Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The heart is the seat of the soul

The documentary tracing the life of American domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh narrated by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC showed chapter and verse the classic personality profile of an hysterical psychopath in the guise of someone who considers himself a political activist.

Individually, any of these situations/circumstances cannot be cited as a singular cause, but all together, it creates a classic scenario of someone whose interpretation of the world and life becomes insanely skewed:

1) There was a disconnect with his parents - he did not receive or feel love from his family as a child. Even as he was waiting his death sentence, he said he did not feel love for or from his parents. The fact they were divorced does not, IMO, become a key element, because plenty of children whose parents are divorced, but who feel loved by either or both parents or extended families do just fine.

2) He was bullied in school from day one for being tall and skinny. His nickname was "Noodle." So he felt picked on by bullies over whom he had no power. He never felt as if he belonged and no one came to his defense. He grew to hate bullies and anyone or anything that he considered a bully. Gradually, he came to believe the ultimate bully is the government, and wanted to do something to show he could actually have power over the ultimate bully.

His ego became phenomenally large so he could get even with all the bullies in his life, and even feel he was sticking up for those "bullied" by the government.

3) He could not relate intimately with people. He did not have love in his life - whether friends or women - or pets. He was a man with, literally, nothing to lose, who felt connected to no one and nothing. It did not bother him that the Oklahoma bomb he set off killed and maimed so many children and women. "That's life," he said. "Get over it."

4) Although most anti-government right wing militia members are associated with white supremacists who identify as fundamentalist Christians, he did not believe in hell. He said, "Even if hell exists, I won't be sent there." He had no real sense of spirituality or religion.

5) He lacked empathy, except for others he considered also being bullied. Although a successful enlisted level US soldier in the Gulf War who followed orders well, he came to see his Iraqi enemies as regular people who did nothing wrong except follow what their government told them to do, and came to have a problem killing them.

He also empathized with right wing militia group attacked by the FBI in Waco, Texas. Despite the overwhelming evidence that showed the leader of the Waco anti-government group inside actually started the fire, setting off the explosives that consumed the building and took the lives of men, women and children, like most right wing thinkers, he blamed the government for the devastation.

In fact, the government was severely faulted for the way they handled the incident, those inside created the lethal outcome rather than surrender.

6) After a successful first enlistment, he failed the test to enter the elite Green Berets, and left the military, bitter. Blaming the military and government for his failure to make the cut.

7) He had no purpose in life. From his youngest years until he decided to kill as many American citizens as he could in Oklahoma, because of his lack of friends, close relationships and love, he did have any sense of purpose, any sense of loyalty, any sense of belonging. Only blaming others for his problems, for the problems he believed were created by bullies everywhere - the US Government being the most obvious.

In fact, the people with whom he originally conceived the idea of blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building withdrew because they had families for whom they cared and did not want to put them in harm's way - including government scrutiny.

8) He was responsible to no one. A lone wolf, he could do anything he wanted and "get away with it." Even in death, he still believed he got away with murdering the US Government.

7) He was resentful. Instead of looking inside to see how he could affect change and help those whom he perceived were being bullied, he only saw solutions in striking out, killing and destruction.

8. He could not envision a future. He taught himself to live in the moment so he could be calm in the eye of the maelstrom he was creating. He imagined actually completely destroying the building - he was shocked when he saw it was not a rubble of ash after the explosion - but nothing beyond that. I feel sure this is how he came to be captured so quickly after he detonated the bomb. While he had been meticulous about his preparation and planning to destroy, in his mind, the US Government vicariously by bombing the Oklahoma federal building, practically ever step he took afterward was a careless, amateurish, error.

Make no mistake, the US Government is a bully. It has unjustly put people to death, tampered with other governments - resulting in horrible costs to be paid by their indigenous populations; its drive for world financial domination by greedy multinational corporations and hunger for international political power cannot be denied.

But there is no government that is not guilty of these offenses and much worse. There are few major religions that are not guilty of these offenses and much worse.

The difference is that, on paper at least, we are supposed to be the government, responsible for putting the people in power who are supposed to assure our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, relying on a free and vigorous press to help us decide for whom to vote.

All these institutions are shaking, quaking and floundering today. I am still not clear who someone called Kate Gosselin (I had to research how to spell her name) is, but I see her face splattered everywhere in what passes for the "news" in the US.

Still - it is up to us to make a difference to protect ourselves from the bullies in our culture - if it's the federal government, blow the whistle and work for change. Those on the inside are most frequently too locked in or vulnerable to effect positive change. If it's business, report them to the folks who can stop abuses or assist in the positive changes that ultimately need to be made - who, not incidentally, work in local, state and federal government.

I see the age of the Internet ultimately one of the greatest keys for positive change.

Dickens said there are two enemies of humanity: want and ignorance. Of the two, he said ignorance is the most destructive.

While haters spout so much ignorance and vile on the www, other people eager to learn how to right the wrongs - to address injustice, abuses, and help create a more prosperous, peaceful (the two go hand in hand), indisputable world where everyone starts with a level playing field to work for a good life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can find tools, motivation and instructions there. It's the world's most valuable learning apparatus if you seek an education.

Of course, none of it works unless we feel supported, loved and included.

While it's been written that sitting at our computers distances us from others, my experience is that I've made some very close friends through my work on the Internet, as have many people I know.

The TV commercial in which actress Ellen Page visits an elementary school class in Canada (US viewers think it's in the US) that connects them through the Internet with an elementary school class in China is a perfect example. As we get to know more people as they really are - we can make truly informed, humane and healthy choices.

The most basic choice we have: to add poison or positive solutions to humankind.

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