Auspicious cards for an a lucky date, 11-11.
Today is also Veterans Day in the United States, a national holiday in which we honor those who served in our armed forces.
Although there are vets in my family, I have always been conflicted about these holidays. I’m a pacifist and I don’t believe in war. Natural conflict does not have at it’s root an inherent desire to dominate, control, or destroy.
War, on the other hand, is the realm of a military industrial complex that profits off the death of our “enemies.” Individuals who see no other path toward the American Dream are lured into service by the promise of a free education. Much like the prison system, poor and minority folks are used as labor in the capitalist war machine.
I’ve never called myself a Patriot and indeed the word leaves a bitter film in my mouth. I have a hard time pledging allegiance to stolen land. It feels hypocritical to support the protection of arbitrary borders determined by a social construct and maintained and the expense of indigenous sovereignty.
Generally I hold these thoughts back from polite conversation in order to keep the peace with those around me. White as I may be, folks get tired of listening to someone who refuses to enjoy what they love because of the inherent cruelty of the world.
But there is a crack in the facade, an opening that I’m putting my foot into and pushing for change. The torch of truth and awareness reveals the festering pit of racism and misogyny in which we all flounder. But wishing for love and light only reveals the problem; it does not alleviate our suffering.
We must have the audacity to question each tradition, ritual, and policy we encounter, interrogating the situation to discover if it will move us forward in equity or simply perpetuate a racist status quo.
We may wish for things to be simple again, forgetting that things are only simple for the ruling class. Life is complex and to wish for less is to marginalize the vast capability of the human species to adapt and grow.
You have the power to change yourself and those around you. Do not discount that even the smallest step is movement forward on the journey.