Editor’s Letter

Absolute elsewhere ...

My cat went missing a few weeks back. Just ... vanished. Although shocked and saddened by his disappearance, what caught me completely off guard was the outpouring of sympathy and offers of help from my community. So, I’m starting off this new year with a refocused sense of gratitude.
     There’s something about our culture these days that dissuades us from being thankful for what we have. This, despite the fact that ours is the most prosperous nation on the planet; in the history of civilization, for that matter. There are, of course, reasons to be concerned about our current state of affairs. But one can’t change the macrocosm without first getting the microcosm in order.
     Those who strive for power over us seek to divide us. If we choose to be divided, they win. It’s as simple as that. Hop on Facebook for 15 minutes if you disagree. Oddly enough, the outpouring of sympathy and offers of help with regards to my missing cat I mentioned earlier were, in large part, via Facebook. Ironic, isn’t it? Let me be the first one to say when I signed on to Facebook some eight years ago, the temptation to engage in political debates was impossible to resist. Guilty as charged. It’s an admission I believe necessary to save myself from accusations of being hypocritical. To this day, I feel the pull. Who doesn’t? I see even the staidest individuals get sucked into the fray.
     But for what? To be aggravated? To convince the other side they’re wrong? Or stupid? Not likely. I don’t remember ever having had a political debate on Facebook which ended in bringing someone over to my side. And the winner is? Facebook, of course. It’s most certainly not the body politic. While I might walk away feeling smug in my unassailable righteousness, I wouldn’t consider such moments to be of lasting value. Honestly, it seems any feelings at all about participating in political discourse through social media are suspect and dubious 
at best.
     Whatever happened to revolutions percolating in cafés anyway? Oh, duh, everyone’s on Facebook!
     Anyway, enough of all that. Back to my cat. Maybe he decided to show me through his disappearance that, with a heart of love and service to others, even Facebook can be a means to a loving end. And that’s really up to us. Each of us. Individually. Right? Yeah, I know I’m reaching, but it’s worth a shot. After all, how can we get rid of the shackles that bind us when we’re the ones making the shackles to begin with?
     It’s OK to be outraged. Get mad, by all means. But if you really want to put your money where your mouth is, I’d argue Facebook ain’t where it’s at. In the meantime, if you happen to see an orange-and-white tabby polydactyle cat roaming the streets, please holler. 
     You can find me on Facebook.