Cindy Sheehan Quits
© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
Dearest Cindy . . .
I meant to write this letter days ago after reading your farewell "Good Riddance Attention Whore." I watched as the number of electronic communiqués in response to your essay mounted. I thought my message might be lost and perhaps was not important. I decided to forego a seemingly fruitless endeavor.
Yet, as I reflected on my reading of your words, and those writing in reply, I was haunted. Still, I hesitated. I was drowning in sorrow as I observed the interchanges. Ultimately, I concluded I can stay silent no longer, for if I do I endorse the verbal struggle. Oh, how I long for peace, harmony, and tranquility in every aspect of life. I hope to express my thoughts in a manner that honors calm and furthers a shared understanding. However, if the present is as the past, what are meant to be peaceful ponderings may provoke.
Cindy, the chatter surrounding your letter of resignation reminded of what struck me most in your offering. I experience as you mention.
[T]he "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."I experience this as well. More often than not, my missives bring talk of divisiveness. When I am critical of those that send our young and now older to combat, I receive comments of how "evil" the right is. I may frequently speak of the neoconservatives with disdain; however, I think the Left is no less liable. For me, any being that thinks war is ever an option allows for the practice.
I have also been slammed for calling the Commander and his Cabinet criminal. While I do believe that all beings have the potential for enlightenment, some are extremely slow to evolve. The ego delays their ascent. I have faith that each of us will make errors repeatedly as we travel through this Earthly existence; nonetheless, when these blunders take sweet and vulnerable men and women into battle, I think that iniquitous.
For me, it matters not the Party affiliation; harming another is errant. I experience as you have.
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike.I cannot comprehend the reprimands of one that thinks I am too harsh verbally, when I, without swearing explain my disdain for any being that is willing to hurt others. Merely calling for censure or impeachment, a nonviolent means for ending mass murder, is considered illogical and disappointing to this self-defined contrarian. Apparently for this self-proclaimed Buddhist, placing the onus on me seems apt. I am bombarded with barbs while men and women die on battlefields abroad.
It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party.The mad cap fellow I mention and I would each agree with this statement. However, he would remind me that the philosophical form of Zen, Hinduism that I hold dear is deeply flawed for it differs from the religious sect of Buddhism he prefers.
I sigh deeply. I trust that as much as I appreciate many of this man's musings, the need to be right or reproach drains me. I want no part of such exchanges. I long for peace in every effort eternally.
I am not a competitive person and have no interest in engaging is dialogues where one is left the victor, and the other defeated. I prefer peace. For me, even an arraignment is an opportunity for growth. It need not be confrontational. I only wish to lessen the power of those that think we have the right to punish another nation or our own citizens by putting them to death, or torturing them until they talk. Yet, consistently I realize bringing about harmony is not the intent of many in the movement.
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.When working with an organization devoted to harmony, the two persons prominent is coordinating the events argued vehemently. Those assisting with the installation project then took sides. There was no tranquility among the pacifists; yet, they claimed to be people of peace.
While walking with a group dedicated to calm, marchers called out to the law officers. These peace protesters preferred to fight the fuzz. The antics of those supporting an end to war actually promoted the same on local streets.
Cindy, I relent as you have.
[N]o matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that [peaceful, loving] country unless you want it.Persons and political structures are as they wish to be. I cannot change them; nor do I desire to try. I speak out for I trust that my silence will not benefit them or me. In my own life much has been said when I was not ready to understand the meaning or significance. I trust that people and policies are in flux. They are evolving as am I. I can only hope that my love of peace will be honored within my lifetime. I accept that this may not be so. Nonetheless, for me and I trust the same is true for you Cindy Sheehan, I will continue to do as I can. However, I cannot sacrifice my own soul. If I am to stay strong, I cannot continually allow others to deplete my spirit.
Cindy, I thank you so much for sharing your self, your strength, and for remaining vigilant. I believe peace will come. You will be among those that made the transition possible. I am grateful.
Sincerely, with great respect . . .
Betsy L. Angert