See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .One can't watch television, pick up a newspaper or surf a web site without being barraged by fear-based stories of doom and gloom. Our politicians treat us to scary images of mushroom clouds and a host of horrible weapons in "the wrong hands" as rationale to preemptively invade sovereign countries. Their sights are now seemingly set on two other points in the Axis of Evil--Iran and North Korea. Color-coded terror alerts are suspiciously raised in direct relation to falling poll numbers. We are told to buy plastic sheeting and duct tape for our windows, stick canned goods under our beds. Dire threats of an avian flu pandemic scream at us from TVs and radios. When we don't buy it, violent crimes and violent storms batter us with visions of the Apocalypse. With the latest crisis in the Middle East, a coordinated effort to trumpet the arrival of World War III is taking place. The propaganda is coming at us fast and furious.
Well, we have one thing to say about all of this: Relax.
It is always Armageddon somewhere. And it has always been so. The problem today is that we are giving our power over to those who would exploit genuine concerns into full-fledged, heart thumping, teeth-chattering, knee-knocking fear. How many times must we be lied to and manipulated before we recognize the deception for what it is? Nothing more than extorting our fears for power and monetary gain.
Are there problems in the world? Yes. Are injustices and despicable deeds being done? Certainly. Should we address these issues head on? Absolutely! But we must do so from an authentic place of honesty and good intent. Unfortunately, we have allowed shadowy thinkers and naysayers to script our lives and run the show. Yes, we have allowed it. This must stop.
Many are anticipating the end of the world. Tens of thousands are actually hoping for it, some are fervently praying for it. These apocalyptic upside-downers are banding together for the end of the world. They're building fall-out shelters, stockpiling canned goods and studying survival manuals. They've even established survivalist communities on huge tracts of land. We have all seen the bumper stickers: IN CASE OF RAPTURE THIS CAR WILL BE UNATTENDED.
Their dark hope is that the earth will be purged of the unholy, and only the "chosen" will be left to walk this great planet. Traffic will be lighter. The streets, even the highways, will be paved with gold. It'll be easier to find parking at the mall. There won't be any lines at the movie theatre-and all movies will be G-rated. Gays and lesbians won't exist. Everyone will be alike; a world will be created in their own saccharin image. This apocalyptic scenario featuring punishment and reward is an excellent fear-based way of attracting followers.
Metaphors Be With You
Is it possible that the biblical Armageddon is a metaphor for the inner turmoil that occurs inside each person seeking to find his or her true spirit before the end of life's journey? We create our heaven and hell, our Age of Enlightenment, or our personal Armageddon. All of us struggle with the balance between these two extremes-the yin & yang, the light and dark of the world. This is one of our grand lessons-to face life's challenges and discern which choice to make. Do you wish to live in a place of love and light, where the world holds out its arms and embraces you with friendships and treasured moments? Or do you wish to live in a place of fear, your own hell, filled with disappointment, suspicion and self-doubt?
We abdicate our responsibility to ourselves, and others, if we rely on an outward being for our salvation. It has to come from inside us first. Find the god/goddess inside you. Become the potential that you are and then-if you find value in the ritual, dogma and doctrine of religion-fine. Don't start by giving away your power, though, because you'll never find your bliss that way. Spirit is an individual province that no one else can define for you. Not your minister, your priest, your rabbi, your emum, your mullah-no one.
Bright spirits abound if we choose to see them. They teach our children. They serve our food. They work in shops, in offices, in hospitals, in homes. They can be found in literally every occupation, in every race, in both genders, in all religious beliefs, and in the non-believer.
Bright spirits share their wisdom and experiences in seemingly innocent actions: a smile, a hug, a short note, a gentle expression of gratitude. There is a light in their eyes, a sparkle. We've all met people who seem to shine no matter the circumstance. Some of us marvel at how they do it. Some of us may wish we could be more like these bright spirits who spread joy and kindness wherever they go.
Here is an obvious secret: we are all bright spirits. We can choose to look at life as filled with fantastic possibility, or as a constant struggle. We can see life as a wondrous adventure or merely a dull collection of days. It is up to us.
Now is the perfect time to shed ourselves of our collective fears. A time when millions of us stand up to the naysayers and doomsdayers and say, "No thanks, there is a better way." We can rise in unison and refuse to buy into the negative confusion that has overwhelmed our upside-down society for so long. We can sing our dreams in one voice to the Universe. We can offer our vision of a healthy Mother Earth, of harmony among all peoples, of peace and love to the heavens in appreciation for this great gift of life. We can do this by living with integrity, honoring each other, revering our planet and using her resources wisely.
We can flip our world from upside down to right side up. The flip is already happening, a great awakening is in full blossom with many are doing all they can to bring about enlightenment. What will you do as a participant? This is our age, our time. We stand at a vital threshold of humanity. What will we do with it? Will we cower in the darkness of our fears, hidden in the shadows of our doubts? Or will we step into the brightness of our individual potential, into the dawn of our destiny to live life with love and compassion?