A VANISHING ACT
I have not added new things on this blog for some time now. Not that there weren’t things to report or of importance happening in my life. The truth is that I have been working on my course work and didn’t have the energy to write some thing without thinking of my approaching deadline. Although I’ve still got much to do I think I deserve a break from the hectic ritual of work and study. And yes, I did sleep and all that in the meantime but it seems that after all this exertion and time you end up … err… as if you’ve been drained of all energy.
The holidays have been moments when I learned new thing about myself and about others. I have enjoyed the company of my young nephews Chris and Matthew and I learned a lot about how we forget the ‘magic’ that life is. Our hopes and dreams as children soon become crushed through bitter experiences of injustice and falsity. It’s a fact of life that there are many things beyond our control. Yet, we can choose to look out for the things we value most and which make us who we are. And although acting like children is not advisable, I believe we can learn one thing or two about how to relate to other people and the world.
There is obviously a lot of good in the world, but often we are so trapped in our misconceptions about the way the world works, or ought to work, that we are unaware of our own biases. I find it very hard to relate to people who wish to be identified under a certain religion, country or belief system, so rigidly that anyone who falls outside their conception of right or wrong is – literally or metaphorically – damned to the fires of hell.
And yet, we find lots of this still going around. I do not wish to be chained down to a narrow view of life… but sometimes unwittingly I do too. Yep, I should have called the post ‘Confessions’. However, my point is simply that it’s both a matter of the way we create structures – whether be they physical or conceptual – that can ‘enrich’ our poverty. And no, I used that phrase on purpose. Because we really think we are enriching ourselves by putting what we believe to be true or objectively so on a pedestal.
The reality remains that people who fall outside what is considered ‘good’, ‘true’ or even ‘right’ are often stereotyped, or put into boxes, that do nothing to improve their situation. And believe me, the danger in assuming that things that fall outside your ‘ideal’ is as bad as not having no ‘ideals’ at all.
If I am to believe that life is worthwhile, I should be willing to oppose whatever attempts to restrict me or smother my spirit. Unfortunately, as long as people still want to discuss my life as a disabled person in terms of pain and tragedy, I must do my best to counteract it. I know that it will be impossible to achieve fully or ever completely. Yet, we owe it to ourselves to unmask the ‘ugly’ face of prejudice, and institutional discrimination.
For the tragedy is to find out that one day our children will learn not to judge people by who they are but by what they appear to be. Not by the people they are but by the labels they represent. And yes, there might be the occasional person who fits the stereotype almost perfectly. But then, the exception should not be the rule. And we often obsess over exceptions, don’t we?
For example did you notice the green monster at the start of this post?
That’s because it was never there.
It just vanished I guess…