At a time our country is in crisis, another city stricken with terror and fear, I thought this quote stood out as a reminder not to take action from a place of fear and anger. What happened in Boston is tragic and it’s effect will continue to ripple through our society shaping our view of safety, causing us to feel insecure and allowing us a false justification to judge others.
We cannot make determinations about individuals by looking at them. We cannot view ourselves as better than, above or more noble than anyone else we encounter. We cannot understand anyone else’s actions, connections, opinions or beliefs. We cannot allow our fear and anger of situations we see publicized dictate how we engage with each other and with the world.
The very best message I saw on television following the bombing at the Boston Marathon was a short clip from a late night TV news broadcaster I had never seen before. When I heard his comments it was the reminder I was meant to hear and something I wish all Americans could have seen. Following 9/11, many American’s condoned torture as revenge for the killing, injuring and terrorizing we all felt on that day. Except 12 years later we can reflect on the torture which was carried out, the lack of insight gained from it and the knowledge that many tortured were simply as innocent as the Americans caught in the towers. Out of fear and anger unthinkable actions were allowed to carry on in the sake of maintaining our safety and capturing “evil-doers”. This time we must learn from our mistakes. We have to rise above the devastating emotions and act with compassion or we will be turning our terror into terrorism.
Please watch this clip from Chris Hayes and spread the word. (here)
I am no expert on state government, I don’t get involved in local politics and I am not into advocating for different ordinances. I have consistently paid my state taxes on time and I have been a state employee. Based on these items, I felt compelled to write about my thoughts when a letter from the State Department of Revenue arrived in the mail.
First, my history working with the state was not a fulfilling, healthy employment experience. Once I realized my position in middle management I understood my battle to supervise staff could never be won with the hypocrisy of administrators managing things above me. At times I described my situation as trying to reverse a freight train of unproductive behaviors, beliefs and systems that would/will perpetuate the wasteful spending and abuse of the system. Ultimately this effects every single state taxpayer by draining their pockets to continue this cycle whether they realize it or not. Just think every state taxpayer has something they wish would be improved in the state – education, healthcare, roads, support for the military – and we continue to hear about limited budgets and financial crisis. My experience working for the state felt immoral, illogical and toxic at times since I maintained my common sense and strong ethics. I was able to appreciate the job for educating me on how my tax dollars are blown, for the knowledge of how the state tolerates negligent employees and an understanding of how individuals work their way into positions of power not by evoking change for the positive, rather schmoozing up the ladder by helping others to cover-up situations and make themselves look better.
Needless to say, when a letter from the State Department of Revenue arrived and declared the state does not have a record of us paying state taxes in 2009… Anger erupted from the dark black box inside of me where I have been burying hatred from this job and the recognition of what is wrong with the state government. And at the same time I realize, it makes sense they would loose the paper work for our taxes. It makes sense they wouldn’t look this over back in 2010, maybe, and try to correct mistakes then. It makes sense they are out of money and have to go back years to collect on it now. It makes sense that governments can be corrupt, spend wastefully and demand that we have to go out of our way to provide them evidence when they loose it. Who is there to make the government accountable for change?
I wish I knew the answer for effecting change in such a damaged system. Going back to the title of this post, I hope there will be inspiration to change the status quo of our government systems. I hope at some point sooner then later, the populations living within these government systems realize how to unite to hold the governments accountable for the disasters they have created for us big and small.
Until then this disgruntled, former state employee had better go resubmit my 2009 state taxes to settle my small disaster.