Sunday, March 12, 2017
Impress Me Warrior
I hope you had a blessed week. I've certainly been hopping. I've had many meetings, clients, and classes to keep me on the go. My next goal is to get started in the studio again so that I can get my hands in clay.
This week has not all been about building though. As has been happening across the land, violence has come to my home. For those of you that aren't aware there has been a rash of bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish community centers across the nation. I myself happen to teach one of my Tai Chi classes at a JCC in my city. There seems to be a concerted effort by white nationalists (American Nazis) to terrorize the Jewish community. They are not alone in receiving this kind of treatment, mosques have been similarly threatened, and at times even destroyed. The only point of light in this has been the response from both Muslims and Jews who have reached out in support of one another.
This is a dark time in the USA. Those that have kept to their dark corners feel emboldened to gather and attack minorities. I have seen articles with footage from rallies that are calling for a liberal genocide, and the deporting of Jews and Muslims. People around me who are conservative are telling me it's all being blown out of proportion, but most of these are white Christians who haven't had their places of worship threatened, or worse burnt down. In the midst of this all we keep hearing from on high is more chest thumping and spouting of militaristic and violent rhetoric. People are aligning behind the, "Might makes right," argument. With our country's love affair with firearms and recent shootings of immigrants I am to say the least, a bit disgusted.
There seems to be some misconception that the ability to destroy makes someone powerful. Well it doesn't. Any idiot can blow something up, or shoot something, or light a fire, or smash a window. It takes no imagination, skill, or innate strength to destroy. Destruction is easy. Destruction is for wusses. If you want to impress me, build something. Create something elegant. Look at the picture above. The glass canopy is exquisite and delicate. As challenging as it was to make that canopy, it would be extraordinarily easy to break it. Creating something takes at least ten times the energy and skill that ruining it does. Small minds can't conceive, so they attack and smash.
I am finding it harder to muster up any respect for those in this world who take pride in what they can smash. They strut around thinking they're better because they know how to kill, maim, or take something apart. Perhaps I am being a bit judgmental, but I really feel that we need a change of culture. We need a new idea of what a warrior is. Back in the long ago, the warriors were the hunters and guardians of our tribal ancestors. Their strength was used to preserve and protect the people and what they had created. We revered that ability and strength not for its own merit, but for what it provided the community. Now we have separated physical ability from service, glorifying it for its own selfish use. Whom do we honor most, firemen or athletes? Do we honor our veterans or do we worship mixed martial artist champions? Who is stronger, the weightlifter, or the woman giving birth? The warrior archetype has been co-opted by the cult of masculinity, and has lost much of its original meaning and power.
So why am I telling you this? Well we all have a piece of this culture within us. We must ask ourselves what we honor? When we think of the warrior are we worshipping power over others, or the power to protect others? How do you define strength? When I asked that question did you immediately think of a tall well built man? Do you think of women as strong? I'll be honest with you most of my examples of strength came from women I have known. So this week as you walk through the world spend time acknowledging the strength in the hands that have grown your food, that have taught children to read, that have cared for aging relatives, that have woven the cloth in your garments, and that have solved problems with the skill of their minds. Warriors are needed in this dark time, but warriors need to impress us with what they can create.
Peace and Blessings,