Oct 19 2006

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Pain seems to be the only thing that will create the need in someone to change their way of thinking. Even when pain becomes too excruciating to ignore some people will still try to ignore it. When we have a toothache we immediately find a way to relieve the pain. First we might find a pain killer pill, then if that doesn’t work we might still seek a remedy without going to the dentist. Then if all fails and the pain persists we go to a dentist, or continue to ignore the pain, until we drive ourselves insane or die from severe infection. This I fear is what Americans do, regarding their excruciatingly painful, government. Rather than fix it or completely extract the pain giving problem , we choose to ignore it , medicate it, or allow it to fester and become so infected that the body politic needs immediate and radical surgery, or it will die.

In some instances pain can be so great, that it will lead some people to suicide. In some instances pain cannot be stopped and the poor individual must live with it or learn to ignore it. Many people are talented at ignoring pain. They can completely ignore their own suffering or the suffering of others, by their deliberate denial that the pain exists. The man or women is homeless because they want to be. The murderer kills because he or she wants to kill. The parent abuses their child because the child is defenseless and annoying. None of these people feel the pain of their victims. None of these ignorers have any sympathy for anyone; perhaps they suffer great pain and feel that no one has sympathy for them. It appears to be the American Republican motto. “All for me none for you, life is tough and people suffer so what?” But I cannot blame just one political party for the woes of Americans. I blame all who ignore humanity’s suffering. I even blame myself.

I believe it is in the human character, perhaps our DNA to ignore the pain and suffering of our fellow human beings as well as all other earthly species. In some way it is a self preserving reflex or instinct. In other ways it is simply a disturbing and unconscionable act of human cruelty. It has always disturbed me and empathically caused me pain, to see another person physically suffer. The most unendurable pain to me is to see a child suffer. To see an innocent , perfect, being in pain or sick with a minor or major illness. The world is a harsh place to exist in. It has many great perils facing the human body and spirit; but the worst peril is that of human indifference to the suffering and pain of others.

Writing about this issue makes me pause, when I think of the suffering I have knowingly or unknowingly caused others; as well as the suffering others have knowingly or unknowingly caused me. When I was very young I was often harassed and bullied by larger and older children. I wasn’t small nor was I weak but I was self involved, self centered, awkward, self conscious, and overly sensitive. I always thought first about the repercussions of striking back a physical blow, or wrestling someone to the ground, or picking up a rock or stick and striking my assailants. I had a quick temper that I knew I had to control; otherwise the results could be very severe. Not just for myself but for anyone or anything that it was directed towards. I would allow myself to be taunted by smaller or more mean mouthed kids and walk away from a fight, rather than do battle to preserve my dubious honor. I often cursed myself afterwards for not knocking out my adversary , but I found a greater strength in just knowing I could have honestly killed or crippled someone in my rage and was wiser to walk away, with or without dignity.

Growing up in a rural state a man or boy was regarded by his friends and peers by his success at either winning fights or avoiding fights. To me walking away from a fight was a simple, self protective, instinct for avoiding pain and punishment. To others it was an incentive to inflict pain and punishment on me and others to create their tough reputation. I was a persistent fighter against anyone who bullied or humiliated anyone else. I found it easier to stand up and defend someone else, than it was to defend myself, especially if I was guilty of creating the offense. Often the one being bullied would run and leave me alone after I got involved on his behalf. This didn’t bother me as much as one might think. If I got involved it was because the kid was out sized or out numbered, he was often so frightened, that he couldn’t help himself. I knew that as

soon as someone else is willing to defend someone, even if he doesn’t know that person personally, all would be assailants seem more likely to back down and become far less aggressive. They are suddenly posed with the question of, could this defender cause them pain and or punishment? I was a good bluffer.

