"Blue has never looked more like herself."
And the bluebells are singing, "hope is coming out"
Lyrics shared with me from a friend.
They added to the grace notes I found in the garden.
Don't know who lives here, but words out she's one sexy little number.
Wilmot United, side facade.
Why havent we learned from even recent world history that this is never the case?
Indifference. "Don't care." "Not interested." "Why bother? I can't do anything about it." "It's not my problem. If they have a problem, why don't they do something about it?" "Nothings stopping them. They made those choices to live there. Let them clean up their own messes." "Let the politicians deal with it. That's why they were elected in the first place." "Did I vote? Why would I bother? They are all criminals anyway. I'm not wasting my time."
Cynicism eats the flesh of our souls. It feeds an "I don't care" attitude. Indifference is the enabler of evil. Just like the buddy who drinks with their alcoholic friend instead of trying to help the friend overcome his addiction, indifferent behaviour is interpreted as consent. Better to stick your head in the sand than to take your turn making a stand?
It's not as black and white as I'm portraying though is it? We may be able to trace this lackadaisical stance to the beginning of time, we are now living in a multi-media ocean of news. It IS too much. It IS mindblowingly awful. We have evolved into a global village where the horrors of Darfur may be a top news story one day only to be shoved off the front page and out of our consciousness by a terrorist attack in Glasgow the next day, followed by bombing in Pakistan, a plane crash in Brazil, and a list of casualities as a result of yet another terror bombing in a village in Iraq. Who can keep up with the conflicts in the Middle East? As much as I try, I am one confused person. And what is completely and utterly lost in the onslaught learning about death and gore and torture? The good.
The good. We dont hear or read enough of it.
The consequence? We tune out just to handle the dooming glooming wicked. Our media thrives because of sensational stories of evil. Though someone must be reading them or watching the news because we are the ones who obviously perpetuate this and expect it, the collective "we" remains passive and indifferent. We are informed and indifferent? It's a vicious circle which has left us feeling impotent. Instead of seeking balance, of learning about some of the good things happening in the world, our constant feed of evil has turned into a sense of learned helplessness. Too may bad guys. Too many bad stories has left us bereft of knowing and understanding the goodness. Just like a victim of abuse, we have lost our confidence in doing something about it. Given that the knowledge and understanding of good and bad, of right and wrong is the essence of our moral construct, it leads me to wonder if our society is clinically depressed. Depression manifests itself by exhibiting indifferent behaviour doesn't it?
So, where do we find the balance? How do we dig out of the depression and indifference which seems to have rendered us incapable of reacting? How do we find the motivational drive to overcome apathy?
Desmond Tutu stated, "Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." That's how he started, right? He wasn't born a famous spiritual and political leader. He started by doing a little bit of good. Look where it got him?
Last week, in the midst of the evil driven news stories was one powerfully positive story which floated to the top....the story which actually instigated this long run-on thought. Stephanie Nolen, an author and journalist who writes for the Globe and Mail on topics mostly related to Africa, but in a manner which always brings whatever story she is writing about right into my own cloistered world and makes me think, wrote a wonderful story about a new group of people called the Elders. Did you hear about them? An excerpt............
"The official order of business Wednesday was the introduction of The Elders: convened at the request of Nelson Mandela, a collection of former leaders that has begun to work together to advance the causes of peace and global justice.
Five Nobel Laureates and a handful of other eminences gathered on the stage in Johannesburg as Mr. Mandela announced that they would seek to fulfill the traditional role of elders in a village, providing wisdom and leadership and attempting to resolve conflicts, taking on everything from climate change to the fighting in Darfur.
A symbolic empty chair was left on stage for Aung San Suu Kyi, the activist who will join the group when she is free of government-imposed house arrest in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). But as the Elders sat in a row and spoke about their very serious work, a current – of irreverence, of resilience, of what looked very much like joy – kept bubbling up through the formality. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who chairs this elders' council, voiced the true theme of the gathering: “Goodness will prevail.” here is the link to the rest of the story
Abraham Heschel was right. Indifference is the opposite of good. He learned this as a strong opponent of racism and war, as a man and a religious leader who walked alongside Martin Luther King and who stated that when he was marching against the savagery of racism, his legs were doing his praying. His moral compass fed his action. As ours must do too. A little good at a time and we will overwhelm the world.
ps. Wicked is the prompt this week from sunday scribblings......
Community is all about connections......ones that may start just by observing one another and saying hello regularly to your neighbours. Sitting on the veranda watching the world go by helps us connect......to feel a part of the neighbourhood.
Knowing who lives on your street........where the kids live and what they are up to......which individuals may be celebrating a milestone or struggling with their health.....what is happening to the young family who just brought home a new baby.......is all part of feeding the foundation of community. And yet, most of us most likely can't even name our neighbours. There are some people on my street who if I passed in the grocery store, I wouldn't recognize because I hardly ever see them. They are in their backyards as I am. During the week, we are off at work. On the weekends, we are busy catching up at home. Heads down, we don't have time to look up to study each other's faces.
I went for a stroll at lunchtime the other day to capture some of the elegance of downtown Frederiction. The verandas and front facades of the beautiful old homes always capture my attention. All unique in their design and decor......
