Growing up is a revelation in retrospect. What I mean is that today and each day going forward when I reflect back to my teens and mid-twenties, thirties and forties I understand now things I knew then but didn't learn from at that moment.
What I know now that I didn't realize then was that the world around me was smothering everything that made sense.
This has been the case since I was old enough to remember.
The way we live is dictated by consensus and not logic and science. Truth is an obstacle to what we each want to believe about ourselves and about others.
So many things we've experienced and observed in our lifetimes as members of society have required changes to make corrections and improvements.
Bad habits are hard to break, I'm not sure when I first heard that. Alcohol and tobacco come immediately to my mind.
Yet we accumulate many habits in life, some good and some bad. As human beings our habits shape our lives. Most habits are acquired and influenced by others; family, friends and acquaintances.
This is true not only as individuals but in groups as well.
There are so many groups in our world that we each can count them in dozens and they most likely overlap one another and more than just one another.
Thus children are a group and fathers as well as mothers and grandparents. All together we have the family and even there we have the immediate family as opposed to cousins and aunts and uncles which happen to also be groups.
These invisible circles drawn around human beings of two or more are contained within larger circles until we realize we can quickly just draw a circle around all human beings.
Most of us humans will curb our thoughts when it comes to ourselves as a species without remembering that we humans as a whole are contained within a larger circle defined as nature and in fact are confined to a physical circle we call earth.
The pattern I've noticing for years now is the circularity of everything I know.
An easier approach to comprehending this concept of circularity is to simply look at the universe that surrounds us.
How utterly and obscenely myopic are we human beings when it comes to ourselves? How obsessed are we with our own relatively meaningless circles?
What importance do we place on circles within us? The cells that when broken down define us. The way we think, our shape and sex and the color of our eyes and hair.
It seems when it comes to circles we are as intelligent as the least intelligent among us.
Our circular way of thinking.
We humans have a proclivity to cling to habits and repeat ourselves. This manifests itself physically and mentally.
The desire to move ahead into uncharted waters is radically tempered by the probability of failure. It is only when a circular repetitive pattern of success creates a circle that we are inclined to forge ahead.
And so we reach the subject that inspired me to write this thought piece ... the mass killings of six and seven year old children in Newtown Connecticut.
I ask myself is the death by murder of one child any different than the death of twenty or two thousand or two million?
We can have a lengthy discussion about murder as well. The discussions and thoughts are all old and repetitive and circular in their logic and destination.
If there is no change in outcomes we are trapped within our circles. The words ipso facto come to mind ... we are in and of ourselves when it comes to much if not all of our thoughts.
Contemplate the fact that to murder twenty innocent children is not prevented by the absence of any one weapon.
Certainly the probability of such incidents is reduced but the proclivity remains within the would be perpetrators.
I can't recall any time during my life that I was angry enough to want to kill someone - although it is likely that in a moment of rage when hearing and reading about the acts of others I have had the urge to seek out the perpetrator and end his or her existence.
I do not think it is a question as to whether or not we humans are each mentally ill; rather it is matter of to what degree are we ALL ill as a whole.
A cognitive species that can incept, tolerate and ignore wars is mentally ill. War is a pandemic, yet is disguised and classified as adventure and action in movies and is glorified in endless ways. War is just a collective way of describing what individuals do to one another everyday.
Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians.
I trust I am traveling a straight line in what I'm writing here ... I hope that most if not all readers are feeling squeamish and uncomfortable. If I am successful in breaking your circles then I will be referred to and thought of in many unflattering ways.
However, in some cases perhaps a few will join me on this writing journey.
To change we must first be willing to be wrong, at least in the eyes of the majority. Slowly one by one, human beings will bond and form a new straight line.
As a nation nothing could make us happier or more successful than to solve such easily solvable problems as immigration reform, health care, income inequality, poor education etc etc etc!
As a species nothing else can be a substitute for change.
If humanity does not dramatically and rapidly change we will soon cease to be.
America is capable of leading the way. WE must however find the will and bravery to draw a straight line.