Posts Tagged ‘Idea’

I am constantly surprised by how people I know and love think about the world and the people in it. I recently had a discussion with a friend about how much people generalize humans into specific groups, whether it be gender, sexual orientation, race, culture or career. Where I am from there is many misconceptions about First Nations/Native/Indian/Aboriginal people. Many people describe this race as being alcoholics/lazy/addicts/bums/dirty/homeless people. There is a terrible history between what you may classify settlers of Canada and the original people from the continent, the First Nations. I do not wish to get into the specifics but there was many wars and disagreements and conflicts that eventually ended in the signing of the Treaties. Sadly this did not end the hate and bigotry towards the race, in some ways it made the judgments and generalizations worse.

This brings me to a conversation I recently had with a friend. I was fighting my point that you just cannot generalize any group of people (on this day we were specifically talking about aboriginals) because not all people are the same not matter what “group” you may personally assign them to. This friend then gave me the example of two apple trees:

On one side you have an apple tree that produces mainly bright red, perfect apples, that appear to be the best apples out there however, this  tree produces a few apples that are misshapen, brown and mushy. On the other side you have the same kind of apple tree that appears to produce predominantly bad apples that aren’t as appealing as the others. But again on that same tree there is also bright red, crisp, perfect apples that look the same as the other attractive apples on the opposite tree. The friend then asked Which tree do you pick apples from, which tree to you water and keep alive? The tree with the abundance of “good” apples or the tree with mostly “bad” apples?

I answered honestly, in the fact that innately if it was for survival I would probably pick from the “good” apple tree and support its life. However, if I was being logical I would simply pick the “good” apples from both trees and support growth of both trees since neither tree was completely without flaw. I also implied that it was not realistic to use a metaphor about a plants and apply it to human behaviour.

This friend was not enthused by my answer and suggested that I, as well as everyone would choose the good tree because we live in a survival of the fittest world. I began to explain that I don’t believe we live in that kind of reality anymore (at least in the western world) I believe we don’t have to leave the sick/weak/suffering/struggling to die or rot in their own life just so we can keep on living. I believe (in this day) we have the power overcome what some may call our innate sense of selfishness, our ability to pick out peoples differences and avoid things that make us uncomfortable. I told this friend that I believed this because I live it. I work on breaking through my judgments and stereotypes because I meet people who break the ideals I or society have imposed upon them. This friend still believed that it was not possible for me to do what I am doing, and we ended the discussion at that.

The funny thing is if it wasn’t possible for me to break through my own misconceptions then I wouldn’t have been able to keep this person as a friend. Just because he/she had these stereotypes about these people I didn’t judge him/her. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that is my opinion. There is a reason that I did not use a name in this blog, because this blog is not about attacking someone for their beliefs its about understanding that not all people have or rather choose to have an open mind. Sometimes people find that living inside the box is safer, easier and more fruitful. Being on the outside I can only reach my hand in and offer a possible way out.

I enjoy to having these kinds of discussions with people. I like to talk about things that may cause them discomfort or anxiety in an attempt to make them think or see things differently. I don’t know if this friend ever thought of our discussion again, but I know I think about it often. It just makes me wonder what other things people believe, what other things people think they know about the world. It also worries me that still in this day people are so consumed in their own ideas and opinions. When will we stop thinking of the world as billions of individuals with certain characteristics trying to survive and start thinking of it as one solid system of life, love and happiness?

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This story has been haunting me, these characters are so real, honest and true to me. I cried when I wrote this part. I realized these people are so much a part of me and this is a story I need to tell and it is a story that will be told, my mind will accept nothing less. Here is another blurb from Gray Hayles: (I apologize for not including names but I would like to keep some things a secret so when I finish the story all of it isn’t known)

As we walked underneath the canopy of stars, I wrapped my arm around her waist. Holding her hand was not enough anymore, I had to have her closer, nearer, soaking in all the warmth of her love she so freely radiated. She was like my own personal sunshine, penetrating me with constant rays of love, compassion and kindness. I felt her slide her hand up my neck, she pulled me in close locking her chocolate gaze on mine. She gently pressed her velvet lips against mine, my hands began to tingle and my knees went weak. I squeezed her waist tighter, desperately trying to keep myself from falling into her body. Just then she pulled away and looked me deep in the eye. She drew in a deep breath, smiled that glorious smile and said, “Thank God I met you, ” she uttered the words with such conviction.

