Love, Peace, Happiness. The Big Letdown

Many times, I write about how the passage of time and the learning opportunities I’ve taken advantage of have led me to be more content. And it’s true. I’m handling life’s ups and downs fairly well right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t notice what’s wrong in the world, though.

Frosty sunrise.

All day today, I’ve been reading about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the things he said and did. (His actual birthday was last week, but the US loves Monday holidays.) I also listened to a lovely song imploring us to listen to what John Lennon said, give peace a chance and all that. Today, I’m reminded that King said:

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”

 Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

I came of age in the 1970s. It wasn’t a perfect time, but to me it seemed like things were going in the right direction. Women were working toward equal rights in all ways. Black people could marry white people. Gay friends were emerging hesitantly from their closets. People talked so much about peace, love, and equality.

Now that I’m over here, looking back from over 60 years wandering our poor beleaguered planet, I think I was quite wrong. By surrounding myself with my “tribe” of people like me, I was blissfully ignorant of much of US society, and certainly VERY naive about how businesses and capitalism worked.

I know there are still people out there like me, working to improve the environment, feed the hungry, bring peace and understanding among our fellow humans, and all that. I see that in my volunteer work every day. But, I no longer have confidence that we have the numbers or the strength to accomplish much. (I’ll still keep doing my part.)

Really, stop reading if rants bore you like they do me.

Here’s Why (Or Stop Reading Now)

The heart of my sadness is this: I once believed people were basically good and kind, just sometimes they were confused or misled. I now see too many people taking pleasure out of harming others, spurred on by their own “tribes.”

When mothers and babies flee from violence, I see Americans expressing glee as they are turned away. They should stay where they belong and deal with it. Yeah, like they went out and CHOSE to be born at a particular place and time and aren’t “good people” like us. I wonder if these same folks would have told Jews in Europe that it was their own damned fault for being alive during the time of the Fuhrer and they should just stay put and deal with it. If it were today, would our Beloved Leader send the Space Force to build a shield around this place to keep them out (except the rich ones, of course)? (Which we sorta did by not letting them on boats, but never mind.)

I see people putting their “need” to own deadly weapons above other parents’ “need” to feel safe when they send their children to school.

People don’t think fellow citizens with low incomes “deserve” food, health care, or safe places to raise children. They defend elite classes from having their “hard earned” billions used to help others. This makes me rant.

Breathe, Suna. Think of hermits resting.

Fellow elites and elite wannabees: You did NOT get your comfortable lifestyle because you deserve it. You didn’t earn it, either. You lucked out and were born at a place and time where you had opportunities to improve your knowledge, your skills, and your social status. Sure, you could screw up and be a black sheep. But I guarantee that even though I tested out as “highly gifted” (’cause I’m white and middle class, too) if I’d been born in another town, in another neighborhood, with another school system, no amount of intellectual ability would have allowed me to do the things I’ve been able to do. Only my privilege and luck got me where I am, and it wasn’t even that great of a white privilege!

The way things are is not fair and never will be. I know that now. There will be two steps forward and one step back. Fear motivates so many who simply don’t care about anyone who’s not part of their group or the group they aspire to be in.

I get sick to my stomach when I hear people putting down those who didn’t have their opportunities, who messed up once or twice, or who were abused and unable to crawl out of a tunnel of misfortune. Even Jesus loved the little children. All of them.

So yeah, the world has let me down. The country I live in has let me down big time, now that truth doesn’t matter, corruption is glorified, and priority goes to the profits of corporations, not the well-being of citizens. No wonder Dr. King warned repeatedly of the dangers of capitalism. No wonder John Lennon just wanted to go to bed and stay there. Looking too hard at what’s going on in the world makes you sick.

Happy dogs in nature. They cure a rant!

That’s why I’ll keep writing about dogs, plants, helping elderly people, and small acts of kindness. They give us something to cling to, since we obviously are NOT going to get most of humanity to give peace a chance or give peace, love and understanding a serious thought. I quote this often, because it’s true:

Words of Nick Lowe:

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony
‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh
What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?

(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding

Note: This is all my opinion. You’re welcome to yours. I will even listen to it. Write your own blog post and tell people what you think!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

3 thoughts on “Love, Peace, Happiness. The Big Letdown”

  1. The world is great and we could ALL be doing and giving more to those not so lucky. Most of the people I have known HAVE been peaceful and understanding and kind . Some of these people had a lot in various ways, some had nothing. We humans are stronger than we think and even one person can accomplish a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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