Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Marines And Indian Gurus

I will need to go to Berkeley to see my graphic designer in a few days. His office is right next to the Marines' recruitment office that the aging ladies of Coalition Pink have been parking themselves in front of, under the protection of the City of Berkeley. They were, or still are, protesting the existence of the recruiting office in this famous City of Peace and Harmony. Peace and Harmony seemed to exist inside the Marine Office who just waited it all out, but not outside their office, where people dressed in pink and anti-pink clothing, were yelling and screaming at each other.

The last time I had to see Kish, several weeks ago, I had passed a skinny old man who had been protesting in front of the military office for weeks, holding up his poster, thinking to myself - "Another one of the old hippies with nostalgia for the old protest days of my youth." I wondered why I didn't feel like putting on blue eye shadow, changing into my old embroidered jeans, throwing my bra into the wind, watching the sunset on a beach somewhere, and knowing with great happiness, that I, too, was "just like Gandhi". Those were wonderful days.

After this short moment of my own nostalgia, I snapped myself back into the present, which is after all what I teach when I teach meditation. In the Present this all looked a little different.

In the Present this was an old man thinking he was doing something heroic and self-sacrificing. His Ego though, seemed as big as his poster. His superiority and self-righteousness spilling all over the sidewalk. He and his pink girlfriends, who showed up later that month, almost ended up costing the City of Berkeley millions of dollars in public service support for the people who live and work there. In the end, he only managed to embarrass the holier than thou, City of Peace and Integrity, as they caved under the threat of losing money. Such an understandable weakness, after all. Didn't Junior who hated his "Old Man" for everything he stood for, also gladly cash Daddy's check of hard earned money for the rent and his girlfriend's daily wheat grass juice? And isn't even Mr Obama who one simply cannot not love also breaking promises now that big money is part of all the considerations?

Many of the pink protesters are Moms who have lost their sons to war. My heart does break for them as losing a child is the worst nightmare any parent could ever face. Anger balances sadness and therefore protesting is good medicine for depression according to Chinese Medicine. But, they feel their sons would not have joined the military if it weren't for recruiting offices and I am just not so sure about that from what I have seen.

If you were a hippie when you raised your children - your children may very well decide to rebel by joining the Marines, and if you were a Marine when you raised your children, they may very well end up flying off to Goa, live on the beach, or follow an India Guru around. That is why some parents hate the Marines, and some hate Indian Gurus, whichever the case may be.

No comments: