A Libra’s Bipolar Views Of The 4th of July Celebration.
On the one hand, we should all be walking around each day with our arms raised heavenward in a state of ecstasy and adulation for the privilege of being alive in these United States of America. Of the estimated 108 billion modern humans who have lived on Earth, probably a tiny percentage have enjoyed the freedom and privileges of the average US citizen.
Whether the “Story of Eden” was real, mythical, or allegorical may remain enigmatic, what is not questionable, is that what separates man from other animals is his extraordinary capacity of free will. Furthermore, if the Eden Story represents the battle of good vs evil, there is ample evidence that the battle is not over.
From man’s earliest beginnings, ruthless tribal chiefs, kings, tzars, emperors, and dictators have ascended to assume positions of absolute power over weaker members of their societies and ruled with iron fists. Using increasingly powerful means of destruction they have slaughtered billions of people. It has been said that man is never more creative than when designing weapons of destruction.
On the other hand:
Although we may be living in unprecedented peace and freedom, our history is not without its ugly blemishes. Having escaped the tyranny of the British Crown, the fledgling US committed the massive atrocities of enslaving other “children of God,” from Africa and waging overt genocide by attempting to annihilate the 500 Native American Tribes. Although nearly every US high school US history book includes the horrific stories of Adolph Hitler destroying 7 million Jewish people in WWII, the equally horrendous history of “The Trail of Tears,” Smallpox infested blankets for land” and the systemic destruction of buffalo herds is ignored or reduced to a half-page titled: “Cowboys and Indians.”
Although there are countless wonderful stories of peace and love overcoming the evils of hatred, the battle of good vs evil was illuminated in Loren Eiseley’s “The Immense Journey“.
“We are now in a position to see the wonder and terror of the human predicament: man is totally dependent on society. Creature of dream, he has created an invisible world of ideas, beliefs, habits and customs which buttress him about and replace for him the precise instincts of the lower creatures. In this invisible universe he takes refuge, but just as instinct may fail an animal under some shift of environmental conditions, so man’s cultural beliefs may prove inadequate to meet a new situation, or, on an individual level, the confused mind may substitute, by some terrible alchemy, cruelty for love.”
The twisted mind of the killer of Dr. MLK is evidence of this tragic reality. However, to a lesser degree, many non-whites, women, various ethnic groups, and members of the LGBQT community are still not treated as equal partners in the “American Dream.”
If that dream is to be fulfilled it will have to be inclusive of all.
It is not likely that many Native Americans, homeless people, and displaced or forgotten minority members will have cause to celebrate the “4th Of July.
A beautiful epitaph of Dr. King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech might describe all children; “red and yellow; black and white,” laughing, talking and walking hand-in-hand, loving and celebrating their diversity and each other.
“Let Freedom Ring”.