I feel a little guilty for publishing this message, because I have been sad on so few occasions in my long life, I shouldn’t be complaining about it. Another reason is because I feel that sadness is like a disease, it can be contagious, so I don’t like spreading it around. I didn’t even consult with The Mumbling Man on this, which makes this my first post without his guidance. So this post is purely personal and I hope I have not lowered The Mumbling Mans’ stature by doing it, being as it is almost nil already. But enough with the excuses, let’s get to the point.
The first event that caused this sadness was reading about the retirement of a Washington State Representative. I’ve only been to Washington once in my life so you might wonder why this could make me sad. It was the reasons he gave for retirement. He mentioned his disappointment in his colleagues conduct. Though he did say he thought they were good people and he does not mention either party. The sadness for me was when he said he was ‘soul weary’. To damage your a soul is about the worst thing that could happen to a human being. At least, I feel that way. He also mentioned that, because of his age, he had less years ahead and wanted to spend them as best he could. For him that was to spend them with his beloved wife, who was also his best friend. I could very much relate to this sentiment. I too am old. I too found that as you age, you begin to sharpen your focus on the things that matter most. I moved to this city from Orlando because my best friends all live here. Being near them was the only thing that mattered. I have enjoyed life more ever since.
But my sadness came from reflecting on the meaning of the event. We had lost a good soul in our government, which would have been sad at any time, but was worse now. It is worse now because the government seems to be made up of so many apparently soulless people that it can’t make decent decisions. I say ‘apparently soulless’ because I don’t believe a person can discard their soul or lose it at all, it comes with our existence. This does not mean that I believe the soul lives on after we die, that’s something I leave to the religious types. I don’t believe a soul can be bad either. But nothing stops us from ignoring our souls when it comes to our actions and decisions and beliefs. I believe all of us do that from time to time. It’s when you ignore it enough, you can appear to be soulless or even have a bad soul. As I wrote earlier, my sadness began with his expression of being soul weary. I would feel a certain amount of sadness for anyone who expressed such a thing. I would even try to comfort them. That’s because I do not believe there has ever been a ‘bad’ soul. Just like many other things in life, humans put labels on things because of their own prejudices and there is nothing we can really do about that, except, perhaps raise their awareness of it.
The other thing that added to my sense of sadness came from my own curiosity. I clicked on a little icon attached to the image of a news story on CNN. It led me to an organization called “Lamp”. They are a non-profit with the objective of educating people about ways to evaluate media, helping them find the real truth. When I use media I mean ALL media. They expressed the difficulty the social media had introduced into their mission. The more I read about them, the more I felt a desire to join them and donate, or assist them in any way I could.This was a big deal for me, because I have a great distrust of so-called non-profits that comes from an early childhood experience. Because of that I have never joined one, and donated to very few. To even consider the idea is something I never thought I’d do. This was a reason for me to get excited. But then, I read their latest newsletter. It announced that they were ceasing operations. My sadness increased to a level that resulted in this post.
It is important for me to understand why these things had caused my sadness. I do this as personal habit that came from early childhood experiences. Whenever I feel a strong emotion or do a thing I later have doubts about, I have to understand the why behind it.
In the case of the Representative, the source of sadness was about beliefs I have when it comes to the soul, which I hope I adequately stated before. But the source for the greatest concern was because of my love of my country. It is hard for most people to understand. Partly because of its’ intensity but mostly because it seems that the greater population has a negative view of America, and if they don’t want to destroy it, they at least want to change it to something they like better. Whatever their motive, even those who express a concern about America as a whole, are doing things that can only contribute to her downfall. This displays the evidence that convinces me they do not love America, as they openly dishonor her, in the same way that a person is who claims love for another is revealed when they dishonor that person in public.
Another source of the sadness was his expression that the time left for him in life was short, and he wanted to make the best use of it. I had thought that I was doing that too. I even gave it as the reason for my moving here. But I spend most of my time with this blog, which I had doubts about from the beginning, so this can’t be the best use of my time left.
