Sitting Under The Tree

Today I begin a new Blog Category:  Sitting Under the Tree.  There are times when we just want to sit and chat with friends having unedited conversations through stream of consciousness.  So when you see “Sitting Under the Tree” before a blog post, just imagine you, a few friends and myself sitting on a green grassy hill under a large tree daydreaming and watching white clouds float by, not trying to solve any problem, just sharing ideas safely and freely.

 Do you remember when the rage was to watch the new TV news channels?  What a novel idea, but who would want to listen to the news all day?  Well, many of us do, and news channels are now big business.  And may I add, entertaining?  But what has happened to the news? 

Have you read the newspaper lately?  Or, have you listened to the “Floor talk” in Congress on C-SPAN?  Or, would you admit to listening to radio and tv talk shows?

I’ve done all the above, and you know what, my friend?

I’m so sick and tired of all the wars, the fighting, useless killing, ugly power struggles and childish name calling between political parties, brutal border control between neighborhoods and nations, hate crimes between cultural and religious sects, competition for wealth on wall and main streets, our innocent children being kidnapped off the streets, the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer.  And, I’m so weary of being cautious to not step on a chronic complainer’s toes when all I want to do is live my life without hurting anyone else.  But it seems impossible to do.

 I have thought about this night and day, and have tried different formulas of living to do my part in changing the dreadful course we’re traveling.  You know, by reading the self-help books that inundate the marketplace, stacked in book stores and libraries right next to books on how to influence people.  I’ve also read a great deal about the different religions and have attended a variety of religious services, trying to see what was so bad that we couldn’t get along.  All have both good and not so good elements.  So what?

So what’s the big deal and why do we have so much hate, mistrust and suspicion among us?  I’m beginning to think that we’re all hooked up to some big universal computer—not the one that runs the super internet highway—I mean the one that really controls our universe.  Yeah, that one!  I imagine we are born with our hearts and minds programmed to  influence our environment positively, and we’re destined to live much like John Donne’s idea that “No man is an island.” 

However, it’s difficult for us to live together on our planet island because we just don’t like each other, and like spoiled siblings we don’t want anyone crossing our lines, touching our stuff, and God help us if we need to share a berry patch or a water hole with someone who looks different from us.

 Supposing the human race was just Project X on someone’s map.  And guess what?  We were all hand-picked because of our physical and spiritual makeup to face the challenge of perpetuating our species.  Oh, this isn’t a punishment, nor is it an experiment.  No!  Say, we’re in Life 101:  Human Being.

 To make it more complicated suppose that the human race is a “team” or “family” project.  This means that no one goes through the gate or “graduates” until everyone learns the lessons like how to get along, how to put others before us, be less violent and more generous.  These are the characteristics, “dots to connect,” the “key” or correct stimuli, impulses, or frequency that will grant the human race perpetual existence in whatever form and place you want to imagine.

 Oh, our current condition would not mean we are forever doomed, although at first we might think so.  But we have been given clues throughout our sojourn on earth and maps to lead us out of the darkness into the light, so-to-speak.  We’ve had prophets and our Savior, so it isn’t impossible, really.  It’s only how badly we want it.

 The trouble is we humans don’t learn our lessons well.  We don’t learn them at all.  We don’t want to learn them!  Period!  We resist even to the point of surrendering to the idea that perpetual existence is both unachievable and unimaginable.  What we don’t or won’t learn today, we live to learn another day and history will continue to repeat itself until we all learn our lessons and we treat one another with dignity and respect.  Simply but wisely put, we must be our brother’s keeper.

 For today, however, it doesn’t really matter if that universal computer has our number and frequency.  It doesn’t really matter if we someday all implode into the black hole when the sun turns off.  Those are the pillars of  entertainment news.  But it does matter to me that we work together to begin to change our human course by working on our own attitudes and resolving to extend a hand of friendship and servitude to all.

And when I go home after work and flip the TV on to hear the news, please, may I just listen to the news?  Or if I pick up a newspaper or news magazine, please may I read the news?  There already are more than enough entertainment channels and magazines.

What is that I hear from the other side of the tree? 

“Thank heavens for Jim Lehrer!”

 © Jennifer Lee and, October 2009.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Jennifer Lee and is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Lee and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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