Taking a break.

Oliver and the fish

 

I realize I need to take a break, refresh and reorient myself.  Thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate the interest it has received.  Love one another and keep a positive attitude!

Sincerely,

Ken Dunning

What makes a country great?

IMG_1010While “Make America Great Again” is a political slogan in the U.S. right now, the fact is, every country wants to be great.  Every country, every person, wants to be prosperous, safe, healthy.  Who wouldn’t?  So how can it be done?

In the U.S. the de facto message being sent out by those currently in charge of our country’s government and industries, and which has been sent out for quite some time, is that having a very wealthy upper class is what makes America great.  That and having lots of exorbitantly priced weapons to attempt to instill fear in everyone else in the world.  In the U.S. we have heard and still hear that our enemies hate us because of our freedom.  Honestly, I can’t think of anything more ridiculous.

It is a fact that has been learned from the study of human behavior that primarily we try to kill what we fear, not what we hate.  Therefore, the goal of instilling fear in one’s neighbors is not a good foreign policy.

But back to the original question, what makes a country great?  Is it having a wealthy upper class whose wealth is comparable to the wealth of other countries’ upper classes?  Does it all work like a game of Monopoly?  The country with the richest upper class wins?  (Wins what?)

Almost every country in the world (every country?), has within it the edifices, or the ruins, of the temples and mansions/palaces built in the past by a very wealthy ruling class.  If having some few very, very wealthy people in it, with everyone else serving those few, is what makes a country great; then there have been, a lot of really great cultures in the world.  Which leaves us with the question:  If these cultures were so great, why did they all disappear?  Were they too good to be true?  I highly doubt that.

A widely ignored piece of truth in the world is that each country, like every person, has a spirit.  A healthy spirit goes a long, long way to maintaining a healthy body.  An unhealthy spirit portends the decline of the body it inhabits.  The health of the spirit of a country is determined by the health of entirety of the population who live within that country.  The entirety of the population making up the ambient spiritual/energy system.  There is a great spirit present when a group of happy, healthy people are singing “America the Beautiful”.  It doesn’t quite ring the same when those people are hungry, depressed, fearful, sick, homeless.  Honestly, does that reality surprise anyone?  The same holds true for any country’s anthem.

What makes a country great?  The simple answer is that it is those thoughts, actions and conditions that contribute to making the spirit of a country healthy.  What fills a country with citizens who care about their communities, their country?  What makes them want to work, to want to invest their energies into the country?  The answer is, again, a simple one:  when they feel cared about and invested in by the culture, the country they live within.  Like so many other aspects of human relationships, it’s a two-way street.

When the inhabitants, the citizens of a country feel ignored, abandoned, or even betrayed by the government, the industries (the dominant cultural powers) of the country they live within, how much love do you think they’re feeling for that government, those industries?  And if that government and those industries have been promoting the thinking that they themselves, and their actions, define the country, that country is in serious trouble.

In all cases, without the indispensable contributions, the blood, sweat and tears of the citizens, their parents and their grandparents any government or major industry would not, could not, exist.  They invested their minds, bodies and spirits, their lives, into building something they hoped, they expected, would be there to help sustain their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Their hope was that the institutions; the government and industries they helped make possible, paid taxes to, and quite possibly fought for, would contribute to improving their lives and their descendants’ lives.  That reality exists deep and pervasively within the spirit of America and every other country on the face of the Earth.

The fact is, there is no industry, no wealth that exists in America today that doesn’t have it’s foundation in the work and industriousness of previous generations.  The farmers, scientists, cooks, factory workers, shoemakers, janitors, clothing manufacturers, doctors, waitresses, musicians, nurses, teachers, store clerks, street cleaners, artists, loyal dissidents, police officers, construction workers, miners, dish washers, fire fighters, soldiers, railroad workers and those who have built the roads.  It has taken every contribution by every person who has contributed for any greatness that exists in America, or any other country, to come into being.

If the top of a pyramid decides it no longer requires the health, the good regard, of the base of the pyramid, what is going to happen?

Indeed, the wealth that was built by many has been captured by a few.  It may have been done legally.  After all, legality is subject to those who control the making of the laws.  It may have happened because too many common people weren’t paying attention.  It may be that very many of the common people lust for the opportunity to do likewise.  All those things may be true.  However, is that what is going to make America, or any country, great?  The unequivocal answer is “no”.

A necessary, indispensable, key component to making America, or any country, great is the recognition and honoring of the spiritual reality that underlies the ongoing reality of the common people.

 

Don’t Play The Victim To Circumstances You Created

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

“Don’t play the victim to circumstances you created.”  I saw that statement on Facebook and it hit me like cold shower.  Wow.  So simple yet so profound.  I would alter it some to read;  “Don’t play the victim to circumstances that you helped to create.”  The latter statement sums up what is going on with the issue of illegal immigration to the U.S.  The U.S., as a nation, is experiencing the consequences of decades of supporting tyrants and greed in Mexico, Central and South America and elsewhere.  Everyone who believes it is too much trouble to  pay attention to politics needs to wake up, politics can and will affect your life!

What do we expect when the U.S. government, and U.S. corporations, have spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting leaders and methods which render countries unlivable for vast numbers of the populations of those countries?  

We cannot as a people continue to ignore a simple reality;  we need to be working to build a culture which is supportive and nurturing of whole and healthful human life.  And we need to support such efforts elsewhere.  What we are doing now, as a matter of national policy and culture is worshiping the “bottom line”.  It’s all about the money.  We have become a species in which too much of what we, as a species, are engaged in seems hellbent in destroying our environment…and ourselves.  Often or always in the name of corporate and/or personal “profit”.  It seems too many in positions of political and industrial power have narrowly defined “profit” to include only monetary or material gain.  This is proving to be a very costly error in reasoning.

In order to correct things one thing is certain, there needs to be balance brought back into our economic reality.  There is an absolute need for us, as a species, to recognize our mutuality and keep each other’s well-being in mind.

Why focus on something so mundane as money rather than lofty sentiments about love and/or spirituality?  Because what is happening with the material wealth we possess is a visible measure of what is happening with our spiritual reality.  I don’t think that we’re all greedy, or callous to the well-being of our neighbors, however, look at what’s happening in so many places around the world.  No matter all the high platitudes being written and spoken, platitudes about love and beauty, the truth is how we treat each other speaks much louder than the words in book or magazine or the music on the radio.

We usually think of external/worldly change happening as a result of an internal change, however, the reverse can also be true.  Sometimes when we realize the absolute need for an external/worldly change, and act upon that realization, the dynamics precipitate a fulfillment of the change within our psycho-emotional make-up.

So, as we look around at the increasing poverty and suffering of the many on one side of the scale and the extravagant, inordinate wealth of the few on the other, isn’t it obvious what needs to be done?   The only question is how is it going to happen?  Because when things get too far out of balance, the natural tendency toward a viable balance will assert itself, that’s as inherent a reality as gravity.  (As above so below, as below so above.) Will it happen in a caring, thoughtful manner or in a chaotic, traumatic series of events?  Like so much else that happens in this world, it’s all up to us.

July 2017: I need to add that the predatory exploitation of developing and/or “third-world” countries has not been limited to individuals and/or corporations headquartered in the U.S.  Nor is the government of the U.S. the only government which has a history of supporting, even subsidizing such exploitative activity.  And finally, the problem of refugees and immigrants from countries which are suffering in significant part as a result of such exploitative activity is not limited to the United States.