In years past the streets would be lit with the lights and awash with the sounds of the yuletide season long before this time. Even at late hours you would hear people talking and laughing and even singing.
In the blue-collar neighborhood where I live tonight there is silence.
And the lights...the lights...are small and few. Many people can't afford to run them. Some have not even bothered putting them up.
I put a few up in the hopes of pushing back some of the cold that drains strength from my spirit.
The news is filled with the glitz and glitter of people and things from a life that many no longer can know or even wonder at. Lights and packages and shopping. Warm coats, lavish parties with friends, a trip to shop in the lights and sounds of the streets downtown.
Quite a few are even wishing for shelter from the snow and cold. They used to have a future.
Their futures, and possibly mine as well, have been stolen. Stolen by men of greed with hearts of stone and steel content only on their own success and pleasure even at time to the exclusion of those close to them.
The spirit of this yuletide season has been sapped away by those unpunished by law. Karma as well seems to have passed them by for the moment as they feast and engorge themselves on profits obtained at the expense of the lives and souls of those beneath them.
I have some hope but very little.
The longer this goes on, the longer that those of evil and corrupt intent, the more time spent punishing others while those that so greedily squandered our country and futures go free...the weaker our hopes for the future become.
The problem is that we are all responsible for this state of affairs.
It's a bitter pill to swallow but the thought keeps coming unbidden to my mind. Why didn't I do more to prevent this when I had the chance? I chose many many times not to be involved in political or social or neighborhood things over most of my life. I figured naively that someone else up the ladder was looking out for our welfare.
Instead the people up the ladder were only looking out for themselves and screw those on the rungs beneath.
In the last ten years I have seen, with some very notable exceptions, nothing but more and more laws curtailing our freedoms and rights to the point now where it's easily possible to label someone who has done nothing but speak his or her heart openly as a criminal and have them shuffled out of sight.
With the change in the presidency I'd hoped this would have changed. But it appears to be proceeding apace in the same direction it always has.
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and those of us in the middle...we lose out.
Each night I'm sure a little more spirit is drained out of the hearts of the people who aren't part of the lucky 1% of the US that is wealthy enough to not have to be concerned about where their next meal or mortgage payment is coming from.
A few of them I don't begrudge their wealth either because they came by it honestly through hard and ethical work or because they legitimately use it to help lift people up from where they are. But best as I can tell in this society that's likely less than .05% of that 1%.
You can look on this perhaps as the grumpy complaints of a middle-aged out-of-work father and husband but honestly I wouldn't. There are quite a few people that seem to feel the same as I do.
And if these shadows remain unchanged...they too will eventually have to turn off their holiday lights.
In closing on this Solstice evening I will offer this one ray of hope.
Regardless of where the problem is now...the solution...lies with you.
I include myself in that as well.
Advice? I can only give you this - help someone. Regardless of what you believe in as a faith in this universe - help someone. Help someone be who they are. Help someone get to where they want to go.
At the very least help someone smile.
We need to help those around us. The universe or creator or god or goddess or spirits or WHATEVER judge us by our actions every single minute of every hour of every day. And we get a response to our actions in kind.
You get what you give people. The problem is that very often what we get in return does not come to us immediately and we don't connect it with our previous acts.
And if you choose not to help people? If you choose to ignore the problem?
Then very likely the holiday lights will go out for you next.
Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/209348.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.