party you are a part of. I do care about how you treat other people and I care about the direction our people are heading. Everything else is just noise.
Despite the number of posts on Facebook, articles I’ve read, discussions in real life, etc. Nothing got me to really feel anything because everyone’s in a state of hysterics. What I did read helped me piece together more vocal feelings on this as well as it was well thought out and provided more sense of action and direction than what I’ve seen proposed as of late. It wasn’t about taking the voice away from others, it wasn’t a hate charged piece on why the people of this country are shit, it was a simple “You know.. we really don’t have to let any of this happen”. Link:
Here’s the part where blatant honesty come in to play: I’m not the person who goes out and specifically seeks avenues to do community projects, at least not anymore. I help people when they need it and I do things to make people happy when I can. I live on the basis of 1,000 good actions being more helpful than one big one. But I’m selfish enough that I’m not going to be on the forefront organizing anything and planning shit out and I feel the a lot of people are in the same position. To use the bridge analogy I used earlier: I’m not going to draw up schematics for the bridge but I will absolutely be there to help build it. Instead of joining an international aid organization: I hike, help where I can, and treat people the way they deserve. The part of me that makes me want to live an alternative lifestyle brings about the same fears of being shackled to something that sucks the life out of me, I’m not perfect and I won’t pretend to be. What I will do is draw a very firm line in the sand and when someone threatens to push me over that line, I will completely refuse to do so. If I see someone else get pushed, I will help them up and bring them back to their own lines. It would be beneficial if every single person were as proactive as those who start certain movements, but it just doesn’t happen that way because there’s people like me in the world who place a large amount of value on their agendas.
I personally think a majority standing firm and saying “No” is more powerful than clusters of groups going out and making demands. No is such a simple message and leaves no gaps for people to manipulate or confuse that message. And hey, it worked in Planet of the Apes so there’s that (yay humor in a serious post). No doubt people disagree with that sentiment, and that’s fine. That’s what I’m offering and that’s what I’ll do. If I set myself up to be more than I am, I will not follow through. Hey that rhymed. The important thing is I won’t pretend that any insanity that may come will be normal or okay, and I will not support it in any kind of way. That also rhymed.
So that’s it. The entire purpose of this website even existing is to (hopefully) inspire people to go out and follow through with their ‘insane’ dreams and the prospect of people having their dreams being taken from them upsets me. That’s as much responsibility I assume this blog has and I won’t use it as a political platform. Just be good to those around you and help them realize their dreams where you can, that at its very core addresses the issues ahead. Also climate change is a thing. There, I’ve covered everything. Here’s a Corgi walking in shoes for sitting through all this to the end. It’s a metaphor or something.