This is not a criticism of everyone, but a mediation on a few. Perhaps I'm no better than they are of whom I am writing about. I did after all post a photo of Hugo Chavez and Muammar al-Gaddafi as my cover art on Facebook and as my header on Twitter. I posted two comments about them on Facebook, and did a few Tweets and Re-Tweets on Twitter.
Hugo Chavez lost his two year battle with cancer yesterday evening, and it wasn't a surprise to me. In 2005 I got experience with cancer when both my grandmother and her son, my uncle were diagnosed. Grandma's was surgically removed, but my uncle's could not be because of the position of it and its' nature. (Another uncle currently has lung cancer.) My uncle was given chemotherapy. Grandma lived several months after the surgery, but she was 93 and did like many elderly people will react after surgery. She forgot how to eat . A feeding tube had to be inserted in her stomach. Then she developed pneumonia and died. The cancer killed my uncle the day after Christmas Day, and my grandmother followed him the next. She was never told her son had died because no one wanted to upset her. My family watched them slowly die over the year 2005. I am experienced with cancer, and I sensed that Hugo Chavez would not survive.
I am not a worshiper of any human being. There are people I admire or like very much. Most are dead though. I see only a few living people with admirable qualities these days. They may appear to at first, but most make a slip on down the line. It doesn't seem this era will permit people of true integrity and unselfishness to be. Some feel that you can't be a Christian or a devout person and have compassion for others. If you are religious you must be in the tradition of the American neo-conservative or the Muslim fundamentalist in the arena of politics. The political and social justice people of today feel that one must be an atheist or an agnostic to really have any genuine, compassionate social or political ideology. Religious belief will just get in the way in the real world. They are very wrong. But just like the old and my group built up a lot of prisons of the mind and heart the young in their twenties and thirties are doing the same thing. Plus the young have the added disease of constantly seeking attention and notoriety. Are they truly concerned about people and issues ,or are they using other people and the issues to self promote themselves?
I was telling mom tonight about how some were reacting on social media about the death of Hugo Chavez. My mother is 74. Getting a lot of attention never mattered to her. There was no movie theater where they lived when she was growing up. She was almost twenty when they got a television in about 1957 or1958. My mother was pretty and still is at 74. She never thought much about her looks. Her group didn't seek every instance and nugget and grain in life to self promote. Many people were private types back then and wanted to keep it that way. There certainly wasn't the internet where anyone can easily do self promotion and appear to be important. There was no celebrity culture like it is today. The celebrities had their place, and everyone else had theirs'. But people back then didn't live in such a time as now with its' alienation and emptiness which we as humans continue to power and drive to a place we don't need to go. But we are already in that place, this special prison we somehow walked into.
I look at the little kids on up to those through their 30s and a few beyond. Due to the nature of these times there are a few even in mom's group who are powered by this need to be great and important. Usually they are the ones who can't cope with being old and probably always were the kind who were self important.
Tonight when I told mom about the people who did blog posts in a split second, about the battle for the best cover art on Facebook and beyond containing Hugo Chavez, the repeated opinions of some and one after another going on for hours about his death, mom said about the blog posts especially, "They are like SEE how smart I am." She laughed. "You mean to tell me they're trying capitalize off a dead man?" I told mom about those who behaved with class, posted a little and didn't get into a wild competition with Hugo Chavez photos, and we both felt they were being sincere and were not involved in self aggrandizement in a dead man's name.
I am a fan of Hugo Chavez but not a fanatic. I don't have all this gushing adulation. He was imperfect like all humans, but I like him because he was fearless in the face of the US government's bullying and threats. His mission was the elevation of the poor and oppressed. He was also one of the very rare leaders who was not obviously physically black and who courageous enough to admit to having African ancestry. That takes a lot of bravery because plenty don't want to be perceived as black or African even if the DNA is hidden somewhere. Both Hugo Chavez and Muammar al-Gaddafi shown with goodness in several areas, and they had their flaws like any human being. I only worship God, not men or women. The latter will betray you, ignore you, or even if they are there and loyal, one day they will ultimately pass away.
It is not always about what we do, but how we do it and the impression we leave. Many people crave the spotlight. Some seek attention at any and all costs. They use people, even the dead ones. There are the pseudo-analysts and experts. There are the princes and princesses of mainstream, alternative, and social media. Do they have any human feelings for anyone outside of themselves I wonder sometimes?
I never like it when someone is quick to call me an expert. I don't like words like activist either because so much has been polluted by certain camps of people who go by that title. I also don't live in a place where I can really be affective in getting across any unorthodox information to wake people up. There's a certain mindset where I reside, and I can't get any support. But I have honest compassion for people, and that is better, I feel than a lot of grandstanding. I write and do the best I can when I feel well. If I can make a child happy like the one I worked with yesterday, and I was told he was a problem student, but he took to me and obeyed me as I helped him to learn leaving the class with a smiling face, I feel good. It isn't all about me. I praised that child, helped him, and to see his smile and hear his good-bye was enough for me.
Many of us lack humbleness. Being humble is not weakness or being a pushover. However, we are told that in order to succeed we must be competitive and always ready with an answer. Never admit that you don't know or are in error. We are told that if we have good looks and brains to use one or both to get ahead so we can be the king and queen of the hill. We are told all these things directly or indirectly in this worldwide culture, and along the way we have become selfish, obnoxious, plastic, bombastic, and ultimately less likeable because of our pride. This is the world we live in. To survive it I laugh about it with my mom sometimes, but deep inside I cry.
Rest in Peace Hugo Chavez. I am not sure what ideology I have. It's not one thing though. I'm also learning and observing. I used to be a Democrat. Now I'm a Pan-Africanist. Politically I lean more towards socialism somewhat and towards Orthodox Christianity faith wise. Since your eyes were on the poor and despite the imperfections, your concern for the impoverished and oppressed showed your heart was in a good spot. Jesus hung out mainly with the poor, though some want to say he drove a Cadillac and was living like a billionaire, but some of us don't buy that. Some want to cut Him completely out of the picture, but He was a threat to the establishment of his day as well, nonetheless He was perfection.
Thanks to those in social media who handled things with class tonight and then went on about your business. I really hope this post didn't come off as me trying to use a dead man to draw attention to myself. This is meant as merely a meditation and an observation.