One of the most disturbing events of the Vietnam war happened fifty years ago this week. American soldiers were sent to the village of My Lai to eliminate what was according to Intel to be a Viet Cong support location in the area. In a span of four hours almost five hundred men, women and children were slaughtered. The American troops said they were following the orders of the officers in charge. There was an attempt by the Pentagon and the White House to cover up the massacre but some of the pictures of the dead civilians made it to the media. There were demonstrations against the war on college campuses all across the nation. American troops returning home were called baby killers. This event was the slow start of the process of us getting out of a war that killed at least 3.8 million Vietnamese, 800,00 Cambodians, 1 million Laotians, and 56,000 Americans. Billions of dollars were wasted on a war we could not win.
We not only lost the war in Vietnam but as a nation, we also lost a time of innocence when the problems of the world were reduced to the evening news on television, and the daily newspaper on our doorsteps. Vietnam era veterans have paid a high price for their time in the service as people are now saying “Thank you for your service.” It took over forty years after my discharge to hear those words. My Lai happened fifty years ago. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
We all have a mind, and we all need to understand how it works for the betterment or detriment of our life experiences. You think with your conscious mind, which creates according to the nature of your thoughts. Your subconscious mind is the seat of your emotions and is the creative mind. If you think good, good will follow; if you think evil, evil will follow. This is the way your mind works. When the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to execute it. The subconscious mind works for good and bad ideas alike. This law when applied in a negative way, is the cause of failure, frustration, and unhappiness. However, when your habitual thinking is harmonious and constructive, you experience perfect health, success, and prosperity. Whatever you claim mentally and feel as true, your subconscious mind will bring forth into your life experiences.
You will get the reaction or response from your subconscious mind according to the nature of the thoughts or ideas you hold in your conscious mind. Whatever thoughts either good or bad will bring the results of one’s dominant thought process into one’s life. Our thoughts are always tied to our emotional state. The suggestions and statements of others have no power to hurt you. The only power is the movement of your own thoughts. Never say “I can’t.” Overcome that fear by substituting the following, ” I can do all things through the power of my own subconscious mind.The saying ” A mind is really a terrible thing to waste.” This statement is as relevant today as it was when I heard it as a child. I would like to share my studies on the subconscious mind in future blog posts. Knowledge is power and knowledge of oneself is priceless.
President Trump came to California this week to look at and approve the final design of our version of The Great Wall Of China which was built at a drain on the Emperor’s personal wealth. This time the American taxpayers will pay the tab. The wall did not work because of the invading armies just built ladders and used ramps to overcome them. The walls that will be paid for by taxpayers will not stop human ingenuity and determination for what can be achieved by overcoming them. There is now a realization that our government’s immigration branch is now actively seeking anyone of color who cannot prove citizenship or provide proof of legal residency. The illusion of America being a wide-open country to those who made it across the border by boat, foot or airplane, who built lives and families over time are home free because they have stayed under the radar of the immigration authorities has been shattered. There is a new level of fear and distrust from the undocumented who once again are retreating into the shadows of society.
America cannot save the world from its inevitable demise due to the human factor that always is cited when there is a major malfunction in how we govern those who we give power to. The world is once again looking for leadership from America as it has many times in the past. We cannot wall off the rest of the world and deport others on just the word of law without any human compassion whatsoever. Race cannot be overlooked in the surge of deportation activity from ICE. We as citizens should at least be aware what is being done on our behalf to secure our borders and country as a whole. That is the right and duty of every citizen.
It has been over four years since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The search for the plane has been the longest and most expensive in aviation history. The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur with a final destination of Bejing, China. The plane changed directions stopped communicating with ground control as it flew over the Indian Ocean and disappeared. Reports of small pieces of the plane found near The coast of Madagascar is the only found so far. To this day I cannot understand how something as big and complex as an airliner can just vanish into thin air.
Growing up I used to hear about a place called the Bermuda Triangle located in the Carribean off the coasts of Florida, and Cuba. There are many stories of boats and aircraft that were never found after entering this area of the Atlantic Ocean. I wonder if there is a link between planes and people disappearing and the technology to remotely take control of an aircraft. I have to ask myself who were these people and most importantly where did they go? We all have heard of Area 51 in Arizona a most secretive place for dealing with aliens from space or whomever. The events of 9/11 as explained by the government were proved to be misleading, to say the least. I remember the disappeared. Rest in peace.
In the criminal justice system, one can be convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The title of the video was “Don’t waste your life sentence.” The inmates talked about the survival skills they had to acquire to mentally face the fact that in prison they would never see the outside world again. The term for the acceptance of that lifestyle is being institutionalized. The title caused me have thoughts about life and what we can achieve when we put our individual talents to work not only for ourselves but for society itself. I came to the conclusion we are all doing individual life sentences that continue until death.
While we all go through the ups and downs of life each person has the ability to improve their lot in life even those behind bars. Those of us on the other side of those bars tend to be prisoners of their minds. We put up mental barriers and sometimes even walls that prevent us from moving forward with what one can contribute to society and in our personal relationships. There is always room for improvement. Mankind has conquered mountain ranges, oceans, and the most of the environments on Earth.The only thing we cannot really explain is the human mind and how our thoughts affect our lives and those we care about. We are all serving life sentences if you think about it. Don’t waste your life sentence.
What determines our outlook on life is the ability to make decisions either good or bad. As one reaches the beginning of adulthood usually after high school for those who make it to that minimal level of education. Those who do not experience the best of what society has to offer are sometimes seen as lazy, not willing to work or mentally ill. For most of us, the choices we make when we are young come for not having the experiences of our elders to guide and also not wanting other people to tell us what to do with our lives. There has always been a difference in attitudes and accepted behaviors of each generation. Today it is normal to have daycare centers for high school students. The prisons are overflowing with those who choices put them there.
Immigration has become a big problem for those who by choice started lives and families in the United States without legal status made the choice to stay here with no guarantee that it would be permanent. It now appears that ICE is going into overdrive to carry out their new directives from the president. The Southern border of our country has a backlog of people from Africa, Haiti, and other countries. African migrants are risking their lives to cross from Libya to Italy by the thousands to seek a better life in Europe. The countries that are feeling the brunt of this mass migration are Germany, France, and the borders of countries who refuse to let them have access to their final destinations. This is a time when the individual choices of millions of people are changing the world as we know it at a rapid pace. Changes and Choices have a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist without the other.
Richard Pryor on one of his comedy albums made the statement”Tell me a good lie so I don’t have to think about the truth” I have always remembered that statement about the realities of modern life. When we hear information that contradicts our worldview social psychologists call the resulting insecurity cognitive dissonance. We are now living in the world of 1984 where big brother is everywhere. Every movement of our daily lives is recorded either on video or cell phone usage. All the data that is collected is never deleted. We in the United States are being told by the government that a wall on our southern border along with stepped-up deportations of those caught up in the anti-immigrant policies of president Trump. These actions are supposed to us feel safer.
Those who remember 9/11 which was our modern version of the attack on Pearl Harbor. America has because of that day tried to take care of threats by going to war in the middle east. The department of homeland security is now in overdrive to arrest and deport those who are not citizens. DACA is on hold and no one it seems is in charge in Washington. We as a country are in a state of denial. Our sense of what this country has stood for in the past is being challenged by the times we now live in. The citizens of this country cannot afford to mentally shut down and become an isolationist nation as we were in the past. There are solutions. We just need to find them in a timely manner. Our survival as a nation depends on it.