Disclaimer: This post expresses my personal opinions regarding the current political landscape. It is illustrated with two of my current works in progress. If you don't want to read it, don't. If you attack my constitutional right to express my opinion or attack my opinions in the comments section, I will not approve your comment for publishing. Thank you! LOVE AND PEACE! :)

original oil painting on linen canvas work in progress
Love consciousness, 20 x 20" oil on linen, work in progress

I have always been involved and passionate about politics. In 7th grade I participated in my first year of Youth in Government as a page and continued until my sophomore year when I was Sergeant at Arms and Representative. I have voted in every election (including municipal, state and national) except for the first Presidential election I missed when I was 19. This happened because I was in Advanced Individual Training for the US Army and my drill sergeant asked me who I was planning to vote for. Being the young, scared kid I was at the time, I answered him "Dukakis". He then replied that this was the wrong answer! I was in the military now and being that I was "Property of the US Army" if I wasn't going to vote for Bush then I had no business voting! This was where my cynicism of the US Government began. I was serving my country and I wasn't allowed to vote? WTF? Being a scared young private at the time, I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to end up doing hundreds of push ups for talking back to the drill sgt.! If I could go back I would have asked to speak with my commanding officer and demanded that I be taken to vote. So, ever since I haven't missed an election!

Fast forward to 2011 and I am having a difficult time not getting angry about what is happening in this country. I love the USA, I am the most patriotic person I know! I have been trying to stay out of the political discussions going around, trying to stay in my place of peace and love, praying for our country and our politicians. Hoping and praying that they will do the right thing. When Obama was elected, he wasn't my first choice btw, I got swept up in the "Hope" for our country. Now, in the second half of his term, I am feeling more cynical and disappointed than ever. Once again, as during the Bush years, I feel hopeless and sad about the direction this country is headed.

original oil painting on linen canvas work in progress
Unconditional Love, 20 x 20" oil on linen, work in progress

On September 20th something happened that gave me hope again. My husband was the one who drew my attention to what was happening. "Did you see the article on FB about protesters being blocked from gathering on Wall Street?" I found the article and eventually found the Occupy Wall Street page on facebook. At the time there were only a few hundred "likes" on the page. Checking in today, there are almost 35,000 "likes". There are protests in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street being planned and already happening across the country!

It's finally happening! Apathy is dying! The people are sick and tired of the Corporations, big banks, uber-rich (otherwise known as "the 1%"), and the Congress disregarding the constitution and the middle class and poor United States citizens! Could this be the start of an historical revolution? Could "We the People" be standing up for our rights and demanding accountability from the 1% in this country? The people are sick and tired of never ending wars, government corruption, lobbyists paying for legislation to protect the corporations, and corporations considered "individuals" that pay no income taxes!

I don't see this as a partisan issue! The two major parties in this country have been pitting us against each other for decades. Using fear and hate to divide the people into two groups. Divide and conquer, right? They know exactly what they are doing! More and more, in my own life, I am finding that people I thought I had nothing in common with (usually Republicans, though I am a registered Independent!) actually agree with me on many issues. We are all sick of Congress pandering to the special interests, corporations and Wall Street.

Where I am torn is choosing between love, positive energy, peace and being angry and fed up with our government. How do I reconcile my need to spread nothing but love and peace in the world with my urge and need to stand up for injustice and being angry and fed up with it all? I have gone back and forth about getting involved in the protests or meditating and sending my love, prayers and positive energy to everyone involved. I don't like to feel angry, I don't want to get sucked into the hate that people are feeling towards the uber rich. We are all people and though some are extremely misguided and greedy at the expense of us all, I cannot let myself feel hate towards them.

I do believe there is a revolution beginning and I have been waiting for this moment in history since 2002 when everyone was happily charging into the war against terror. I do not believe that war is the answer, I am hoping the "occupation" will stay peaceful and loving. The question is, am I willing to stay the course if it doesn't?

I will stay peaceful no matter what, but what about the police brutality happening? Can I keep my cool if attacked? I hope so.....but that would be a topic for another blog post! Until then, I will be at the Occupy 'Burque demonstration this Saturday. Wearing my Peace tshirt and jewelry, carrying my protest signs. One of which will read "We are not here to disturb the Peace of our city. We are disturbing the greed and injustice of this world."

Views: 108

Comment by Monica on October 3, 2011 at 10:34am

I completely agree with you. My heart hurts with all the greed, racism, brutality, ignorance, and prejudice in this world. I want to be happy but at the same time, I'm so sick of the way this world is going and I have all this anger inside of me. I don't know how people can walk around and pretend like there's nothing wrong. Or maybe they're just afraid of change? Well, whether they're ready for it or not, change is coming.

Comment by Wade Patterson on October 3, 2011 at 11:12am

Sometimes expressing one's love for something (a country, the downtrodden, the future of children) means advocating and fighting against something else (corporate greed, cuts in social services, etc.). Its an unfortunate conundrum that I think makes many shy away from civic engagement and gravitate toward complacency. But I have come to the opinion relatively recently that there are, in fact, forces in the world that really are out to do some evil. Sometimes its more than a difference of opinion (and I'm thinking here particularly of the Arab Spring, but I see many dangerous ideas being bandied about in our own backyard as well).

 

I think that the most important thing for folks who may feel disillusioned with our current situation is to not walk away from the dialogue. Stay engaged, protest if that is what moves you, write letters to your elected officials, but don't disengage. As an Obama supporter, I feel it is important to not become complacent and sit this election out because of a disagreement with the way things have unfolded. When I think about it on an even bigger scale, I feel this is true of everyone, regardless of political affiliation. Don't disengage.

 

There are many ways to be socially engaged and it doesn't require attending protests. Many have the kind of misgivings you do - being part of a mass action can mean that specific distinctions in one's view of an issue get lost in the generalness of the crowd. And many don't want to associate with that. So, there are other ways - there are groups that advocate particular issues, one can write to elected officials, express their views openly with others to generate civic dialogue, post in a forum, and more.

 

My 2 cents. 

Comment by Paula Manning-Lewis on October 3, 2011 at 12:54pm
trying to approve the comments that have been left, but for whatever reason it's not letting me, I have disabled comment monitoring now. Sorry if you left a comment and it's not showing up.

BTW, I did go to the protest and I'm happy I did. It was a great day, everyone stayed peaceful including the police. I meet people from all age groups from 2 to 75 years old. I have hope for this country again. :)
Comment by cathyray on October 3, 2011 at 8:29pm
I, too, am fed up with the greed but I absolutely love your artwork!
Comment by Paula Manning-Lewis on October 5, 2011 at 7:37am
Thank you all for the comments and the kind words about my art work! :)

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