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“Don’t Stop Believin'”

Posted by purplemary54 on July 14, 2013

Um, it’s been an interesting 24 hours.

Shortly after I posted last night, word came down that (insert term of your choice here) George Zimmerman had been found not guilty by a jury.  I feel it’s important to note here that “not guilty” is not the same thing as “innocent,” even though there are people who will justify it as such.  It simply means that the jury could not find, without reasonable doubt, that the person in question committed the particular crime they were charged with.  That these jurors felt that this (insert term of your choice here) was not necessarily guilty of wrongdoing by stalking, confronting, and shooting to death an unarmed teenage boy is . . . I don’t really know how I want to put this.  I believe in our justice system.  I know it works most of the time, and when it doesn’t, it’s because money or politics plays some role in corrupting it.  But I also know that if you’re guilty of something, you want a jury trial, because it’s pretty easy to convince at least one person out of (in this case) six that there might be some doubt about your guilt.  Just saying.  (BTW, if you’re innocent, you probably want a bench trial, because most judges really are pretty fair and actually do understand the law.)

I thought about writing a second post last night, but I decided to hold off because I didn’t want to spout off in anger.  Because I’m tired of being angry.  I’m tired that in some places in this country, you can kill a black boy and get away with it.  You can start a fight with someone, and as soon as you realize you’re losing, you can pull a gun and claim self-defense.  You can say it was his fault, and no one will contradict you because the only other person who knows what happened is dead.

I thought about avoiding the news for a couple of days, because I just didn’t want to hear the racist, gun-toting, reactionary nut jobs crowing about what a great victory has been won; then I remembered that I don’t watch Fox News, and turned on my local ABC affiliate.  Where I promptly heard that 31-year-old actor Cory Monteith had died in Vancouver.  He’d struggled for over half his life with drugs, so I’m pretty sure what’s going to be the official cause of death, but sheesh.  This talented young man lived his entire life in less time than I’ve lived in my house.  I enjoyed Glee when it first started, largely because it was so much fun to listen to these actors sing.  (I stopped watching because it was just so over the top ridiculous, and had a distinctly misogynistic undercurrent.)  I liked Montieth in the role of Finn: He was charismatic and likeable, and he certainly knew his way around a song.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.

His death was just so unnecessary.  So was Trayvon Martin’s.  It’s so hard to accept and understand these kinds of tragedies.  It’s so hard to find any kind of good in news like this.  Because it does seem sometimes like everything is broken–justice, government, people, society.  It seems like nothing really matters, and we might as well just give up and go home.  Don’t forget to turn the lights off on your way out.

But that would be easy.  And if I’ve learned nothing in my Buddhist dabblings, it’s that life is not easy.  All life is suffering, and the only way you can overcome that suffering is by acknowledging it.  Know it, feel it, and then let it go.  This is our world, fucked up though it may be sometimes.  There is true beauty and joy in life, just as there is pain.  The only way to deal with any of it is to live through it, to keep trying, to keep doing the right thing, even when it’s hard.  So I’ll leave you with this joyful little clip about not giving up.  Glee brought this song back to life, reminding us that a stale classic rock song that gets way overplayed still has something to say.  Buddhism also teaches about karma–what you put out into the world will come back unto you tenfold.  George Zimmerman will get what he deserves.  So will Cory Monteith.  So will we all.  You just have to keep going on.

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3 Responses to ““Don’t Stop Believin'””

  1. dan4kent said

    Well spoken. Juxtaposition of what happened in Sanford with Vancouver. Sometimes the mourning comes in the wake of the needless loss. You’d think we’d have figured this one out by now. I start a new gig in the AM. Phoenix rising. Thanks for reminding me to not stop believing. Catch you on the flip side. Dan

    • Both things are just so damn senseless. As a music fan, I’ve had to hear about a lot of ODs and other drug/alcohol related deaths, and not a few pointless shootings. I’m just so damn tired of all that potential being snuffed out. I just wanted to respond with a little hope for once, even if it wasn’t what I was feeling at that moment.

      Good luck at your new gig!

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