2022

Identity Crisis

One morning I logged on to my computer, went to my credit card portal, pulled up my statement and clicked on print.

Nothing!

So, I said to myself, let me try again, because with my pathetic technological skills I might have clicked on something else altogether.

Still nothing!

Daughter, I shouted, the printer isn’t working!

Are you sure, asks daughter?

Yes, I tried twice!

Did you click on print?

Yes!

Let’s try it again.

At this point, of course, I am feeling like an inadequate nincompoop, and daughter has that look on her face which says: what did the old woman do this time?! However, daughter couldn’t print either! We turned the printer off, turned it on again, checked all the settings. Nothing doing!

Frustrated daughter calls Tech Support as I am feeling quite vindicated for not having messed up! After waiting on hold for umpteen minutes, the Techie says that everything is in order, all our settings are preserved and we should just rename the printer and everything should be okay. And, that’s exactly what occurred!

So, what happened? Daughter decided that the printer was having an Identity Crisis and couldn’t figure out who it was until we called it by another name!!!

Well! Well!

Is Everything and Everyone in this Country, maybe even the World, having an Identity Crisis at this point?

It seems that Truth is certainly suffering from that syndrome! So are Patriotism, Reason and Democracy!

The commemoration of January 6 that replayed again several days ago sent me into a whimsical, pensive mood, the kind of mood that says: What’s It All About, Alfie? Remember that song and its poignant words?

What’s it all about Alfie

Is it just for the moment we live

What’s it all about

When you sort it out, Alfie

Are we meant to take more than we give

Or are we meant to be kind?

And if, if only fools are kind, Alfie

Then I guess it is wise to be cruel

And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie

What will you lend on an old golden rule?

As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above

Alfie, I know there’s something much more

Something even non-believers can believe in

I believe in love, Alfie

Without true love we just exist, Alfie

Until you find the love you’ve missed

You’re nothing, Alfie

When you walk let your heart lead the way

And you’ll find love any day Alfie, Alfie

Source: Musixmatch

What happened on January 6 in the United States was shocking not only to me, but to the whole world leading me to question: Do some in this Nation really believe that romanticized version of “fighting” as did the Blues and Grays of yore? Do they actually want to relive those four years of the US Civil War when the estimates are between 620,000 to 750,000 killed? Or, do they want to relive that idealized version that’s in their heads when Both sides thought that they were Patriotically, Gallantly and Nobly fighting on the Right side? Frankly, and from the real time images that we saw on our television screens, it struck me that many of the Insurrectionists seemed to be simply Rebels Without A Cause who had joined in order to derive a sense of Power, a sense of Purpose, a sense of that Manhood that they felt was eroding, an Excitement that had been missing in their lives; a Cause that filled a yearning for a romanticized past. And, Trump obliged by tacitly stoking the fears that their White Supremacy was being challenged! However, their White World as they knew it, was going through the same Upheavals and Identity Crisis that World Society has been experiencing, whether that is more demands for Equality and Justice for “All Others;” more vocalization by Women demanding an equal place within and without the home; more scandals involving the huge discrepancies between the Haves and Have Nots; a new world of technological advances that we were all ill-prepared for . . . and, adding to all that, was a Lethal Virus and Drugs contributing to the feelings of angst. After all, these past few decades have upturned a whole lot of things in all our lives that have led the many to feel disoriented and discombobulated from what was their expectation of how society should be conducted. It is as if their accepted “Normal” of hundreds of years was being replaced by an “Alien” set of rules requiring them to readjust and to accept the fundamental changes rather quickly. They, therefore, want to turn the clock back, to escape from this New World and back into the comfort of the familiar with all its pleasant and unpleasant aspects, because they knew how to navigate that rather than drown in a whole set of new rules, new language, new norms, new expectations. The Trumpists and all those other corrupt Leaders – for their own nefarious objectives, which, sadly, the foot soldiers storming our Capitol were unaware of – capitalized on this not realizing that their mantra of White Supremacy and Colonization cannot fit into today’s model anymore. Don’t they realize that the World is still paying for the Ruthless Empirical Colonialism that engulfed and overtook the World? That the repercussions of those centuries are still haunting us today and will continue to do so for decades yet to come? That the “slaves” (all of us once Colonized humans) of the world have become aware of their centuries of enslavement and categorically refute it? That the Only way forward is for us humans to coexist despite any differences we may have on an ideological, religious or cultural level? Moreover, the tragic reality of all this is how similar the disenfranchisement on the Left and the Right truly is! Befuddling that some simply don’t get it!

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” Charles Kettering

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John F Kennedy

“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Carl Jung

Yes, it has been said by countless poets, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and so many others. Yet, here we are at this crucial time in our journey on this Planet refuting to change, to accept, to understand the dynamism of Life and its Majority of Beings and their desire to move forward towards coexistence and a more peaceful loving way of life free of oppression and domination, but, rather, functioning within a democratic, lawful, just and equitable life for all. This seems to be easier said than done, doesn’t it? Maybe, like our printer, that is the reason why we are all having an Identity Crisis! And, if so, we need to get over it pronto before we annihilate ourselves, especially since we have seen with our own two eyes how fragile Democracy and Democratic Existence really is!

What’s it all about, Alfie? Without true love we just exist, Alfie! Our choice then comes down to whether we want to Live, or merely Exist. Not a very difficult choice! Really not!