I witnessed the severe results of my blind rage early in my life. I knew that if I was forced to unleashed the blind rage that I harbored within me, I was unstoppable. I was capable of fierce violence if unchecked. I was ten years old and in the fifth grade when I first realized the power of my unleashed rage. The time of year was in winter and snow plows would create huge snow banks in the school yard, after commonly occurring blizzards. This particular noon I was chosen by my classmates to be the King of the Hill. I was to stand at the top of the large snow bank and defend the hill from anyone who tried to take it from me. It was a typical kids game that could get a little rough, but teachers allowed it and it was normal winter play at the time. As I boldly stood at the top of the giant snow bank I was immediately rushed upon by 6 of my classmates all at once, all contenders to be King. I was more than happy to abdicate my throne to any worthy contender, but I was rushed upon by six contenders at once and shortly after they were joined by three others, once I seemed to be defeated. This sudden attack caught me off guard and the force of my attackers was like being crushed by an entire football team all at once. I struck the back of my head against a hard mound of ice and felt immense pain while I was being held down by six of my attackers. I felt great peril and the pain caused by falling on the ice mound began to increase, as did my rage. For several minutes I saw little if anything going on around me. I only saw many legs and the tops of heads in ski caps, and feet in heavy snow boots. I began to strike out in a blind rage at everyone nearby, kicking and punching and biting everyone who held me down and tried to push me off the snow bank.
The thought of being King of the Hill had nothing to do with my raging defense. Only anger and self survival were at issue. I can remember the feeling of drowning , gasping for air as several attackers rubbed snow in my face , which was called “face washing”. In what seemed to me like seconds, but later I was told were several minutes, I had managed to kick , bite , scratch and punch my way out of their hold, and inflict semi serious injuries to most of my attackers. After what seemed as a short time had elapsed, I found myself alone on top of the snow bank . Spots of blood stained the snow, as I felt a twinge of pain at the back of my head and on my cheek. I wiped my half frozen face with the back of my ungloved hand and saw blood , then as I wiped off the snow from my eyes and nose, blood streamed from my nose as I looked for my lost glove in the snow bank, and saw several trails of blood and heard several voices crying and others calling for help.

I realized then that I had wounded and hurt all nine contenders for my throne without realizing I had done it. It was a strange feeling , one I never wanted to have again. When accounts of my savage defense were relayed across the school yard and around the small town, my reputation had been made. Not that I was particularly proud of it, but I was seldom ever provoked again by anyone including adults. The King of the Hill game was forever banned from the playground by the principle, and I was forced to spend a week without going out for recess. I tried to explain it wasn’t my fault but because of the carnage I had inflicted and the stories that were told of the incident, I was made the culprit instead of the victim. Since then I have somewhat kept successful control of my temper, by finding other more creative methods of venting anger.

I regret divulging such a weakness in my character but I realize that all human beings are capable of blind rage. All are capable of committing atrocities regardless of how meek or weak they may seem to others and even to themselves. Perhaps this is why so many rage filled and mindless acts of violence are committed daily, by seemingly mild mannered, normal, people around the world?

There is a great rage building amongst Americans and in other countries towards Americans. There are millions of people who are losing a grip on their lives every day, and lashing out frantically at everything and everyone around them. I see it as we all do, on our television screens and in our schools, on our streets and in our work places. The sheer magnitude of mindless violence raging everywhere is symptomatic of the pain we are all feeling. It is a symptom of the festering wounds of the blatant corruption and callous indifference of our government, towards the people they are supposed to serve. These seeping wounds are inflicted, infected and inflamed by the neglect and denial of Americans of their simple and most basic human need. That need is love, which allows all humanity to exist and thrive by awakening within the collective soul , the desire for wisdom ,justice, compassion and mercy. Without the restoration of these virtues in our government and society, our world cannot exist much longer. Without these, all noble dreams and visions of universal brotherhood are fast eroding by disease and decay, and will continue to erode, until only undeniable pain exists from the exposure of mankind’s most debased self leading to the eventual suicide of our entire species.


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