One of the most remarkable videos I ever saw was about ten years ago. The video is of a dog that was severely abused and then left to a dog shelter. The dog had never been pet before in its life. The video is of a person petting the dog, which the dog immediately interprets as aggression until with some assurance and patience, the dog relents a bit and whines this guttural whine of sorrow and relief.

This scene has always stuck with me.

Humans are this way. Only, humans have the intellect to hide the psychic wounds the dog so openly displayed. A person’s intellect can be a terrible destroyer of worlds or a useful compass to navigate back to the things that truly matter in this life. If horrific scars of abuse lurk beneath the intellect, getting to the pain can be an exhausting chess match with a force that will never concede.

This is why the moral betterment of childhood is so important and why healing as an adult can be so complex. It takes far less energy to do the job right in the early going than to mend the broken pieces later.

Too many people in the world are like the dog in that video. We live in a time of ferocious litigation, rampant speculation, fifth generation warfare, civil strife of every kind, and so forth. The dogs are loose and tearing everything to shreds. We give our snarling dogs voting rights! It’s a civilizational mess that threatens to pull everything into the gutter of open barbarity. Nobody wants to go on the mend. There are few resources to sustain the effort.

I stood against it. I stood for peace and love. Here I “stand and bleed” as my 2017 album is titled.