The word “spirituality” conjures up visions of big white tent revivals fraught with bible thumping swaying clapping mass hysteria of Alleluia-invoked Christian voices in euphoric organ-grinding din. It is the long thought misconception that one must be religious to be spiritual. A myth created by those who abhor any possibility of a God or higher power in their lives. Why? I have never understood, but I will be presumptuous enough to surmise and possibly theorize on the reasons why “spirituality” is taking a back seat to life “coaching” or other politically correct organic mentorship that supposedly guides people toward a better existence.
No one should have any doubt that the world we are currently living in is out of control and the morons in charge are on the rise. Common sense Armageddon is inevitable if we continue on this path of self indulgence, self absorbency, self destruction, entitlement, politically correct, and one-size-fits-all unjustified social justice phobia rampant in today’s politics, media, and entertainment. We have become immune to the basic inherent spiritual barometer that we are born into. We basically ignore it. We have become subject to inane guilt and grief pretenses militantly bestowed upon us by those who crave for power through exploitation of the presumed social weak. The conjured up injustices by what the media likes to call “charismatic” leaders, is nothing more than an attempt to persuade and rattle people into thinking that it is someone else’s fault that they find themselves in whatever social state they are in. Albeit the fact that inner cities have had a long history of neglect, poverty, and crime; I know folk who managed to survive, thrive, and even become more successful than their middle-class counterparts in the suburbs. What set them apart? More often than not, although at times raised by a single parent, they were brought up in a spiritual environment. The parent or parents tapped into the inherent quality that was instilled in them as children and demanded discipline, doing the right thing, and yes; attending Sunday church. I was closely acquainted to such a person. They were three children raised by a single mother in the Bronx. Their mother worked three jobs to send them to parochial schools. But on Sunday they had to wear their “Sunday best”, go to church, and afterwards visit a museum or art gallery. The two girls grew up to become Valedictorian and eventually graduates of top universities. The brother ended in jail. When I asked how the brother did not pursue the same life style; the answer was that he chose to hang out with gang bangers and went another direction. All three lived together, were raised by the same principles and by the same mother. The brother chose to do wrong.
One might accuse me of going against what I initially stated; that spirituality had little to do with religion or even God. However, although spirituality could be the recognition of a higher source of accountability, it is also a discipline of life which could also be explained as the strong will to wake up Sunday morning and go to church. Both concepts are separate in substance but connected by objectivity. But let us leave church aside for one moment and concentrate on the spiritual connection to our skills, talents, and successes in life. Spirituality is an inner will to do the right thing. It is our “yellow brick road” toward something better in life. It is also a mental guide that urges us to take the right path toward contentment and fulfillment. Spiritualism is intellectualism sans the cynical satirical disrespect and ridicule of the so called “progressives” of today. I am referring to the self-acclaimed intellectual elites in the media and entertainment industries who deem themselves intellectually better suited to “do good” than us spiritual ingrates. They feel entitled to be the chaperons of the down-trodden because they empathize and accept their lives better than any of us spiritual morons can ever do. They monopolize “doing good”. Which is utterly incongruous and in contradiction to what the majority of them stand for: the legalization of pot, abortion under the vague and nebulous umbrella of “women’s rights”, downplaying crime to play the “race” card, encouraging weakness through entitlement, and the worst: promoting secularism but conveniently only against the Christian or Jewish faith. Their mantra of global good is hidden under an insidious desire to change a founding way of life born out of pioneer spirituality that they find passe, out dated, and not socially inclusive of life styles that some of us consider not only undesirable, but predominantly harmful to our nation. So they morph spiritualism into “hip” euphemisms like “social justice” which is another term and attempt at labeling most of us as racist, phobic, religious nuts, and downright stupid. These are the new spiritual philanthropists who want to change a nation’s cultural identity to satisfy theirs. It is a warped way of thinking which catches on quickly among the brain idle.
Enters the “earth” culture. The “climate change” “global warming” gurus who have declared war on those who although very concerned about pollution do still possess a reasonable sense of reality when it comes to weather. I decided to check various websites on “climate change”; attempting to find a median consensus that is not skewed in either political or activist direction. Believe it or not, the best website was the EPA: https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html
although politically and partisan leaning, still managed relatively sane conclusions indicating that both human and natural causes are responsible for climate change. I personally think that we should all do the best we can to protect our planet because it is the only place we seem to thrive on (at least for now). However, my personal responsibility is my spiritual urge to do the right thing; not to pollute, not to waste resources, and to protect the wonders that God gave me for free. That is the spiritual approach to protecting the planet. Militants and activists are not spiritual: they are tunnel visioned and narrow minded into believing that theirs is the only solution to this issue.
My mother is very fast approaching 100 years of age. She has endured The Depression, World War II, and raising seven of us on a salary of one bread winner: my father. She is very religious but she is also very pragmatic (when she is allowed to be). Our mother and father raised us with one simple principle in mind: work hard and you will succeed. They also raised us to be individuals. I remember coming home from school with a mediocre report card and my father asking why I had done so poorly. My sassy reply was: “I’m not the only one.” My father’s reply? “You are my daughter and I do not care about the others.” What he was trying to instill in us is the importance of remaining individually accountable and responsible for ourselves and not influenced by others. That remained with me for the rest of my life. My parents’ spirituality was founded on the simple premise that as individuals we are in control of our destinies and our future. Eventually we might make a positive difference in the world.
The myth that to be spiritual one must be religious has played for far too long. It has been misinterpreted as an excuse to accept all things vulgar, corrupt, and harmful. We need to resume nurturing young people into believing that as individuals spirituality guides them through the difficult twists and turns of life. Young people seem to have lost any sense of direction in life and succumb very quickly to disillusion as soon as things go awry. Hence the rise in teen suicide. However, as a nation, we must regain our lead as a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Without our spiritual heritage any attempt at protecting our nation or the rest of the world from evil will be futile. Our strength lies in the fundamental belief that as a nation we have God on our side. No other nation on earth has demonstrated strength in the face of adversity like our nation. No other nation on earth has gone to the aid of others like our nation. And no other nation on earth has fought on foreign soil to liberate others like our nation. Such valor and strength is not borne out of cliches but out of an inner strength that pushes a nation into doing the right thing: and we so need that valor and spirituality right now!