Comfortably numb

By Joe Tassi | Dec 13, 2009

Has this happened to us, is it happening to our children? Beyond the trappings of security and personal comfort, out past our idealized momentary gratification, have we become comfortably numb? I think we have.

Lately I can’t suppress the feeling that we just reflexively act out our inherited roles, in a play that has a weak plot and a bad ending that we didn’t even write. And now our children, our most valuable creations, will become vessels entrusted to carry out into the world our most sacred hopes and dreams. Perhaps they carry the hopes and dreams that many of us have yet to realize, of a life lived on purpose, with virtue and fairness, compassionate lives, lives where seeking peace is not considered weakness. Or will they all too soon assume their roles and take their place among the ranks of the comfortably numb, where words like purpose, virtue, fairness and compassion are nothing more than confused meaningless contradictions of our professed values in juxtaposition with our applied values of wars fought in the name of peace, justice for all, if you can afford it, virtue as long as it’s in our own best interest, compassion without deeds and purpose defined as personal success at any cost.

We encourage our kids to work hard in school, get good grades, go to college, get the degree, land the big job, marry, buy a house, raise a family be normal and to what end? Following that path they may well end up at this same cross road asking the same question, what the heck is this life all about. How can we keep selling this to our kids? If we don’t do a better job educating them, if we fail them, they will in all likelihood fail their children. Our kids need to know more than they are taught in school. And what they need to know is information outside of the systemic educational curriculum. So we have to engage them, we have to be teachers. But first, we need to understand the subject.

The values that I wrote of earlier can’t be theoretical; they have to become essential principles that we aspire to without ambiguity. They have to be lived. Values lectures without living examples are pointless. To use an old adage “actions speak louder than words.”  We can’t, for example, expect to stem the tide of rabid consumerism unless our kids see us consume less.

To understand what a life lived with purpose means our kids need to see us uncompromisingly pursue our passion. They need to know that compassion is an expression not only of thought but that it is demonstrated through words and actions. And most importantly, our kids need to know that they -- we -- are connected in every conceivable way to all people of the earth, this planet and the universe, that our thoughts and actions have consequence even when we can’t see the immediate effect, and as we evolve for better or worse so does this planet.


We are alive in a pivotal time where the survival of our planet and our species may be held in the balance. I don’t think it is accidental that we are here, now. There is a growing energy being generated by people who are becoming aware, who understand the power of their thoughts and actions, people who understand that it is possible to alter outcomes, change ingrained thought processes, who have committed themselves to this purpose regardless of timelines, understanding that desired outcomes may not manifest in their lifetimes, who understand that it is in the living that we make our mark.

In the 1960s, we caught a glimpse of what a shift in consciousness could do. That shift horrified the establishment and some of our parents. But it transformed millions of people as they began to realize the force that waves of thought connecting and growing exponentially could create. In spite of every effort to subvert the power of that consciousness, we are still here! And the work that we started must be continued because as we have also seen, opposing forces of thought in this country and the world are still perpetuating war as a vehicle for peace, promoting hatred based on race and lifestyle preferences and polarizing people by invoking religious intolerance in the name of God.

Before you write me off as some hippy-dippy peacenik, howl at the moon, crazy ass lunatic, let me tell you why I write this column. The Herald Gazette doesn’t pay me a cent and writing it takes a lot of time. I write this column because I, too, have been comfortably numb for far too long. I live in the same world of contradiction as you. I write this column to help clarify my beliefs and my commitment, so that I can remain connected to the positive waves of energy because what I want is to live a more peaceful, purposeful life and to teach our children well.

What do you want?


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