I’m not going to address any single topic today. They are all hot potatoes and my hands feel a little tender right now. I am just left with the overwhelming feeling of chaos.
Whether you recognize it or not, we are watching the old order going down in flames. I was looking around for a good illustration and I found this graphic outlining the phases of change.
When we are confronted with a challenge, this is often the way that one moves through it. It really feels like the “Valley of Despair” up in here.
As long as people benefit from and don’t recognize there are problems for some people, they will ignore or even actively work against fixing those issues. I don’t believe that heterosexual white men are inherently bad. I have lots of heterosexual white male friends (I even married one). But they have been the ones creating and benefiting the most from the current power structure. If things are going your way, why rock the boat?
I believe that one of the very real fears that heterosexual white men carry within them is that they fear that if they let loose the reigns of power, the rest of the world might treat them exactly the same as they’ve been treating others all this time. Straight men fear being hit on by a gay man because then he’s put into the role of sex object (i.e., traditionally a female’s role). “Don’t be such a girl” is an insult. Really?!?
Race has been used a way of dividing people since time immemorial. But who puts that division in place? People aren’t born with it. Watch toddlers of all kinds interact. There is nothing inherent causing them to dislike or mistrust each other. Families, countries, cultures, etc. drill into children that prejudice and fear.
Wealth has a way of insulating people from the reality of the hardships that many people on this planet face. And once your physical needs are met ten times over, what in you requires the hoarding of resources? If you don’t believe that people are entitled to food and water and other life enhancing benefits, you must believe that they deserve to die for being poor or born in a shitty place. What other option is there?
Rich white men may be feeling ganged up on these days but they’ve used wealth, religion and power to have the run of the place for most of written history. The rest of the planet wants something different and all their money can’t save them from the changes coming. Lead, follow or get out of the way, right?
What we are going through is a necessary phase of our growth and development as human beings. Growing pains, if you will. And if we can make it through to the other side, the side where we see ourselves as one and all in this together, we just might make a go of this living thing for all creatures great and small. If not, we’ll have a lot in common with the Dodo.
When we ask for change, let’s make sure we actually get it too. There have been many revolutions and overhauls in the course of human history but for the most part all we’ve gotten is this line from The Who’s song ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Let’s really not be fools this time around. You don’t need a boss any longer. You can be the boss of you.