365Ways-003 Are We in A Trance?

Posted on : 21-04-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Mind Fodder

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I’m not talking about the fun kind of trance where you dance freely around a room with a bunch of other interesting and fun people to good music and let yourself go! I’m referring to the kind of trance when someone is talking about the state of politics (because I’m from the U.S., we’ll say American politics) or the media coverage of news and politics etc. or just how you may be out shopping one day and find yourself buying something that you don’t even really want, much less need.  That kind of trance.  The lemming trance.  

Going back to college to finish up a degree many years from when I was 18 has been a real eye-opening experience for me.  There is so much information to be had from what we learn in class to just being in the cluster of students living their lives like I did many years ago.  So much to process!  Did you know that violence is used by Hollywood so much because it “travels” well which means that no matter what country and what language(s) is being spoken, most people understand violence.  That doesn’t mean to say that all countries like and accept violence though.  In fact, in Europe they are much more strict about violence on the screen but a also a lot more lax about sex than the U.S. Wonder if reducing violent movies and television shows in the U.S. could be as simple as us making it not as easy to travel across our country? Hmmmm.

Re-learned a concept called “Euro-centrism” which means that it sanitizes Western history while patronizing and even demonizing the non-West it thinks of itself in terms of its noblest achievements-science, progress, humanism–but of the non-West in terms of its deficiencies, real or imagined.

I suspect most countries have their own form of centrism but I can sure see my own country’s Eurocentrism when traveling abroad to other countries.  So what does that mean about us and our perspectives?  Are we just nothing but chunks of protein for the dazzling soup recipe that our advertisers and talking heads want us to soak in? 

If you were to sit back where you live and take a few minutes to look around what would your surroundings say about you? Mine probably says a lot!  And I feel good about what I surround myself with because it is all items and furniture that I really, really enjoy (not because I’m being influenced to buy it)!   Would I love do some re-designing and refurbishing of my home? Oh sure. Always seem to find something that needs fixing or changing, but I’m not changing something because I’m in a trance about how it “should” look.  Nothing more startling to me than to walk into somebody’s home which looks like the inside of a department store showroom.  No personality. Who is home anyway? Stepfordization must just be around the corner?!?!

Being in country-sized trance is something I’ve been pondering about lately. Because after all, if we are all really “connected” then I sure don’t want to find myself pulled off a cliff with the crowd!  Enjoy your life and how you show up in it today and let yourself be who you really are!

 

DINK #291 Who Are Our Heroes Now?

Posted on : 08-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the assignments in our Universal Human Rights class during the Fall semester was to write a brief paper about who our hero is and why.  I was really stumped on that one.  When I was a little girl, my world was full of heroes from Mighty Mouse to my father.  Slowly over time I learned that Mighty Mouse was really a cartoon drawing and that my father, although a good man, was after all human.

I was born into the  years of Camelot when the U.S. government enjoyed a period of happiness and optimism.  My family was living in Japan when President Kennedy was assassinated and my mother tells stories of how polite and caring the Japanese people were to us in our little town of Fukuoka.  Strangers would walk across the street to tell mom how sorry they were about our President’s tragic death. For many people President Kennedy was a hero but I was still too young to understand who he was or how he effected my life.

Over time my heroes have come and gone, but in the end they would always reveal how they were just another person like you and me.  As I’ve gotten older, the kind of people who seem most heroic to me are the ones who have found the courage to muster up what strength they could in order that they might overcome their frailties without compromising their values or integrity.  My heroes today are human beings that I respect for standing up for what they believe without selling out for what they don’t in order to look good.

The United States was founded by men (and the women behind and beside them!) who were human just like you and me.  Over the course of time, many stories and characters have been enhanced and embellished; however, we have the capability to dig into our history to find and discern as much truth as possible.  When you consider that the U.S. was founded by people who were considered criminals and renegades, then perhaps our current political climate is actually closer to the truth of who we are than we have ever realized.  Both the great and not so great have been behind the power of politics since our country was founded and it seems that whomever could create the most noise and attention got the votes and the position.  Today the mechanisms that were put into place so many years ago to get our attention and our votes have changed by the sheer expansiveness of our country and the population.  Whereas in the beginning days having your finger on the pulse of the people to know what they were thinking and feeling was much easier to realize and therefore tune yourself towards.  Today it seems that we have resorted to sensationalism to attract the attention of the faceless millions and we are allowing our technological advances to overwhelm the many.

