So much has been offered about how we should see the world. Centuries of those proposing the “correct” attitude towards ourselves and those around us. How can we befriend the believer, but remain who we know ourselves to be?
In a world that prescribes we become “other”, by those who demand conformity, we must preserve the unique. Crusades, holy wars, and now political correctness, champion the changing of our belief systems.
My “belief” is that the world needs to be more at ease with itself and each individual found within.
Of course, the world is in need. It always has been.
Technology brings every issue to our mind, and we are forced to respond. Either with empathy, or with apathy.
That is a lot of pressure. That is overload.
Often, it makes us feel overwhelmed and helpless.
If I wanted to run the world, and I was devious, I would want those in the world to feel overwhelmed and helpless. If I wanted all you had, that of spirit, power, possessions, and courage, high doses of information would be my go-to move.
What might be the quickest way to usurp such things from those living to survive in the world?
Removing the notion that we are collectively stronger than those who claim “knowing” and offer what is “acceptable”.
The Illusion of Other
Patti Smith sings that people have the power.
They have the power to “redeem the work of fools,” according to Smith. If anything in the world exists more and more, it is the work of fools.
Only those in power have anything to lose by humanity realizing that power is equally distributed among all who live. Things are not equal, nor should they be. This is not a call to some leftist political theory.
What we fail to see, is that we have opponents, and not enemies. There is the strange, but there are no strangers.
First, we must look for some commonality.
Second, we must work together for good.
Not for a press clip. Not for a solid return on investment. Doing good for the good of doing. Action, but not attachment. Compassion, but not compiling data or social credit.
Love, for the sake of love.
Good People, Good Times, Good Work
How can we befriend the believer, but beware the belief?
We must believe to survive. It is essential to what we do in the world. Belief is not the evil that fuels corporate greed, world hunger, or the lack of clean water.
What we must do, is suspend belief. Not all belief.
Just the one. This one.
“My belief is the only correct belief, and you need to believe what I believe.”
Yeah. That one.
There are so many good people, having a good time, while doing good work. Find some of those people and learn from them. Read about them. Study their ways.
Practice what you understand to have made a difference in their lives, and decide if it makes a difference in your life.
Regardless of what they “believed”.
Three Believers (okay, four)
Here they are.
Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash.
What follows is a little thread of how they are related, and what makes them awesome. Also, what makes it awesome that they are connected somehow.
Johnny Cash is famous for his 1969 concert at San Quinton prison. Merle Haggard was a prisoner in San Quinton, but eleven years earlier.
In 1958, Johnny Cash played a lesser known concert in San Quinton prison, and inspired Merle Haggard.
Not with his music, but by the way he mocked the security guard chewing gum in the doorway. As he asked the guard to fetch him a glass of water.
Merle Haggard was famous for writing songs for the “working class”, and went on tour with a reclusive and often sure, Bob Dylan. Dylan asks Haggard in one of the two conversations during the two year span, what he thought of the music.
Haggard replies, “do what you want, some people like the bass drum loud.”
He offers some other bits of advice, but the troubadour Dylan cannot let the drum thing go. Later, the sound board guy wonders what Haggard had said, and ponders the fact that Dylan keeps going on about the bass drum.
Now for Willie Nelson.
Willie is a weed man. No kidding.
He believes in that stuff.
Merle Haggard wrote Okie from Muskogee as a response to the weed smoking hippies, and sang it for years. Haggard and Nelson are friends.
They find themselves considering recording one of Dylan’s many songs, and Haggard looked at Nelson and said, “I’m thinking about learning some Dylan songs.”
Willie lost his breath laughing, because he knew Dylan also, and everybody in their world knew at least one Dylan song.
Belief Is Not the Enemy
Befriend the believer… beware the belief, does not mean to dismantle belief, but it does mean to dismantle the attachment to belief.
Here is the secret to leadership, relationships, and getting along with the world. Get ready. It is a life changer.
“You may not always be right.”
Even better, what makes you right in this instance, might make you wrong later in life. The enemy is not belief.
There may be no enemies at all.
I tend to listen to believers these days. It helps me learn, and it helpd them to be heard.
Like Rumi said, I am not obligated to sit before every boiling pot with a bowl. Sometimes, you pass by, nod, bless those about to eat, and find a different dinner.
Enjoy your dinner.
Enjoy the proverbial shit out of your dinner, and be grateful for every morsel and all it does to provide nourishment.
Please… do not make me eat your spinach. No matter how much you love it.
Befriend the believer.