Friday, June 4, 2010
Of One Family
By Jo Floyd Lucas
First, I must apologize to Rick and Linda, in front of whom I'm sure I must be 'cutting in line,' but I saw this beautiful, dangling thread hanging from Reya's previous post, and felt compelled to pick it up and continue weaving. (Pardon...'scuse me...sorry...pardon me...and farther up in line I go.)
What resonated with me so clearly from Reya's post, 'Variety is the Spice of Life,' is the idea of perspective. When we open ourselves to learning from others, we acknowledge a different, though equally valid, perspective. When we can begin to accept other valid perspectives, we can incorporate them into our view of the world. When our view of the world becomes clearer through this multidimensional perspective, we can begin to seek effective solutions to our problems.
This is not as easy as it sounds. While we outwardly disdain shows of bias or chauvinism, most of us inwardly feel it. Maybe it stems from our fears of anything different from what we have experienced. Maybe it stems from our cultural upbringing. Maybe it stems from the beginning of evolution and the 'survival of the fittest' DNA. Wherever it originates, this blind bias is counterproductive, and some of us will have to work very hard to see things from a different perspective.
It can be so easy for us to speak with authority on any given subject without realizing that our perspective may be skewed. I speak as a woman. A woman of European ancestry. A middle aged woman. A well educated woman. A woman blessed with prosperity that few others in the world will ever know. Really...how 'correct' can my perspective be?
A few days ago, Dubby posted Part II of a fascinating series of videos titled, 'Native American Prophecies.' Today, I submit Part I, which begins to examine our different perspectives, and how our own eurocentric perspective (and our difficulty in accepting other perspectives) has contributed to many of the enormous problems we face today.
Most fascinating, I was completely unaware that the war we 'Europeans' call World War I came hundreds of years after the war that Native Americans named the First World War. In addition, I was enlightened to hear that by the end of World War II, the population of Native Americans had gone from 60 million to 800,000. And yet we pontificate about the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. Wow...different perspectives can really help us to see the big picture.
Maybe by listening to the wisdom of these Native American elders we can gain a new perspective. Maybe we can begin to see the wisdom in each other. Maybe we can open ourselves to the process of learning from one another. Maybe, like Reya said, we can begin to 'celebrate diversity' for real. Maybe, like the elder said, we will recognize that we are 'all of one family.'
Maybe...if we do all this...we can even begin to solve a few problems.
Posted by Jo