Escapism by William Klein

We all want to escape something. For some it’s the job; for others it’s school; still others it’s a relationship that troubles them; others it’s a nagging problem rooted in our malaise in life and others it’s responsibility. At the heart of each heartbeat of discontent is understanding waiting to take root and change us. Our willingness to face this fact or avoid it makes all the difference in the world.

We don’t feel worthy to be loved or live in a fullness of life that reflects adequately what we deserve. We deal with the problems of the world by ignoring them. Some of us never really address problems.  We put band-aids on wounds that are deep.

It can start in childhood and we don’t even realize that we’ve been conditioned to avoid things.

Parents look for ways out.  Put a crying kid in front of a television. Distract their attention, let them forget what they’re crying about and all will be well. A kid develops a habit of television from distracting them and the medicine is made for us. Free and clear. 

Some think a video game and mind candy can take us to a place that can bring us some peace.  Drinking is another way to address the stresses of the day. The habit is formed. The neural grooves of placating pain help us deal with something that can’t be faced.

There’s a way of dealing with things. I’ve done it as a teacher.  I don’t want to deal with an issue right then and there, so I say, “let it go for now.” This thinking is bound to bite you. I’ve learned that if you consistently confront the problem at hand, the students know that the answer is clear and stop asking. I address an issue with one student about a phone, I address it with another student and they know I’m going to be consistent. They accept that I am on it and fair.

We lose our sense of mindfulness in examining what is right and wrong and let the chips fall where they may through easy outs in the world. It’s not that big of a leap to say that the problems of the world are caused by our own unwillingness to really examine why we need to solve a problem.

We take problems and bury them in ways that are forcing our hand in the world. We bury social injustices like we bury our personal problems. There’s a problem, throw money at it.  We see injustices in the criminal system, and we put people away.  We see white collar crime and we fine the perpetrators, give them a little time with a slap on the wrist and they’re out in no time building up their cache for another injustice. We take toxic waste and bury it in the ground. We take from the earth without replenishing and the world is impacted. It’s not about what’s right, it’s what’s convenient for us at the time.

We don’t look at the root problems and fix the problem. Then we wonder how the world is so out of control and wars, famine and injustices are perpetrated against humanity.  We look for the genie in the bottle to answer our problems, but we don’t have a clue as to what the central point of our request should be and why.  The central questions for discernment are lost on the greed of the prize.

Escapism is the sin of neglect. Fear of progress is a punishment that humans tend to wear as under armor. We become comfortable in living in the grunge of discontent. This lack of cleanliness is deadly, as it gathers toxins that penetrate the skin of existence.

Security comes in knowing what we are battling, that we have the wherewithal and skill set to ward off any challenge that come our way. When we’ve confronted a problem and addressed it head on, we’ve put our house in order. We have buckled up the foundation of what it means to be true to ourselves.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  We must attend to the foundation of being by asserting ourselves and being honest with what we are facing. Self-assurance is a strong foundation that can weather any turbulent storm. We’ve nailed the premise of our problems with hard thought solutions, drilled home the screws that tighten the beams of knowledge through experience.

There’s no way out of this. There is nothing to avoid and nothing to escape. The lies we tell ourselves will find their way into our house like a termite.  Be vigilant. Be assert. Remember to remember. The only way out is turning inward.

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