The journey from Indianapolis, Indiana, to the town of Indianola, Iowa, is turning out to be more of a culture shock than I thought it would be.
Flags line the streets of the neighborhood my parents, and now I, for the time being, live in. This makes me feel so uncomfortable, but I wonder about the intention. This probably means different things to different people.
I think the most common idea is this represents pride in the United States. There were times when our country embodied a number of admirable ideals, none of which were perfectly implemented, but resulted in a better society, for white people, than many other countries. Especially compared to those with repressive governments and intolerant ideologies.
But even those ideals were tarnished from the beginning, with the institution of slavery, and the genocide of Native Americans, and theft of their lands.
Unfortunately we have been moving even further away from those ideals, as corporations and the rich corrupt our governing institutions in a dramatic way. And with a growing nationalist, white supremacy movement.
All of this is especially tragic at a time when global cooperation is crucial in order to address our environmental crises.
Pride in the idea of the United States becomes a problem when that promotes the idea that our country has the right, or responsibility to police the world, and to consume resources to a much greater extent than others.
“The spiritual energy of the Path uses justice and patience to prepare your spirit. “This is the Path of the Knight: A path that is at once easy and difficult, because it forces one to set aside trivial things and chance friendships. That is why, at first, many hesitate to follow it. “This is the first teaching of the Knights: You will erase everything you had written in the book of your life up until now: restlessness, uncertainty, lies. And in the place of all this you will write the word courage. By beginning the journey with that word and continuing with faith in God, you will arrive wherever you need to arrive.”
Coelho, Paulo. Warrior of the Light: A Manual (p. 82). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.