I’m too smart for religion but too brainwashed to forsake it.
I am starting to see that my fears are much bigger than reality. But the fears also seem bigger and meaner than they used to be. They used to be small and passing, but now they’re heavy and towering. If they keep going this way they will become enormous, like big wooly mammoths, and all I can see in the future is the frightening shadow they cast on me.
The best-case scenario is that Trump won’t do any of the things he said he would.
Worst-case scenario is that he gets us in WWIII.
Another odd scenario is that Trump’s fascist agenda lasts for the next 4-8 years (though I think he will get himself impeached before then). The rich get richer and the poor get poorer until they’re about to break. The youth of today listen to Senator Sander’s message of social justice, and his benevolent revolution falls into the hands of disgruntled youth who overtake the government in a military coup, establishing socialism as the New Normal.
What I really think will be interesting is the overall reaction of middle America in a few years, when they finally open their eyes after they realize they’ve lost their medicare benefits, social security is gone, interest rates, inflation, and gas prices go through the roof, coastal cities begin to flood, and they are taxed through the nose to pay for that stupid wall. Not to mention when they realize that all those supposed tax breaks really only benefit a select few- namely corporations, the rich, and wealthy married people. Never mind if/when we find ourselves in an all-out war.
We believe that cooperation is better than conflict
Unity is better than division
Empowerment is better than resentment
And bridges are better than walls.
Can one unlearn things? Forget and erase something that happened, something that was witness or learned? Can one change one’s views of the facts?
I pride myself in having an open and inquisitive mind. I want to know who is out there, what they do, and why. Why do certain things happen? What do other people believe? What is going on on the other side of the world?
The problem with reading and having an open mind is that you learn a lot. And you think a lot. And with that thinking comes a lot of worry, anger, and depression.
When you see the atrocities that are going on in other places outside of your bubble, you grow depressed. When you see the unfairness in society in your own country, you get angry. When you realize that we’re all headed for potential disaster, you worry.
(That’s why I think that those who are depressed and crazy are the deepest people among us.)
This is true even for one’s religion. People born into Jehovah’s Witness families have no clue of what’s going on around them. They live in a bubble because they are not allowed to become involved in politics, other religions, other religion’s causes, associate with people outside of their Witness community, marry outside their faith, have non-witnessing friends, read books on evolution or other religions, or read anything that could remotely contradict the things they have been taught. They only associate with other Witnesses and that’s all they know. They are aware that the world is in shambles, but they believe this is all part of God’s divine plan and he will fix it in due time. There is no need to worry or do anything about it.
There is bliss in that sort of ignorance.
When someone puts something in front of you that forces you to see the Watchtower for the brainwashing cult that it is, you are forced to open your eyes. And see. And learn. And understand how the world works. And you worry, and you get angry, and you get even more depressed.
I’ve always been contradictory- doing the opposite of what was expected of me. Except this has made my life harder. I am tired.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been shown the truth about the “Truth” (this is what Witnesses call their religion). I was no longer a witness at the time, but I had every intention of going back because it was all I knew. Since the blindfold came off, my mind expanded like an atomic bomb. But it also felt like a bomb, too. I have felt so much heartbreak over the last 9 years. Now, my life has been full of blessings, too. I do not want to minimize that fact. I have very little to complain about. The issues are all in my head. The worry/ anger/ depression. The rejection. The loneliness. And the problem is that, because now I know the REAL truth, I can’t ever go back to the fake Truth. Believe it or not… sometimes I wish I could, if only to try and repair broken familial bonds and pretend like soon God is going to fix everything that is wrong with the world.
Which loops me right back to the beginning… Can one unlearn things? Forget and erase something that happened, something that was witness or learned? Can one change one’s views of the facts? Sadly, people can’t unlearn or unsee what they know. The best we can try and do is change our perspective of a situation. Unfortunately, there is still a voice in the back of your head that tells you when something is just not right. It takes a lot of conditioning to turn off that voice. You have to learn not to think.
I just heard the saddest thing on NPR. Kids in institutions don’t get much representation. Not many people ever stop to think about that, do they? I know I didn’t.
The case was presented of a young woman who was taken from her home because she was being regularly raped by someone close to her. She went to an institution where she was bullied and beaten by her mates. She finally lashed out, and was charged. She was subsequently put in another institution with children who were mentally ill and very, very violent. She again lashed out against the bullying, and was charged again. When she was 15 she finally met one attorney who actually cared enough to hear her out and help her.
This young woman in the interview on NPR is turning her life around, but how many kids don’t get that chance?
“There’s only one way to write a book: one word at a time.” ~R. Edward Freeman It took me two years to write my book, Where the Light Enters. Books have a long life, in their creation and, hopefully, in the hearts and minds of readers. Two years can feel like a long time to […]