I would rather be a realist, with self-awareness and vision than a short-sighted optimist buoyed up by visions of grandeur that are, mostly, based on aggrandized caliber and misplaced confidence in skills one does not actually possess.
Also, I beware of entities demanding “loyalty”, especially of friends, but more or less of anything, including but not limited to nation, brands, sports teams, pets, school, culture, religion, even spouses and what have you. The only loyalty that will do anyone any good, is one they have for themselves. The people demanding or commanding loyalty do so with the knowledge, albeit lack of acceptance, of their inadequacy of actually warranting it. Like respect, loyalty should be earned and when earned correctly, it needn’t be demanded. Of course, delusion extends to people thinking they have earned it, or they will earn it once loyalty towards them has been proven. Can we ever be, even reasonably, convinced of the ethics and value-system of whoever is commanding the loyalty? (hint: NO). In the end the only person we can hope to know really well is ourselves, and to reiterate, anyone who demands loyalty significantly lacks self-awareness (clearly!) if it’s a person, and if it is anything bigger (in size or fame) than a person, it lacks the honesty and the transparency.
Loyalty is for dogs, who nice as they are, lack self-awareness, do not particularly need self-respect and cannot aspire to be free or objective of their owners. Loyalty to a nation, often mislabeled as patriotism, correctly interpreted by groups of people is actually loyalty to their dear and unadulterated principles, because nations are build by people. Of course with the caveat that people are, as mentioned above not always exactly deserving of it. Principles are the aforementioned value-system which can borrow from some religious thought and some moral grounds, but given the world we live in, should not actually be aligned to any. People with the same principles and vision often unite without demanding loyalty when what they hope to achieve is something beyond limits, something for the whole world, e.g., the NRA is made of people who agree with people’s rights to own guns and defend that and is full of “loyalists” because other than loyalty and gun owning, which is like car owning: everyone who owns a car does not share a bond, there is no fixative holding them together. There banding pitches their “group” and “cause” against others groups and individuals, who may not have any other differences in principles otherwise, but of course, they often do (and yes, this was a misleading example, a proper one follows). Whereas, climate activists like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Greta Thurnberg, Boyan Slat (he designed the first ocean plastic cleanup system at around 18 yrs of age) do not demand loyalty to themselves. They see the big picture, have principles that band people from everywhere, or would, had the people been aware of the issues. Art also does not need loyalists, even if several times elite groups have tried to control it, sooner and sometimes rather late but eventually, people are bound by an artist’s true soul.
As the Roman poet and writer Horace said
I am not bound to swear allegiance to a master, where the storm drives me, I turn in to shelter.
In the end, know yourself to know the world. Would that be enough to love yourself? Maybe not. Would you be a pessimist if you find no joy in false claims and imaginary glory in a group that turns you into someone one-dimensional who cannot come to terms with life as a composite? Maybe. But if you can love and respect the world, you can always earn self-love honestly and without needing loyalty or appreciation from anyone else.
I may no longer be young,
But I can always be new
Maybe I let you go
Just to always have you
It looks like a long drought
But.. say, we don’t forget the dew…
I could go on, as before
Words, or tags can hurt no more
Were they known, or something new?
The blows and swings, in constant slew..
I touch my chest to feel the pieces
As night shrinks…the stinging eases
What can’t break, then slowly freezes.
When a playful magpie takes a bath
Seeing that magic, makes wine of wrath
It takes the wondrous joy of a child
Adds carefree zest of a teen gone wild
Shakes them together into a cult
That of a free, inventive adult.
I came up with the poem as I finished this artwork, I also made my logo because of this painting. So, yes, I am very much in this magpie’s individual cult. For my new logo and other examples of my artwork see my new page: Implicit self Art. The photo is from Sattal, Uttarakhand India, where any birder may be prepared to get bewildered. I recommend Birder’s Den as a great stay for birders and photographers in Sattal.
This are the words that came to me when the Indian government decided to do something for the benefit of Kashmiris by announcing they longer have a state, but now are under the central government with little or no say in their own governance(relegated as Union territories). The PM went on about how deprived the Kashmiris have been of the benefits, which will now fall on them as a “full” part of India. Without listening to what the Kashmiris actually want. Someone correctly pointed out, that it is not the Kashmiris they want to incorporate as “complete” Indians, it is Kashmir. The land, the beautiful landscape and all that it stands on.
We know what’s good for you
Let us finish digging your grave
You lived your life in heaven on earth
Heaven, is only for the brave.
Pellets have been good for you
They don’t hurt, nor make you blind
What is it, you want to see?
We’re here to open your mind.
We will undo all the wrong
We do not take history’s blame
We are mightier than King-Kong
Souls long gone, to be with shame.
We’ll train you with tough love
You are all we think about
We’ll take your food, your stove
Take your light and burn it out.
Blame the neighbors, if you must
They are so much worse than us!
We deserve unfaltering trust
Give it up, what’s all this fuss.
Lie in your grave, be silent now
Let’s count how many more we need
Your land is gold and yet somehow
What if, it does not satisfy our greed
We must be sure to dig some more
Minerals, gems, some iron ore..
We’ll dig you out before you rot
Don’t you harbor any doubt
Our friends, the vultures are on call
Waiting… waiting for your fall
We promised them a mighty treat
So long, farewell, our pounds of meat.
Be sure to remember, we meant you well,
You belonged to us from the very start
We brought you closer to us, to quell,
Shred you to pieces, part by part.
We are bound by destiny
You lived in hope
Too bad, there never was any.
ID. August 10 2019
I must have been inspired by the song based on grave digging in the movie Haider.. by Vishal Bhardwaj. Credit where it is due.