It doesn't matter if the front of your home has an elegant veranda space or just a one step stoop onto a city street, its time we made ourselves our morning coffee and headed out front. Even if you don't see anyone else venturing out, you can be sure someone else is paying attention looking out their window.........registering you in their minds.
one note accompanying another note
intertwined at the roots
............cue Mr. Piano Man please...............................
ps. thank you Katie for kickstarting my thinking today with your post.
And what accompanies NEW? Different levels of anxiety are present, and depending on the event our nervousness seeps into our bellies filling them with butterflies and growls. Excitement too is a form of heightened alertness....same adrenaline bursts as anxiety I think. Curiosity, motivation, hesitancy, wonder, fear, grief, joy, sorrow and lots and lots of questions......expressed openly or not....depending on the situation.
This is where my thinking is tonight. See the accompanying picture? Right down that path is a little cabin with 8 boys nestled in for the night with their camp counsellors. One of the boys is my son, who is in for a whole week of NEW. Today, we dropped him off at a sleepover camp for his first foray. Being the youngest in this family, he hasn't had as many opportunities to do something independent of his big sister or of his Mom and Dad. Even when he went off to kindergarten, his sister and her friends were there to greet him. So, today my son has begun a week of new learning. And I'm thinking that I've got some of that ahead of me too because his changes impact changes in me as I come to a different level of accepting that he is growing up independent of me and his Dad.
This isn't a new concept. Many have walked this path before us. However, the path is new to us. Familiar in some respects........
Robert Fulghum first became famous for his book entitled, "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." It was a clever and charming anecdotal book about the important lessons in life..........about sharing and being kind to others. I thought of the book today, knowing these life lessons are also relearned at summer camp when you're sharing space with a group of others you aren't related to.
These are also life lessons we all try to instill in our children to nurture their openness to others....to be thoughtful and empathic, to be expressive in their wants and needs, to look out for others. It seems to me this is the foundation needed to be self-confident in order to take strides into unchartered territory knowing you can rely yourself. Every new learning, whether it happens when you are 9 or 90, provides a chance to test our personal questions..........."Can I?" "Do I?" "Will I?" And I guess the key is to know that any new learning is linked to all the other building blocks accumulated in life. First time tries for young ones we hope are successful because they will encourage future risk taking. Knowing and and feeling this way, I hope this week for him is triumphant because it can lead to so many other unchartered paths that one day he will want to try.
So, I sit here tonight, feeling a bit of a mess...........more of a mess than I had expected as I realize my little boy, who fills this house with his presence, is off for a week of NEW without us.
I should be comforted by the knowledge that he has many tools in his life toolbox already.....some he's accumulated on his own figuring stuff out, and some we have provided for him. I should be comforted in knowing that he will be experiencing many of the same life lessons I learned at the very same age at camp. It does help, believe me, but it also makes my reaction all the more surprising. I know he will be safe and cared for...........that's not what seems to be twisting inside me. And I don't clearly know what it is. But the pangs are sharp and cannot be ignored. I guess that's what my own learning this week will help me clarify and hopefully will guide me in accepting change. It's all a part of growing up.......for me and for him.
If I have two wishes this week......please let him have the best time of his life.....and let me accept the growing up bit.
"You look marvellous, I must say"
for more hairy thoughts........follow the link to Sunday Scribblings.
What I love more than anything about writing is the opportunity I have to take a snippet of my life, and to find the words to expressively reflect my perceptions of it. Whether it's an older memory or a recent one that has occured during the course of the day a chance to capture it with a net of descriptives fills the reflection with another dimension. A poem, a quote, a concept, a memory, or one single thought are all seeds which grow in my imagination. Writing empowers the growth of the seeds. Writing about it brings the reflection forward.
As a human being, I want to continue to strive for..........
Equality and respect which produces a level playing field both in the home and in the world of work
where choices and options are offered to both sexes both in the home and in the world of work
where working together to seek consensus and understanding of differences as well as commonalities is seen as a good thing
where there is celebration of sexuality and the beautiful differences of the sexes are acknowledged
where women stop dispensing judgement on the choices other women have made with respect to being MOM
where men stop dispensing judgement on the choices women have made with respect to being MOM
where men and women understand the value of providing support and encouragement for individual human beings to be the best they can be
where justification of one's choices doesn't have to be accompanied by radical (right wing or left wing ) political or religious pontifications in order to turn into into an illusionary battle cry.
where the very idea of feminism isn't mired in angry finger pointing
where the "old boys network" feels comfortable enough with their masculinity to keep an eye out for the girls every now and then
where women in the workplace learn to trust one another, to support one another and to applaud the success of a colleague rather than resort to undermining cattiness and gossip
where trust abounds
where women who choose to have a career outside of the home respect the choices of the women who decide to stay at home as their career AND visa versa.
where pink isn't a political statement
where toys aren't a political statement
where love is dispensed to our children by all adults irregardless of sex.
where masculinity isn't defined by skewed interpretations of the Bible
where feminity isn't defined by skewed interpretations of the Bible
where our understanding of the Body of Christ and the roles we play are considered equal in the eyes of God.
Are you familiar with comedian Ricky Gervais? He starred in the original "The Office," an even more biting comedy set in the UK than the spin off version on TV now. This is a stand up bit he did on interpreting the Book of Genesis............. I received this from a good practising Anglican guy I know quite well and who happens to be THE funniest man in my life.........my husband. It's a bit long, but worth watching. Unless of course your sense of humour isn't the same as mine.
Robin? Are you out there?? You will love this piece...........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_EXqdJ4L7I