As time is more precious now than it ever was before, it makes me sad to learn I wasted any of it. I was thinking of giving up the blog and making better use of my time doing something else. I had thought about that several times before. The only thing that had stopped me was my purpose for the blog, which came from my love of America. It still is the one thing that creates the doubt about stopping. The fact is, that purpose fades away each day, because it seems like it will never achieve success no matter how long I keep doing it.
The other thing is the downfall of “Lamp”, an organization I only became aware of today. How that added sadness might not be understandable to anyone, so the source of it is probably harder for most to understand. For one, what I had learned about them made me excited, because their mission did so many things that fulfilled my purpose for this blog. I was encouraged to know there were others out there that shared my views. I also thought I had found that one good reason I needed to give up my blog. Giving up the blog would be a relief so that idea made me feel even better.
So my sadness multiplied when I learned of their failure because I had gotten my hopes up and then had them shattered. The source for the effect was personal, but mostly came, again, from my love of country. The existence of “Lamp” and their mission was a sign to me that they were doing things that would have a positive effect on America, even though that had nothing to do with their mission. So their loss meant America had lost and she has lost so much already it made me feel worse. The pure personal source was due to a couple of things. For one, if I had discovered them sooner, I could have stopped wasting my precious time and possibly helped them in some small way to survive. This meant I was partly responsible for the sadness myself. The other was because it made me realize that their failure meant it was even less likely that I could accomplish
anything on my own. Almost a complete confirmation that I have wasted time all along. But I also realized that this meant America has even less allies than it did before. If you view the whole idea as a battle, then, if you’re losing the battle, the loss of a single soldier can be heart breaking. The loss of a good leader can be demoralizing. I consider “LAMP” to have been the only leader I had encountered. So I am demoralized.
Once you are demoralized you lose all sense of purpose. Living can even seem pointless. It is about this time that some people try to find god. Others join a cult of some kind, whether military or social. Some just act out against the general population, since they didn’t provide support for their purpose, everyone else was responsible for its’ loss. Some will commit suicide.
I’m sure all or most readers have seen the effects of these in action, though few would describe the motive as demoralized. That’s because various groups focus on the reason for the action. Then they claim the action could have been avoided, if only the actor had their particular groups’ values or knowledge. Rarely does anyone address the reason for the demoralization, except to use it as a tool to promote their cause.
Those who didn’t commit suicide, were all motivated by a desire to find a morality to replace the one they had lost. I decided none of the above were viable options for me, so I would have to construct a new morality on my own.
But for me, just like everything else, I needed to find out why first, before I could decide the best next step, or any step. Constructing a morality for yourself is not an easy thing. It was especially important to me that I found out where it had come from and why, to be able to understand how I could have lost it. It was my love of America that had the effect the most. So how had I obtained that as a value that defined my morals, was the first question I had to answer.
Coming out of high school, I had to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life, like most kids would. But their choices are usually decided by social influences and options available in combination with their individual value system, which is usually the strongest influence of all. It’s that personal value that drives society nuts. Parents can’t understand why their children don’t take advantage of the options they provided. Society can’t understand how a rich or powerful person does some of the things they do. People can’t understand why government won’t fix things, and so on.
In my case, the local society had eliminated any possibility for consideration so it had no influence. I had no options because my value system was in a state of disarray due to the adverse effects of my life so far. This meant I had to repair my value system at least to the level I needed to make a choice. This was not easy for me. I had to decide what was really true about me that I could confirm. This was when my love for America became my first and most important value.
But me being me, I had doubt about the truth of that. I needed to be able to confirm it or I couldn’t consider it true and couldn’t accept it. After considerable contemplation the only thing I could accept would be to join the military. That was the only way because it meant I was giving up my freedoms, all other options would be lost for the duration of service, and most importantly, I was risking my life by that service. This would, in my mind, confirm my love of America. So I joined the Navy in !971 and served 6 years. When I got out, I had developed other values, but the only value that was permanent was the love of America because it was the only one I had confirmed to be true to myself. It was the first true element of my value system and since I was demoralized, it had to be the first in my new morality. For me, one moral was enough.
It’s existence contradicts the idea that I am demoralized. Therefore I am not demoralized and I have a reason to live. Mission Accomplished. Of course, the sadness has not gone away and the questions behind the sadness, as well as my future, have not been resolved, but hey, one step at a time!
Another day, another post.