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Let there be Peace on Earth

…and let it begin with US.

And let us begin with me.

I encountered a very confronting moment this week. I don’t know if I’ve told you about this yet, but I make sure to volunteer at least once a month. There is a lot of stigma around volunteer work and charity. Some people think we should call it out on the rooftops, because that way others can follow our positive example. I have also heard that humility is the most important, and that we must focus on improving our selves and not on changing others. I have to say I agree more with the former.

Shame is a such a harmful emotion! I don’t see the good in being ashamed of sharing our good deeds! So here I shout out my truth: I help people. I do it for them, and I benefit in return. The pleasure I get from helping them, which is major, and the pleasure I get from telling you about it, which is subtler, does not take away from the joy I bring to the seniors I visit.

I bring my guitar and sing songs with them. I listen to their stories and I let them convince me to tell them mine. It’s normally fun, and I leave with joy and love and sadness in my heart. I wish I could do more, but that is a typical human mind trap and I focus on the positive feelings of connection.

This week went a little bit differently. Instead of looking up the chords to “Jazz standards”, which I normally do, I had to google “cheapest towing in San Antonio.” Yep. I was stranded on the side of the road with a truck full of pre-packaged dinners destined for a neighboring nursing home. I got there to sing but they had a special program, a speaker giving a lecture on Zen Buddhism. I think they would have been happier singing, but I’m glad they were being enriched. Honestly most of the people I talk to there are already so Zen that they need more LIFE, more shaking-up, than chilling out.

So since I was there, I asked if there was anything else I could do. A harried orderly asked me if I had a clean drivers record, which I do. Then she said, Could you please do a delivery for me? The usual driver didn’t show up for work today and we’re swamped.

What they were so swamped with, I don’t know: Zentertainer (great new word I just invented!) seemed to be keeping the people verrrryyyy quietttt. Perhaps they were taking advantage of that rare silence to accomplish all the little tasks they normally don’t get to.

I hopped in the van and used my Waze to direct me there. It was only ten miles away and it wasn’t rush hour, which was why I agreed to do it. Then halfway there, POP! I heard a tire go. Then POP- another on! Apparently there had been an accident recently and they didn’t go a good enough job at cleaning up the glass.

I ran the air the whole time I waited, which luckily wasn’t even a half hour, so the food would’t spoil. The tow guy understood the food situation so he actually drove us to the center to drop off the food before taking us to a tire store. I asked him sweetly if he could drive me back for my car, and he did.

I saw it as charity going full circle: on that particular Saturday, instead of giving the service, I received it.

 

The Election

I’ve been thinking a lot about the election recently. It’s shocking how abysmal our current situation is. I am finding myself in a strange position where I don’t feel passionate about any of the candidates.

  •  2008

Like most young people, I was touched by Obama. I was touched by his passion, his intelligence, his self possession and his easy smile. I hadn’t yet learned anything about the economy and how it works, so I voted for him. I think I could have done much worse and he has done well on certain social issues and his behavior never made me cringe.

However-and yes, there is a however- I would never have voted for him today. Not after what I have learned from the Libertarian movement.

LIBERTARIANISM IS

(not to be confused with LIBRARIANISM or LESBIANISM, although now that you mention it, there is definitely crossover)

Libertarianism is the stance that liberty is the priority. It is the position that individual freedom comes first, and that short of preventing physical violence of one citizen upon another, the government is not in its rights to enforce behavior. The governments job is to PROTECT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. Not to infringe upon it.

Since I’m from the United States and that is what I am thinking about, Libertarianism means believing in the sanctity of the Constitution.

WHAT LIBERTARIANISM DOESN’T SUPPORT 

  • The government telling us what we can and cannot eat
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot drink
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot wear
  • The government telling us what we can and cannot say
  • The government telling us how we can and cannot pray
  • and basically anything else other than
    • DON’T HURT PEOPLE.
    • FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR SOIL WHEN FACED WITH IMMINENT THREAT OF VIOLENCE

That’s it! It’s so simple, right?

And yet for many decades, the government has done just the opposite, waging drug wars and telling people what to do with their bodies.

This bring me to:

  • 2012

Twenty twelve was the year I had my mind blown by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. This was the year I learned that the idea of government that I had been spooned from birth was a farce. For the first time, I got REALLY into politics. Gone was the blasé girl, the pollyanna with rose-colored glasses who was happy to sing and dance in her own little world. Here was the BLAZE girl determined to learn as much as she could about politics and make a difference. I set out to do this by campaigning for Ron Paul.

On cold winter nights after work, I would trek down to the Ron Paul Call Center called Liberty HQ. Liberty HQ! Where else would freedom-loving-me rather be? Unfortunately, despite many people’s valiant efforts, he didn’t make the cut. The media pretended like he didn’t exist and when they did  mention him, called him “crazy.”

If only he were running NOW!!!!!!!

Now, he would win. He is so much better than all of the current candidates, and it hurts me to know that if he’d waited just ONE MORE ELECTION, he would make all today’s candidates look like the motley crew they are.

Ron, if you’re out there and you ever see this, know that I will always appreciate the hope, passion and sense of FREEDOM that your campaign(S) taught me to feel and to value. God Bless you, Congressman, and God Bless America.