On some days, it feels like challenging cultural norms is an uphill battle - no, cancel, that - on most, it seems much harder, more on the level of climbing Mount Everest. Or, as I remember my Great Grandfather saying about seemingly impossible tasks, “it feels I am spitting in the wind.”
OK, yes, he probably used a less PC bodily function; however, he was a man who, among other things, "et" his dinner and "clumbed" trees. He was obviously unafraid of using colorful language and flaunting his modest NoCo roots - my guess is it was one way of spiting my very proper Great Grandmother, who had other ambitions.
I do not mean to imply that challenging the system is unpleasant, impossible, or even deviant – but some days sorely test my belief that we can (will) transform our cultural need (desire) to measure others using the metrics of our own values and individual life, as well as the perceived moral code of society.
Why the rant, now? It has clearly been a problem for a very long time. In the past few weeks, I have seen numerous examples; however, the following two quotes put me over the edge: “the unmotivated working class,” a phrase taken from a local business owner's (very) public objection about the treatment of employees because of the lack of available people in the workforce, and this meme circulating the FB world - “If you ever see kids selling lemonade, in the neighborhood, stop and buy a cup or two. They have more ambition than the majority of adults in today's workforce.”
To put it quite simply – STOP IT! Do not judge another person's life – through the lens of your own experiences or society’s ethics.
If someone is pursuing something that has considerable meaning to their lives - besides punching the clock for an hourly wage job – whether it is a life dedicated to serving the broader community or something else entirely, no one gets to judge that. No one!
In both above instances, the beginning of each message is spot on – yes, treat people with kindness at any establishment and absolutely support kids in their endeavors – however – there is no need for folks to broadcast their intolerant evaluation of what others should be doing with their lives. None of us gets to determine another human being's value. Ever!
We live in a time of staggering technological advances that have the potential of changing the way we do absolutely everything. Yet, the hypocrisy of systemic capitalistic and patriarchal lunacy holds us captive. Those at the “bottom of the heap” must prove their worth through servitude to the plutocrats and oligarchy. Additionally, those at the top will always "play" those below them to make them believe that the enemy lives next door, so they won't have the energy to focus their combined spirits on challenging those subjugating them.
All of this is just one of many reasons many of us are afraid of stepping out of line to celebrate our unique gifts and follow our hearts.
Nonetheless, I choose to continue "spitting in the wind" while living authentically and enthusiastically supporting others to do the same.
We are thrilled that Nic Hayes is joining the team as our new apprentice at DRC-East. You can read Nic's bio here.
Check out DRC Exploration Station Summer and Afternoon Extended Programming for kids who attend other schools in the community.
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