I have sworn to myself that I would never hurt anyone ever again. There was a time in my life where anger, hatred were fueled by struggles and idealism. It was years ago that I gave up on hate and followed my beliefs as a Buddhist. “Life is full of suffering, suffering is due to attachment, attachments can be overcome and there is a path to accomplish this.” These are the four noble truths which I now live by, but the eightfold path is hard to walk. And I find it increasingly hard to follow in the kind of decadent society we live in.
Because it is a decadent society we live in. Not because people embrace sexuality freely or because they dare to be themselves. Do not mistake this cry for some re-run of christian morality. I have no need for these. Our society is decadent and decaying by the powers-that-be and in this moment, it has a name : Jean Charest. The prime minister of Quebec has just passed repressive laws that severely restrain freedom of speech, freedom of association as well as encroaching on constitutional rights. (known as bill C-78)
I find it increasingly hard to remain peaceful and to feel compassion towards the police, the media or the people. In some ways I am conflicted because I should love them and understand their situation. But on the other hand, my beliefs come under assault by those very same people who I should love. It is hard to feel compassion when their hearts are so full of hate, when the media has them cranked up on images they know nothing of, cited out of context or edited in such ways that they seem to be taken out of a movie by Michael Bay. Buddha didn’t have to deal with such media manipulation. Siddartha Gautama did not know, as far as I know, the kinds of strife we know today : heroine, alcohol, opium, cocaine, hatred, violence, fascism and brutality beyond belief. Did the Buddha know such dire aspects of human kind and did he manage to overcome his anger anyways. Will I be able to be equally steadfast in today’s world.
As the mass media keeps fueling the fans of hatred in the general public, should I feel like the elite, or a snob because I feel enlightened. Even in my extended family, people are turning to fascist ideals, people are giving in to hate-speech and racism. People are asking the government for more security and to hell with liberty. I have been called a hypocrite because I own a television. Yet I am not plugged into any sort of cable. Am I guilty of hypocrisy just because I love the art form that is known as cinema. Am I to be considered a snob because I’d rather line up two words about the early years of Japanese cinema instead of the latest movie-hype, regardless of what it is?
In the face of such conservatism, I react by closing down on the world. I have found my niche, a spouse and a child, a few friends and colleagues, a limited amount of relationships with people who share my ideals. And as long as I remain in that circle of friends, life seems to be fair, but as soon as I step out of that comfort zone. As soon as I opened up the Right-wing papers, just to see if the world had change while I wasn’t looking, I am thrown aback, repulsed and appalled by what I see. And I am being called upon because of that sentiment. I have been told that it was my fault if the police was beating me, that it would be my fault if I would be arrested, fined or detained by the police. The very people I have been told by the Buddha to love do not want to be enlightened. They are blind and the strongest pliers I know of are not enough, it seem, to take off the thick, rusted steel plate that covers their eyes.
They claim that we have no ideals, that we do not know what world we want to live in. They will claim that the struggles of the youth, worldwide, are divided, distant and unrelated. They ask me (us) what it is exactly that we want, yet they reject our answers without hearing them.
I have decided to never consume any form of drug, alcohol or meat. The former because they are harmful to myself, the latter because it is harmful to my earth.
I want a world where the life I live will not cause suffering here or abroad.
I have decided to never impose my authority on anyone, anytime, anywhere. I believe that dialogue and fair societal-structures will lead to a society where conflicts are not so constant.
I want an economy where the workers elect their own foreman and define their own objectives.
I want an economy where investors do not have an indefinite and eternal “return” on their investments. Where their money will be refunded with a reasonable interest of 4% instead of the “stock market” system.
I believe that credit towards housing and land should not be suggested to interests.
I believe that democracy should be political AND economical with regular assemblies defining the objectives of governments instead of governments defining the objectives of society.
I want a world where there are electric forms of transportation available to all at fair cost. I also want that electricity to come from renewable sources. How is it that our roofs are covered with tar instead of solar panels?
I want a world where I do not feel the need to hate anyone in order to build my own identity.
I want a world where I do not need to steal, hustle, beg or borrow in order to make something of myself.
I want a society where anyone can create without being looked upon as a hippie, a freak or a dreamer.
I want a world where the perpetual pursuit of knowledge and education is not looked upon as petty-intellectualism or a refusal to grow up and “live in the real world.”
If those are now solutions to the decay we now live in, I can invite you to leave now and make your own dystopia elsewhere because the youth of today will build this kind of world and there will be no place in it for your lies, your hatred or your thievery.
I sign this here, on the 21st of May,