Recent events around the missing Malaysian Airlines 777 plane have really got my panties in a wad. Not that I wear panties, but that saying is such a vivid way of expressing the sentiments I feel. Underwear all wadded up, riding up your crack, causing a mix of discomfort, pain, and overall grossness. Yeah, the whole issue of world security right now is a giant wedgy in my brain.
The last time I traveled I stopped to count the number of blue-shirted TSA employees in the security screening area. I counted 18. It was an early morning flight, and there were literally more of them than us. I use that term “us and them” because that’s what we have allowed this to become.
Them yelling at us to take off our shoes.
Them closing down screening lanes for no apparent reason while we rush to catch our flight.
Them rummaging through our bags because they saw something “suspicious” on a computer monitor … and then stealing our shampoo.
Them ogling our privates in x-ray images and feeling up our bodies if we refuse to be microwaved by the full body scanner.
But we are all kind of okay with this, right? After all, we are so safe now when we fly. Not one single plane has flown into a building since 911. So all this personal invasion must be worth it, right?
THEY LOST AN ENTIRE AIRPLANE FULL OF PEOPLE!! Not a little Cessna either, a fucking 777. They probably missed it while they were scouring my carry-on for that 3.5 ounce bottle of lotion.
Now I know I am mixing my security agencies here. I know that the TSA works in America, and the whatever-its-called agency over in Malaysia handles the screening there. I appreciate the difference between baggage screeners and air traffic control. I understand that the world has a host of different security agencies that do different things.
BUT THEY, COLLECTIVELY, LOST AN ENTIRE 777 AIRPLANE!!
Every time I open the Huffington Post I read about another way our government is spying on us. Email, phone calls, texts, hacking into Facebook, they even tapped the cell phone of Germany’s chancellor. And if the tabloid press in England can hack into the Prince Charles’ voicemail, I sure as hell think it’s a very reasonable expectation that someone could keep track of an entire airplane!
I was sitting outside the other day and I saw a lizard. It was scurrying around and ran up a wall. I wanted to take a picture with my iPhone so I moved a little closer to the wall. The lizard froze. It just stopped right there on the wall, like a tiny Spiderman with a green tail. The funny thing was that the wall was white, and the lizard was green. So while it was performing some kind of instinctual defensive measure by freezing, and while it probably felt really safe and proud of itself, it had actually done nothing. It was still a green lizard on a white wall.
And we are the same. Despite all the billions of dollars spent, all the personal rights we have handed away, and all the pontificating by world leaders about the safety they have created for us … we are still at risk when someone is determined to harm us. Like the lizard, we feel really proud of ourselves while cloaked in the illusion of safety, BUT AN ENTIRE AIRPLANE FULL OF PEOPLE DISAPPEARED WEEKS AGO AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS, not even kind of – the best they can tell the poor families of the passengers is that they think it may be in the Indian Ocean somewhere.
The more I look around myself, the more I see similar circumstances in many of our societal institutions. It’s not limited to the TSA and lizards.
In our school system we spend billions of dollars instituting test after test. We have programs galore and it seems that in every election some guy running for office tells us how we must invest in education. And yet, what is really going on? We are teaching our children an outdated curriculum; we are educating them for an industrial system that no longer exists; we are sapping their creativity in a world where their ingenuity is the most important skill they can develop. We tell them to sit down, shut up, and do their homework and … YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT ONE OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS IT’S EVER BEEN. We push our children through an antiquated system, they rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and when they get out they find themselves in the unemployment line.
We have a national debate (or death match) going on around healthcare. President Obama has taken a huge stride in making coverage available for people with pre-existing conditions. I don’t understand the rest of the plan because the details have been mired in fighting, broken websites, government shut downs, and polarized pundits screaming on talk shows. But once again, when we peel back the onion, we have done nothing to fix the underlying problem. OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, WITH ITS SYMPTOM-MASKING DRUGS AND HEAD-IN-THE-SAND APPROACH TO HEALTH, IS LONG-TERM HURTING MORE PEOPLE THAN IT IS SAVING. Yes, our heroic emergency procedures and short-term anti-infectious medicines have saved lives, but outside of the ER, our “healthcare” system does not promote health at all. We have disease care, not healthcare. If you don’t believe me, on your next visit to your doctor, ask what effect diet has on whatever condition you have.
We have an organization, the FDA, designed to protect our food supply and prevent us from consuming things that poison our bodies. The problem is IT’S FUNDED BY THE VERY COMPANIES WHO SELL US THE PRODUCTS THAT ARE MAKING US FAT, SICK, AND NEARLY DEAD (a must-see movie by the way). The result is that the supermarket shelves are stocked with processed foods filled with artificial everything: genetically modified ingredients, diabetes-producing levels of high fructose corn syrup, chemicals known to harm our bodies, and packaged foods that are completely void of nutrition while they pack the pounds on our hips. All the while the FDA suppresses natural food remedies based on thousands of years of use and documentation because they aren’t “reliably studied.”
With all that said, the world is not going to hell in a hand basket … it’s going to hell in a Ferrari. Just kidding. The truth is that the world is what we are allowing it to be. We have abdicated so much of our freethinking, given away so much of our ability to know for ourselves, and surrendered our basic common sense to “the authorities,” AND the great news is all we have to do is take it back.
We can look at the missing 777 as evidence we need more security in the sky or we can take it as an invitation to find the security in ourselves. We can look at the battle over healthcare as a really scary situation or we can stop today and buy some fresh fruits and vegetable and experience “health insurance” as nature intended. We can read about falling test scores, youth unemployment, and dropout rates as proof we need more educational bureaucracy or we can take our children by the hand, learn what motivates them, and be their partner in a lifetime of true education.
We are the miracle we have been waiting for. You and I, hand in hand, are the world’s only real security force — an army of everyday citizens acting in loving compassion toward each other, spreading the one true anti-terrorism force, love. We, the moms and dads of the world, are the solution to the broken education system, and it begins with each gentle I love you and inspirational engagement with our children. We, the executives and business leaders, are the answer to corporate greed every time we make people a viable metric alongside EBITDA. We, the activists and advocates, are the cure for a sick planet as we set an example of healthy decisions in our own lives. It all begins in a moment, this moment, with the next thought in our heads, and all the acts of love that follow.
Big hugs of love,