Anne Smith :: Blog for March 2012
Hello, Spring! It's hard to feel the seasons in Florida. It's the first time in my life that I will not witness the robins' return. Every year in March, I make note of my first robin sighting and call a loved one to happily report that I know spring has arrived. One of my friends knows this, and sent me a beautiful video filmed in Virginia. It is a simple and short video, documenting the hatching of 4 robin's eggs and the way the adult birds care for them. (http://vimeo.com/fredmargulies/robins). If you want to forget about human problems for a few minutes, watch and enjoy!
Speaking of human problems, I'm finding myself caught up in the emotional Trayvon Martin case and let me tell you, it is a great personal challenge to withhold judgement. No one was more shocked and upset than I was, when a recent "discussion" on said topic with Marc turned into a more than heated debate that escalated rapidly to the point of fighting and labeling. The germs of civil war. I was eating my own lyrics: "I said, you said, he said, she said, a line was drawn in the sand." I decided to make this blog about judgement. It's a common thread that runs through my life and causes all kinds of snags and knots. Perhaps my artistic temperament makes me more emotional, thus, more judgmental?
British diarist and politician Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) summed it up : "We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; and others, by their acts." Ironically, Nicolson also wrote: "Although I loathe anti-semitism, I do dislike Jews." While he is being brutally honest about his personal sentiment, he reveals a common struggle and shame of all human beings. Ideally, there is no such thing as racial or ethnic bias, violence, pettiness, hate crimes, lack, dishonesty or unacceptable clothing, as long as our lives are consistent with our own perspective. Once we are confronted with a situation that challenges this perspective, we assign a label to make ourselves feel justified and right. We align ourselves with others who share our view, the more the mightier. We take steps to eliminate the offending element. Knowing just exactly what to call something or someone makes us feel less fearful and more secure in our own existence. For example, " I dress the way I want to, I worship and pray the way I want to, but, you see, I don't offend anyone. BUT everybody knows that thugs wear hoodies. It's common knowledge." We're confusing knowledge with beliefs. Now we're seeing backlash in The Million-Hoodie March, and the Miami Heat in Hoodies to challenge one careless judgement. I'm not writing here to be right or wrong, but let's say I want to be RAWNG:
Renewing Awareness World-wide for a New Generation. History has shown us again and again that the old ways of resolving conflict don't work. By renewing our awareness of judgement, can we make a difference and move forward as a people? The more emotional weight, or judgement- that is given to a situation, the more counter weight it takes to maintain the sense of balance. All systems, natural or manmade, strive to maintain balance. That isn't my belief, that happens to be a universal truth. What will happen to counteract the Million Hoodie March? Where will this go? Yes, there is strength in numbers, but what does strength mean to you? Squashing the opposition? Does it take more strength for one person to withhold judgement or to weigh in with others? In hindsight, it would have taken more personal strength to reserve judgement, to remove my weight; and I would have avoided a damaging conflict. Ideally, everyone pulls his/her own weight in this world. If, one by one, we could be strong individuals and remove our own weight/judgement from this escalating situation, there would be nothing hanging in the balance. Ideally, George Zimmerman would accept his role in this event and realize that ultimately even he cannot judge his own actions, while the weightless and eternal light that is Trayvon Martin would shine down for the first time in human history, on one perfectly equal scale.
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