Wednesday, June 22, 2016

respecting

When I was in grade school, I got sent to the principal's office for disagreeing with Ms. Schimmerhorn on multiple occasions. (Yes, that was her real name.) On one such occasion she was teaching us some backwoods-bubble-gum-version of the atrocities suffered by the Native American people. It was then that I decided that respecting elders was a bunch of crap fed to the youth to keep them in line. Either she was a liar or stupid, both I found completely unacceptable. Which started my long standing battle with the woman. 

On my first venture to the principal's office, I remember explaining that if the teacher wanted my respect she should teach the truth. 

I've since developed a much less intolerant concept of respect for those around me that I disagree with.

What it comes down to is that respect equates to valuing differences. In the case of Ms. Schimmerhorn (who I have a laundry list of grievances to share), I should have (should) valued (value) her ignorance. 

The question is how could (can) I do that and how could (can) I do that with less parenthesis?

I often talk about how a person must actively cultivate and nurture acceptance. I think valuing differences is a key role in that process. We live in a world full of unique individualism and perspectives. How much arrogance can a person have to not value what sets each of them apart? 

Even when we know another person is “wrong” or when we feel we need to “correct” a person, maybe we don’t. Perhaps there are times when we can stand back and say, “This person is different from me, they are coming from a different place, it is NOT vital that I bully them into MY way?”

Now, I am not perfect. I often share unmitigated information. I mean, this blog is packed full of me playing my ego-filled-boss-face-saxophone. Regardless, I think respect is an issue of being sensitive to others while letting go of that pesky ego.. 

Simply stated: If what you are doing or saying is affecting another person negatively. Stop. Show them respect and understand that respect is not simply “falling in line”, it is embracing the kaleidoscope that we call humanity. Bad teaching and all.

Monday, June 13, 2016

florida

So much happens in the world today that is troubling to me. I find myself struggling between wanting to stay informed and wanting to separate myself from the media. When something like the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting happens. I suffer. I suffer because of the heinous act itself. I suffer because of the empathy I feel.

With every Facebook post and interview I have to face it again and again. Then there is the fallout.

Things are no longer about the lives taken or the horror of it all. It becomes about politics, gender, sexuality; whatever the issue might be at the time. It becomes a knee jerk reflex and people stop thinking critically. They throw altruism out the window. Opinions become volatile. They allow their anger and fear control them.

Sadly, we (as a generalization) cultivate anger. It was anger that caused the tragedy in Florida. It is anger that flows in our reactions.

I find myself wanting to remind people that the only way to "fight" anger is through acceptance. Feel the anger, accept it, and then let it go.

Do not let it control you. Do not let it live inside you and fester. Do not let it speak through you; with cruel words. Do not let it act for you.

Become more, because you are more.

A great quote comes to mind, "Acting out of anger is like throwing hot coal, you too get burned."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

wingardium nasturtium

I was having a random conversation with Andy (via text) and this happened.

And now I will share what was happening inside my head.