“If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
With the events of the Boston Marathon bombings, I’ve begun to share a little more openly that I question authority and am open-minded.
It’s spurred some hot debate. Predictably, I was told to leave this country. Nice.
How quickly we forget that this nation was founded by rebels, committing treason, indicting their King and creating a new nation out of nothing more than words, paper and conviction.
Like with anything, when we are willing to be open, inquisitive and interested, and when we are willing to take risks and try new things, we may learn something and create anew.
“When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely- the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it.” ~Jiddu Krishanmurti
Read on to hear a little bit about my story, and perhaps you will see more of the big picture about why I think the way that I do.
I really started questioning in college with the inspiration of an intelligent boyfriend and a solid base of awesome past educators.
Tom taught me chess and how to climb trees. During those escapades, he’d share his perspectives about the way the world works.
Soon after, I awoke in my Sorority house to the news of the Columbine killings. I was deeply affected. I went to Bear Creek High School as a prep student, we played them in sports, I’d walked those halls, that was where I grew up.
One of the girls who died was named Rachel. She had long brown hair, was an avid writer, and happened to drive my exact same car- color, model, year, make.
I left my studies in Greeley and went solo to walk the grounds of the shooting. I cried in the parking lot beside her car topped with flowers.
Rachel’s journals revealed she intuitively knew about her forthcoming death. Her spirituality and faith inspired me.
My boyfriend at the time was also the cook for our sorority house. He openly asked me and others to question why something like that would happen.
Before we wrote off the killers as “bad guys” what of the culture in which they were born and bred?
I remember how I was ostracized by my so-called friends for hanging out with Tom after that. I remember my pain as they said he was part of “The trench-coat mafia.”
I ached to be loved and accepted by them, but I resonated deeply with the questioning that Tom presented.
When it comes to tragedies, like Marianne Williamson says, “No one has a monopoly on compassion.” Just because we question why something has happened, or the root of its origin, does not mean we don’t care for those involved. Nor does it mean we should leave our country, for to question authority is deeply patriotic.
As Einstein says, which I memorized from the days it hung on my college walls after that:
“Great thinkers are often met with violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
Those words became a touch-stone in a world where I often seemed to see things that few others did.
That summer, I was waiting tables at the Red Robin across the street from Columbine. A man, seated in my section, began to ask me about God.
I opened. The tears flooded out, I listened to his words, for the first time in my life, I listened to a Christian Preacher.
The lady waiting at the other table was annoyed that I’d been ignoring her, naturally.
She interrupted us.
There I was, face drenched in tears, having a holy moment.
I couldn’t move. I was in an altered space.
I realized that there was no room for God in that job.
I got her what she needed and then walked out, then and there, told them, “I quit.” I never went back.
I left the sorority too and dove into my studies, which were two minors, Psychology and Multicultural Anthropology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences.
I trained myself to learn from other cultures without judgement, for that’s what an Anthropologist does.
If you’ve never heard this song, please be like an Anthropologist and check it out.
I was fortunate to have stellar teachers in college, and I learned much about the hundreds of tribes of Native Americans displaced, forced from their homes and killed.
Back in High School, I loved the teaching style of my history professor in my French Revolution class. I learned very well about what a government can do to its people, and that people will rise up, rebel, and storm a great palace in revolt if push comes to shove; but perhaps only after much public slaughtering on the Guillotine.
I remember the day I entered my Social Studies class and the desks were pushed aside, the walls opened, 60 or so of us crammed into a room and a man at the front table with the tattoo of Auschwitz on his arm.
His face is seared into my memory to this day, for I was in rapt awe as his words enveloped me, his story, horrific.
He ended by noting that there were people who said the Holocaust never happened, and he urged us to remember, to share, to speak, and to never let it happen again.
That same teacher used music to teach and said this song was written as a protest to the Vietnam War. We listened.
I warn you, this video is graphic. It sends a message.
He played this one, too.
I shared that day how both my parents were there, how my mom was in the crowd when the National Guard open fired on unarmed students, protesting peacefully.
My mom said, “They think they’ve been shot!”
She didn’t believe for one minute that her government would open-fire on them, until she saw the blood and they didn’t get up.
If I am radical, perhaps, like the Columbine killers, I am merely a product of the society in which I live.
“Hitler and Mussolini were only the primary spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power that are in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared, there will always be confusion and hate, wars and class antagonisms.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
Born and bred in this country, I’ve learned about a lot of violence in our past, much of it at the hands of governments. If I question the motives of those in power, it is only a desire to get to the truth.
“All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
Watch the Zeitgeist videos if you haven’t.
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