Today I started my day by reading three different stories where incidents had occurred between a woman and a man. The man was definitely in the wrong in each story, providing that the stories were accurately reported, but what struck me was where each story led. Three different writers all ended up with the same theme, one man did a bad thing and therefore all men are bad and women were cautioned to expect the exact same incident from any and all the men that they know.
This seems to be the norm now – the idea that a man is a rapist/pig/stupid/violent/abusive animal, incapable of participating in the same world that women occupy. The jokes are no longer good-natured and funny. Instead, there is a decided barb to every comment women seem to make about men. Women are even translating that into promoting and celebrating violence against men. Continue reading →
People say that to me with an accusatory tone. I am not sure how they expect me to respond.
If I have not changed in a year, in 10 years, I would be sadly disappointed in myself. I work hard on making sure I have changed. I spend time with myself. I put effort into learning. I ask questions. I research. I listen. I pay attention. The call is always to deepen my understanding, to push beyond the comfortable, to not be satisfied with status quo.
I find out over and over again that my understanding was limited, superficial, and even completely wrong. That inspires me to dig. I cannot continue to say and do the things I used to say and do when I know that they no longer serve me because I have found so much more. It will mean that I may not be on the same page with people that I once was.
“We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don’t like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others…Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.” Unknown
Is it “suicide” when you take even one person with you? Or, do we call that “murder? Murder comes in degrees, the worst degree being the one where you plotted and planned it. Compassion for illness that may have caused the incident, is up against compassion for the 150 people who had no choice, some of them children. I think of all of their hopes and dreams, and their only crime being in the wrong place at the wrong time with a man who “wanted to show the world.” I have compassion for their families. There was a poster I shared from a friend on here the other day about wanting to remember the name of the pilot who tried to stop it, not the one who caused it. Maybe we need to ask ourselves about fame and what it has done to us . . . that 15 minutes of fame is a worthy ransom for thousands of lives around the globe.
So many questions.
I have been watching, listening and reading about the Germanwings airplane crash. Like so many of the situations currently facing us in today’s world, there are no quick and easy answers. We pull apart the reasons we can find, arguing with one another about their validity and in the end, we all go home dissatisfied with the outcome. Because, the outcome will never be the undoing of what happened.
And the truth is, we all have headaches from trying to understand and make sense of it all.
We want sympathy for the co-pilot who suffered with mental illness. We make the plane crash about mental illness and argue that too many people suffer silently, afraid to let anyone know, and when someone has to live their life in that kind of pain, they are going to snap. This one is easy, while pursuing awareness for mental health we neatly place the pilot in another group . . . the one labelled, “not me.” We can let go some of the responsibility when what happened is about “other people.” We can be less vigilant in our own lives.
There are people who blame the co-pilot completely, without any compassion for him or his mental illness. They refuse to be sidetracked. They need someone to blame and he is the most identifiable target.
Cue the people who then point to the last group and say they are part of the problem that marginalizes people with mental health issues. They suggest that THIS is the real problem we need to address. Continue reading →
Life is hard. You had some bumps along the road. Unfortunately, part of the pain that can come from our childhood is because we were often powerless to do anything about the things that happened. Life was what our parents made, or didn’t make, of it. We were just along for the ride. Children have to rely on the goodness of others, even strangers sometimes, to protect them. More often than not, those people either lacked goodness or simply did not see what was going on. Continue reading →