A chilly silence

Cold Spring Harbor, NY


These days when I can see my breath

and deeply breathe the crisp, cold air

There’s  only beauty I can see

and only silence I can hear

With the seasons change coming soon,

this view will graciously change too

xoxo DDJ

What would John Lennon say? (You know the answer)


The following is a completely NON debatable fact. There are no political sides you can take. There is no religious ground to stand on. The world is in utter turmoil and people are dying for a couple of basic tenets of civilization. (Perhaps the word ‘civilization’ is the important part of that sentence.) There is an inordinate amount of HATE and INTOLERANCE. That’s it. I know I have said this more times than I even remember, but put a bunch of toddlers in a room from every corner of the earth and guess what? They will happily play together, form bonds, giggle and share their toys. Hate and intolerance is taught. Nowadays, it is ACTUALLY taught, but it has been seeping into the minds of people more covertly over millennia by passing down one’s personal and inexcusable hate filled philosophies.

Currently, there are three hate-filled aggressions taking place in the world and on the news right NOW: in Northern Iraq/Iraq, Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Gaza. And I ask myself, why? Iraqi’s have made no effort to hide their intolerance: “Leave, Convert or Die”. That seems pretty straight forward and horrifying. Ukrainian’s trying only to live their lives are being ‘bullied’ in the most violent sense of the word, by a most formidable bully, in Russia. Gaza being governed by another ‘bully’, Hamas, has forced Israel to defend itself with deadly repercussions.

If you find yourself judging the above statements, then that is part of the problem. Why do we hate? In the most simplistic sense of a t-shirt derived concept, ‘Why can’t we all just get along?” The truth is, I have my intolerances. I hate STUPID people. People who are too lazy to think. People aren’t inherently stupid. Stupid, for these purposes, is a word I use to describe ignorance and idiocy. We don’t start out that way. It is learned, it is taught, and it is THE problem.

Now that I have narrowed down the OBVIOUS core of the world’s problems, how does it get rectified? Well, the answer must be above my pay grade, because all I can think of is a line from the movie WarGames. When considering the go to answer to all conflicts is usually destroy thy enemy at any cost, I remember Joshua—the computer—in WarGames saying, “The only winning move is not to play.” These conflicts have been there, on the surface or below, throughout time. Allowing people to live their individual lives without interference and without trying to change their beliefs is, in my opinion, the only way the world’s people can coexist. And I cannot wrap my brain around the type of hatred that is any more than, “maybe we shouldn’t be friends anymore.” My oversimplification is deliberate, because I think it SHOULD be that easy.

I would not call myself a peace-monger. In fact, I very much believe in a strong armed forces. I also believe that there are TOO many situations that call for armed intervention, and there are, sadly, times in which collateral damage is perhaps—unavoidable. You can argue that point if you choose, but it will not change the point I am trying to convey. And culturally speaking, it is not possible for me to clearly understand the thought process of someone in Iraq or Ukraine or Palestine or Israel. I am an American. And just as all Americans can hardly agree on anything, I have to believe that the same exists in countries throughout the globe.

So, live and let live is the simple answer, with no simple or even complex strategy to achieve it. In the course of The United States of America, it is a very short time frame in the bowels of our history where we have become tolerant and accepting of things that WE once thought ‘wrong’. We are still—quite slowly—growing in becoming tolerant of our own differences. But within our countries boundaries we abhor violence when it comes to ‘hate crimes’. Everything going on in the news today is a ginormous HATE CRIME.

I wish the world could learn from my analogy of the children having no preconceived hatred. They are a beautiful clean slate. Without being fed hate and intolerance, they would go along blissfully. Oh sure, perhaps there would be the tantrum, or crying if someone took a toy and didn’t give it back, and perhaps one of those kids would take a swing at another or—God forbid- bite them, but those are usually resolved quickly. I don’t believe that Johnny taking Billy’s dump truck would go on to be a decades or centuries hate filled WAR.

Living while allowing others to live is the only answer. Play nice. It’s over simplified and sadly—probably never to take place in my lifetime. But I am tired of the media making it any more than it is and placing blame. At the heart of these conflicts is people NOT wanting other people to even EXIST. Sorry, that’s just stupid. And I think I already said how I feel about stupid people.

Xoxo DDJ