Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Thoughts on Symbols
I have from time to time attempted to incorporate symbols into my lifestyle. I did not have much luck. I guess I just do not think much of symbols. Oh, they have their uses, but it seems more often than not, the rabid symbol displayers often lose the intent of the symbol by over the top intense belief that their spin is the only spin on that symbol.
Often, any offense taken when viewing a symbol is not what its public display was meant to illicit. Symbols bring with them assumptions. Assumptions can lead to trouble.
Symbols often create division instead of cohesion. At least in my lifetime, that seems to be the case. I think though it has been the case since the first symbol was considered.
Symbols often hide the reality that lurks behind their cheery facade.
Symbols can confuse when opposing groups claim ownership.
People would rather feel good waving, wearing or praying to a symbol than living up to it.
Symbols and their misuse is universal. It seems that no matter where you go, some group somewhere is abusing the good intentions of a symbol.
Why is a person's worth based on the symbol they hang or don't hang in public? I don't hang flags in my yard. Am I a bad American then? I don't automatically think of racism and hate for blacks when I see the Stars and Bars flying off some porch. Does this make me racist? Because I consider the statue of "blind justice" a crock of shit, does this mean I am not a law abiding citizen?
Martin Luther King once said a man should be measured not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. It seems somehow appropriate this week that his words have been hijacked by many who support activities I am sure King would frown upon. We have one group lead by a loony toon clown from the small screen who is according to some perverting the intentions of King by sponsoring a protest in DC this weekend. This weekend that marks an anniversary of King's "I have a Dream" speech.
This group is lead by folks who would limit freedoms rather than expand them. They tend to be for fences to keep people out and against religions not bearing crosses. They advocate division rather than inclusion. They tend to wear symbols but have no clue what they mean. They would rather feed the fires of fear than plant the seeds of hope.
And opposing this group, we have leaders who cannot or will not rise to the challenge their symbols represent. Political expediency replacing idealistic fortitude just reinforces the other groups contentions and strengthens their accusations. Neither side even comes close to living up to the ideals their symbols stand for.
So I ask you. Why the Hell do we even bother creating these symbols we have no intention of living up to?