Divided We Fall
"...and they could never...ever...tear us apart..."
- INXS 1987
When Miller was younger, and Summer was on the way, I used to make myself available as a caregiver for several of the neighbourhood families, so I got to have lots of interesting conversations with toddlers and young kids. You can get to know a LOT about people by hanging out with their kids, solo. Like, if you hang out with my kids and I am not around, you are likely to hear them drop profanities, discuss their bodily functions and the spirit-realm with equal levels of delight and also chant ‘Sat Nam’ in the same breath. They are very clearly mine and Darcy’s kids.
That time Miller found his Uncle's phone lying around and asked me to take a pic of him with it...
proud mom over here!
One day, I had a gaggle of kids with me and we were driving in my full-sized SUV to take those kiddos to their various activities…sport-ball or swimming or gymnastics or whatever. Four kids in car seats (and one in-utero) and from the back seat one the kids piped up with a very strong opinion about my motor vehicle.
Gazing around at the mobile surroundings, the child confidently spewed out the regurgitated statement “big trucks are really bad for the world!” with the same level of self-assurance that whichever grown up dished out THAT statement must have expressed, within earshot, likely the night before. This called for a big-picture conversation and, as a caregiver, these “teachable moments” were hard to pass up. I only hoped the kid would repeat MY words at home, loud and clear, for all to hear with the same level of confidence, sometime soon.
“Actually,” I said, “do you want to know what is REALLY bad for the world?” Silence. I am quite sure this five-year-old was used to being PRAISED for conveying bold statements about global warming! It makes for great optics if your family wishes to appear superior in their environmental awareness.
Eventually, with some hesitation, I got the confirmation…”ummm…okay…”
And so, I got right to the point.
“Judgement. Judgement is bad for the world.” The kids all looked at me with quizzical expressions. I am guessing that the adult family member (or whomever had dropped that wise nugget of info into the conversation!) hadn’t considered exploring the topic beyond their own personal perceptions of “big trucks” in that moment. I guess they weren’t aware that children (and sheep!) follow along with little to no direction and repeat words, follow the same paths, and land with the same challenges and addictions (and poor political choices) as their predecessors if the adult/parent/shepherd doesn’t bother to stretch their own mind, check in with their judgements and explore other ideas before making blanket statements about things like big trucks. (And viruses and vaccines, etc.…)
And herein lies the problem.
Anyhow, after I let the comment about judgement land (I wanted to make sure this kid got the words right when it was time to announce it to the next captive adult audience!)
I continued on.
“Judgment means we DECIDE that something is good or bad for only ONE reason without thinking about any other details or potential scenarios that might be relevant to that “bad” thing.” Mmmmhmmmmm. I still had their interest so I continued.
“Like, big trucks. YOU don’t own a big truck so you think they are bad. It is true that a big truck uses more gas and has the potential to add more harmful emissions to the air than the small car or bicycle that your family uses to go places. So, you have decided that big trucks are BAD for the WORLD.”
I still had them, so I kept going…
“But there are many other facts about big trucks to consider. Like right now, you are relying on ME and MY big truck to take you to sport-ball while your parents are at work. IS it bad for the world that I am able to do that for you? Also, some people drive big trucks to bring you the fruit and vegetables that you love to get at the Farmer’s Market…and what about the Food Truck that you love so much? The one that brings you your plant-based Buddha Bowl to the market? Is that a BIG BAD truck?? What about families who have a member that needs special equipment or a wheelchair to move around? Big trucks are important for those people and THAT is why they choose to have a big truck. Have you thought about all the great things that come to the world in and because of big trucks? NO?? Oh. Well. Maybe you should consider some.”
Cool and realistic re-enactment of me educating children on the topic of judgement and separation!
Yes, I am emphatically talking to kindergarteners in this story.
The kids nodded in agreement and started listing off the great things that happen when big trucks are involved! It only takes ONE truck to get all that fresh farm food to the market, so instead of ALL the families driving in separate cars out to the valley to get their food they can just walk or bike to the market! BINGO! We get to ALL go together to gymnastics and be a part of a community activity that builds our confidence, physical strength and social skills! YES! People with diverse levels of physical ability have the opportunity to be out and about experiencing life in a way that hopefully encourages inclusivity! Oh yeah! That sounds like a GREAT world. That sounds like a world I want to live in. A world where big trucks are sometimes seen as GOOD for the world. Where big trucks are sometimes necessary for OTHER people, whether we need them ourselves or not.
It’s really as simple as that.
These days people are making big blanket statements and condemning others with a ferocity that I wish we never had to experience. It is amplified by our ability to cowardly make such bold judgements behind the safety veil of social media, and frankly it feels like a soul-less and shitty way to communicate. It is a reminder that we have forgotten to go within ourselves to find out what we truly believe in…we seek it in the “likes” or “shares” or level of engagement (both positive and negative) instead of through contemplative, open-minded thought in our decision making.
I appreciate our right to speak about what we believe in (well, apparently it is NOT alright on certain social platforms that practice selective censorship for conversations outside their agenda) but if we were saying these things to people’s faces, (and we knew our kids were going to repeat our words verbatim, to a neighbour who drives a big truck!) we would likely take more time to think about what we say. To choose our words carefully and not without first opening our minds to details that might come in handy should we actually be held accountable for our statements and asked to follow them up with facts. Imagine that! Respectfully taking multiple points of view into consideration before hopping on the soapbox! Wow! That sounds more like unity.
The widely used spiritual greeting “Namaste” comes to mind when thinking about the level of judgement I see and feel in this moment in time. Loosely translated, it means “the divine light in me sees and honours the divine light in you.” Isn’t that nice? No two of us have lights that shine exactly the same as each other but we all have a light. We are united in that light. And, since scientifically our brains are wired to look for the sameness in one another, when we find that sameness we feel called to acknowledge it, gently. “Namaste.”
When we pit ourselves against each other - or allow ourselves to be divided when the topics are hot - by judging and misunderstanding each other’s choices we don’t remember that we ARE the same. We don’t remember how to Namaste.
We are the same. We all want to be seen. We all want to be heard. We all want validation for our choices, so let’s do our best to see that in each other, okay? Stop seeing my big truck in the driveway and deciding that, because YOU don’t have one or need one, MINE is bad. Think about the reasons I might choose to own it and drive it. Some of those reasons may be beneficial to you and your family, or to our community or to the highest good of all.
If you are on a SIDE these days, you are likely feeling discouraged and frustrated. The judgements being flung across the fence right now our harsh and the energy is intense. If you are on a side and you find yourself engaging in a fight that is starting to get confusing, you are truly not helping the cause. You are lowering the vibrational frequency of the planet and you’d do more good to drop your weapon and open your eyes.
Open your eyes to other opinions, new possibilities and considerate communication. A higher vibration. I encourage you to climb up to the top of the fence, to the beautiful place of neutrality, and broaden your vision. Check out the view and see the big picture in everything that you decide to speak up about. I’ll meet you up there.
Til Next Time.
Heal and Be Healed.