Where am I going with this you might ask?  Why the shooting of Representative Giffords and others in Arizona of course.  Yes, it appears that the shooting was done by one lone and crazed gunmen.  Of course we have no control over how a lone crazed person is going to behave but a good point has been brought up in the media again about the meanness and “the vitrolic political retoric”(said by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik) that has consumed our country.”    I think our country is desperately seeking a hero. Only it is not possible for us to see our hero of today like the purse and simple hero of yesterday.  We know too much. We see too much.  At least with certain glasses we do.  And we are angry about not having a hero and we are very afraid.

It is time for us to put down our heroes of yesterday and allow our heroes of today to reveal themselves. Our hero of today may be a faceless man who helps another injured man out of a burning car only to melt into the night. A hero today may be someone like one of my neighbors who has baked countless birthday cakes and hosted many celebrations for members of our disparate group that make up our small community.  A hero today could be a politician that does not allow him/herself to become only a talking head.  Is this possible? Of course it is, they are all around us if you look for them and are willing to listen.

Who did I end up saying my hero was for the class paper?  Well, after I acknowledged the prophets and gurus who have influenced my life I diverged to the safer realm of my animal friends because they’re safer! I’ve never been let-down by any of the animals who have shared their lives with me.  Maybe I had it right after all when I was 4 years old and considered Mighty Mouse my hero!  My wish for today is to also discover heroes in my own species who are making this world a better place for us all.

Who is your hero today?

DINK #156 It’s All Relative

Posted on : 25-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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All I have to say is it’s a good thing I love my family on both sides (mine and my husband’s) so much. This weekend, my husband’s mom (via Israel) as well as my brother-in-law and our two nieces fly into Austin at 11:00pm tonight from New York. Meanwhile, I drove up from Austin to Dallas with my littlest brother and his bride to meet our other brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, mother-in-law and my father to attend the Freedom Festival. Wow….now that is a whole lot of family to digest in one weekend (I’ll be driving back on Sunday to meet up with my husband and then we’ll take off for the beach). I love all of them very much and feel very grateful for each and every one (that’s me channeling my Tiny Tim).

One thing that I’m learning from this weekend already is that no matter what my opinions may be about “the” war or war in general, as my brother “Howdy” says, “it doesn’t matter what cause you pick to get behind to support the troops and their families (because there are many)….get behind something”. More to follow on this I’m sure as I wish that mankind could learn to get along with each other well enough that we didn’t have to blow each other up in various ways to prove who is the most right and/or to protect our freedoms.

It was interesting to hear my brother talking about the impetus of the Army guys to stay in the war and enlist for more tours was to help out their fellows and then to hear my Dad ask him to consider what special motivation had to come from pilots such as himself when they were flying alone into the war torn skies. What got them to get back into their planes and head up into the special hell that RF-4’s met. Makes me grateful to be too old to enlist and especially appreciate the comfort of my bed at night.

Meanwhile, on a completely different note I get to celebrate my nieces and nephews in all their differences and similarities. Whereas my brother’s kids have been home-schooled in a Christian environment, my brother-in-law’s kids attend public schools and are raised in a Jewish household. Still, all the same anxt that hits kids at various times in their growing years happens to all parties. It is interesting to see how each handles their particular situation.

Sometimes, I wish we could all live in a big family compound and share the wealth of experience, strength and hope that all have to contribute to the group but then again, it’s nice to have a quiet household now and again. I’m grateful for the life I have today and that because of the devotion, dedication and courageousness of some people I will never meet, I can feel confident in the privilege of having the freedom to possess different opinions.

Thank you to all the men and women who give of themselves so that others may enjoy the lives of their dreams.