Oh boy, this is walking on thin ice! Hard not to get into politics these days but I truly do not want to go there. I have lost faith in political leaders even those who want to sell me on their inherent understanding of the popular mistrust of politicians. GO AWAY!!!!
It never ceases to amaze me at how limited and weak we are as people. We believe in dignity, respect, diversity and inclusion. In the next breath we are talking trash about undocumented immigrants, ‘towel heads’, Muslims, indigenous persons, blacks. We value life but would not mind seeing severely impaired persons eliminated ‘to ease their pain’ (and maybe our burden). We used such terms as ‘towels heads’ because we just want to insert some humour….’didn’t want to do no harm’. “Aw come on, I was just joking around.”
Perhaps the events in Quebec City this past week are cause for some serious, mindful reflection. What really are the fruits of our language? When we use derogatory terms about others, when we ignore the bully in the room, when we label people by race, religion or cultural differences do these terms just float away over time with no consequence? I think NOT!
The homegrown terrorist is a complex being just like the rest of us. Complete with emotions, past experiences and sense of place in the world that is either well integrated or holds feelings of being on the margins of the mainstream. Simple answers are never quite enough to solve the challenges of our world today. Nonetheless, there are some connections that can and must be made to the power of language and words in our world. In our comfortable sense of righteousness, we ‘faith based’ people of God (however we name God) somehow lost the filter that keeps our mouths shut and our hearts open. Is there a possibility that the words we utter that are hurtful and derogatory just might be the empowerment for one who is on the edge? Do we accept that we are all (every one of us) linked to one another in the strangest way. We can build community or we can destroy it. When our hurtful language incites another to act violently, are we not partly responsible? This is not a question of blame; it is a question of choice as to what type of society we want to create and generate. It is recognizing that each of us has a role to play in generating that type of society. If our positive, empowering language created a new generation of peace communities, I would assume we would like to receive credit for our efforts. WELL??
An Indigenous grandfather took his grandson out to hunt one day. While in the woods the grandfather told the boy that there are two wolves in every person. One wolf is evil, the other good. All through our life the two wolves battle with one another to see who will dominate. The boy asked his grandfather, “So in the end which wolf wins the battle?” The grandfather said, “The one you feed”
Is it really okay to joke about another’s religious practice or their cultural garb or the colour of their skin?? It is okay to act like a populist bully to show other ‘little people’ that I am bigger than life….above it all? And yet we do………ALL of us! And then we go to church???????My Sisters of the Good Shepherd always talk about their mission as a mission of reconciliation. Healing for a broken world, a broken people…finding balance and new hope. Maybe it is time for us to learn the art of self-forgiveness and embrace the art of mindfulness about who we are in relation to this world. Will we ever get it right? Will we always make amends? We can only keep trying to be and do better with the way we look at one another and speak to and about one another. Who knows? I only know that if we don’t, then our world is in bigger trouble than our elected officials.