Toxic Cultural Choices

The problem is that we live in a culture where winning is more important than life itself. There are probably a lot more people who don’t care that much about winning than those who do, but they don’t have a chance to participate in a good game. When they try, they are labelled losers. Shark bait. It’s better to just back off and let the sharks chew on each other, responding to make-believe crises they can pretend to resolve and ignoring the real ones that are actually impossible to deal with in a win-lose cultural setting.

A wisdom culture would find a way for people to work together in behalf of reality solutions.

We have only negative options. We can jump in and swim with the sharks. That means basically that we must spend our time fighting against fighting. Against (or for) war, rape, special interests taking over the school system. Whatever, it’s all a dominance game in which everyone is fighting for or against something, pretending somehow they will save us all from fighting if they fight hard enough.

Or not. In which case the outcome might be worse.

We don’t have the option to jump in and build a wisdom culture where people actually talk among themselves. And listen. sf020916bs

And you know what really gets me about this? There are actually people who wonder why our children so often function by bullying each other.

The Power of Winning

Mrs. Obama visited Washington DC schools on Women’s day, and she told the students:   “All that matters is where you are and where you want to be.”

I’ve tried that system, and it works, more or less, in America, if I am willing to beat up on other people (or if I believe that other people are born losers so it’s OK to beat up on them) in order to get where I want to be.  Yes it’s possible in America that we might get somewhere better than we are.  No we will not become First Lady, if that is where we want to be.  The job is taken; the rest of us are the losers.

In the good old days we burned witches at the stake with no more evidence than that they were not winners.

We teach little kids in school that “everyone is a winner.”  Reality check!  That makes no sense at all.  They know it’s a lie — a winner’s lie and they aren’t winners — so they learn to disrespect the school system – and themselves.  They know they are not a winner.  Are they the ONLY one who isn’t a winner?.

The Angola 3 have been kept in solitary confinement more than 30 years — apparently for the sole purpose of proving that they are losers.

I’ll tell you what I really believe — I believe this is the belief system that grows our wars.  We Americans can’t even function without someone to feel better than, and if we aren’t it we burn inside because we think of ourselves as inadequate in some undefined, illogical way.  We need our losers.  If we can’t find someone to be better than onshore — we go off to Iraq to beat up on innocent bystanders.

In some other blog I will probably rant on about my opinion of people who make their way in life by being losers.  That’s not right either.  But if your culture is fixated on winners — then at least half of us will be required to function as losers.

The Vietnamese Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, said that: “the peace movement in this country (America) is very capable of writing a protest letter but it can not write a love letter.”

I can stand on the corner of George Bush Drive and University during this upcoming peace day demonstration, Thursday the 26th at 5:30 pm and I can wave a sign, and I can be standing alongside people who are so filled with their war against war that the hate vibes would curdle your heart.  That’s not peace.

It’s all about not losing.

To Change or Not to Change

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

I don’t know who first said that, but it seems to be true in its essence. If we do not want always  the same old problems wrapped in a bright new package, I suggest we should examine very carefully what we have always done. If some of those practices caused or contributed to our present problems, maybe we should consider changing them.

The policy of forever growth in a world that cannot grow forever.

The belief that winning is always best, even when the losers suffer.

The belief that debate is better than discussion.

I suppose debating is part of our win/lose game. But really, does anyone ever win a debate?   The “winner” goes on to greater triumphs.   The loser leaves, plots for 20 years against the winner and eventually then he wins.  Meanwhile,  nobody sets about the work of fixing whatever was the problem they were debating about.

Does that sound like the way congress is addressing the stimulus package?  Just another way to show who has the most power.

Power to do what?  Power to win or power to solve problems?