It is quiet this morning. No howl of fast accelerating cars and trucks propelling their drivers to work.
Today we celebrate the accidental discovery of this land whose inhabitants we slaughtered and which we call our homeland.
It is not our true nature to do such things, to brutalize others. We just have the habit of behaving that way.
So let’s change! Let’s become who we truly are. Let’s become more and more the good people we have often been.
We are now spending a trillion dollars a year on things we think of as defending ourselves.
We have for sixteen years been in a “war on terror” that can by definition never be won and which motivates terrorism against us.
We are at war in seven countries, none of which has declared war against us.
We are spending vast sums preventing people whose countries we help destroy from coming here. We sing: “This land is our land…” We say: “This is the land of the free” while giving up our freedoms.
This would be a particularly good day, since we will not be distracted by work, to take a deep breath, relax, and consider who we really are.
We are a people who desire happiness and often act generously but who have some very bad habits.
We entertain ourselves with spectacles of violence, we fear violence against ourselves, we think that fear justifies our own violence, and we imagine magical solutions.
Our leader told us he would build a huge and beautiful wall to keep immigrants out. He said Mexico would foot the bill and too many of us pretended to believe him.
Our leader now tells the world we may utterly destroy North Korea. We already did that to Iraq and Libya, just not yet with “fire and fury the world has never seen”. I won’t go on with the litany.
What I’m saying is, we really are not bad people. We are good people with bad habits.
So please, let’s spend some time today noticing our selfish, fearful violent habits and start to shed the collective unawareness that makes it possible for us to do terrible things.
Let’s resolve to become the kind and happy people we really are. Let’s do it!