Not in Our Stars

Methinks Shakespeare’s man Cassius, saying that ‘the fault…is not in our stars but in ourselves,’ spoke to a much broader expression of fault than that of his moment. I’ve seen many people apply this aphorism to support their private or corporate ambitions; to excuse their chosen ways of achieving that preferred brand of greatness, to defy what they thought was their fate or any law standing in their way, and certainly without much regard for the effects on others. If any god or philosophy can be interpreted to endorse, whether overtly or semantically, that an individual or group should hold privilege or power, why then, whatever it takes for that party to take over is entirely permissible, if not necessary. It’s a central reason, I think, for most human strife, whether petty divisions or all-out wars: my beliefs tell me that I should run the universe, and anything that stands in the way of that is wrong, evil, and must be stopped. Exterminated, if need be.

Digital illo: Not in Our Stars

Does claiming that wickedness is all an external construct absolve me?

What a frightening world. What a sad, ugly, and pusillanimous philosophy. I suspect that if we allow that we ourselves might be the cause of the problem, and look into our hearts and minds to see how we might turn, instead, toward finding and contributing toward the many possible solutions, we will find that our stars shine more brightly on us and our fellows all around this little hunk of terrestrial rock and water that we call home.

Digital illo: The Fault Lies Within

What if I can’t pretend to be anonymous and powerless? Maybe I do have both responsibility and, perhaps, even, some little tiny bit to offer…

NSFW / mature audiences only: the band Honningbarna‘s short video, filmed in Kabul in January, says through punk music and visual images that we might do well to pay less attention to fear-mongers and more to what makes us all more human, more happy to be together and alive. I think it’s a raucous, raw, rowdy, and ultimately mightily uplifting piece of admonishment.

Think about taking a look into the benevolent businesses/social causes mentioned at the end of the video, too, if you will: Skateistan and the producers of Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children. There is peace and goodness in the world, even in places we might never imagine. Perhaps we all need to expand our thinking beyond how we can bend the universe to our individual, personal benefits and toward larger things like a small child’s joy in juggling or the great youthful freedom and camaraderie found in a skate park.

Digital illo: We are the Circus

Maybe *I* am the clown in this circus…

7 thoughts on “Not in Our Stars

  1. Yes!! Yes!! We are all in this together. I don’t know why some people are unable to grasp this simple concept! A little kindness goes a long way!
    Wonderful post, dear Kathryn!

    Rama.

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