Finding Value genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Six Degrees of Speculation

In the aftermath of the election, the prevailing instinct is to either feel vindicated or vanquished. Unfortunately, that is an oversimplification and likely a skewed perspective. Granted, elections create winners and losers in the conventional sense…but if one was to step back and ponders the intention of an election, it is only a success if it has brought us closer to "truth"...not the "truth" that one group can impose upon another but a "truth" that advances all of us and therefore all of humanity.

Victory is an elusive concept. For those of us who found the results of the midterm election to be satisfying, it’s easy to conclude that life is good and that our beliefs have been affirmed. However, little has actually been achieved. The country remains largely divided...pundits have begun their efforts to spin the outcome and to craft messages meant to undermine the opposition in order to insure a future victory...thus perpetuating the process while ignoring the purpose.

It seems to me that victory should actually be found in our ability to understand each other and to engage in civil debate that seeks to find our shared "truths" rather than reinforce our intolerance for the views of others. The validation / repudiation model is convenient and often comforting...but far removed from the fundamental principles behind the creation of this country. I believe our forefathers intended government to be the glue by which we could bring our diverse beliefs together under the shared umbrella of freedom without the fear that any of our beliefs would be unfairly abridged by the will of others.

The following poem talks about these issues and is offered with the hope that we all step back and take more time to understand ourselves better before we endeavor to influence those in our midst. Happiness is primarily an internal construct and an individual concept and the more easily that it can be altered by external factors, the more suspect I believe it must be. All too often, we look to obtain our happiness from external sources because it lessens the responsibility we take for our own self-fulfillment. Politics and governance should not be the vehicle to happiness. It should insure our individual right to pursue it but it should not predetermine the means by which to achieve it.

As we all attempt to make sense of this election, my hope is that it serves as an entree to more understanding and more cooperation. In the end, there is little joy in being the villain or the victim. Truth has neither as its goal.

Church in Rome - 2004

Finding Value

Empty lives walking busy streets
In search of something to believe

The bargains we make for happiness
Will another dollar mean success?

Winning and losing is a state of mind
Pursuing the truth is how life’s defined

Is life a game that we can ever win?
The outcomes certain before we begin

Filling the void with book and verse
The fear of death becomes the church

Dueling gods are created by men
The righteous use them to condemn

Values established by men in robes
Freedom’s values cannot be imposed

The Shaman’s tell of another place
Collect the tariff and guard the gate

The weak decide they're born again
Afraid to face that death’s the end

The hole you find inside yourself
Cannot be filled by something else

Feed the spirit, build your soul
Build it well, the truth your goal

Freedoms found when truth is told
Befriend it now and be consoled

Death’s an end, forget tomorrow
The spirit lives, no need for sorrow

Have faith in life, face your fear
Live life well, heaven’s right here

Daniel DiRito | November 10, 2006 | 8:58 AM
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