Suddenly I felt a sharp pain at the base of my skull, as I fell to the ground I heard her scream. Momentarily blinded I began to panic, my ears went silent and I was transported to a dark, warm place where I had an overt sense of happiness. I began to question am I dead? In an instant I was thrust back to reality. My eyes jolted open and my chest convulsed as I gulped air into my deprived lungs.

As things slowly came into focus I saw her face, she smiled, but as things became clearer I was struck. There was no words to describe the horror I felt in that moment. Her face was swollen and badly bruise, she had a large lump above her left cheek which was pressed awkwardly against the road. Her leather jacket was gone and her dress was torn exposing her skin which was now painted a beautiful shade of red. I examined her body for other afflictions but everything seemed intact. There was an unusual amount of blood pooling around her  head, it began to leak into the cracks in the pavement, every second rushing closer to me. She kept her brown marble eyes on me, her breathing became slower, her smile never left. I noticed my own river of blood escaping my body, creating its own streams, snaking through the road eventually merging into an ocean of blood dividing us. It was warm, like a liquid blanket protecting me from the brisk midnight air.

I tried to speak but nothing would come out, I tried to move but it was as if my muscles had left my body. My bones felt like metal rods grinding my flesh into the cement. My right arm was stretched out in front of me, I wished I could reach further and touch her face. She began to flinch and cough, then a small stream of blood fell from her mouth. Still looking at me she began to drag her arm from the side of her body. It seemed to take hours for her to reach my fingers, but she did. There we lay, our arms drowning in a cocktail of our blood. She began to cough more, choking on the flow pouring from her mouth.

I began to accept that this was it, this was how we would die. I was trying to make peace out of this knowing. I tried to be thankful for being able to share our last moments together, but I was resentful. I felt her squeeze what little of my hand she had grasped. Staring at her, I focussed all my energy on squeezing back. I must have succeeded because I saw her beautiful face display a broader smile. Within seconds of what I now know was our last embrace, she took her last breath and her lips released the crescent she had so stubbornly held. Her eyes never closed and her spirit did not abandon the earth, instead she hovered above my body raining down a gentle calm. My stare was locked on her once glistening eyes as rivers flowed from mine.

At first I began to ask for her back, begging the universe, promising my life, if only she would come back to her body, back to me. When my attempts failed I then began to ask to be taken with her, but my prayers were not answered. Instead I laid there labouring to breathe, my head throbbing in pain, my love laying there lifeless parallel to my body. I felt like I had been there for days but as I looked up I realized the canopy of stars still lit the night sky.

This is a exert from an unfinished story I was writing. Somehow this is the only part of the piece that moves me or that I think is worthy of sharing.

“When your young you think love is the easiest thing to give and receive. As you grow older you learn love is hard to attain and even harder to keep. Love fades, love cracks, love disintegrates. There’s an old adage that says it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. You don’t believe that do you? To love someone so deeply, so passionately and then have that love ripped from the heart of your being, leaving you broken and wounded; Left to patch yourself up with temporary, makeshift relationships. The hole never fully heels and the memories you had together are like bullets shooting out of the darkness hitting you when you least expect it. A sight, a smell, a touch and the pain of loss comes rushing back to you, causing a tsunami of emotion. Collapsing to the floor you weep for your loss, your family’s loss and the world’s loss. Then you pick yourself up out of the pool of tears and continue on, not because you want to, but because you have to, because You are Alive.”

The older I get the more I have noticed that Language is in many ways a hinderance to humanity. I remember being a kid and saying a word over and over until it didn’t even sound like a real word. This exercise made me question Who decides words? Who said that one is one not two? Who said up was up an not down? I then started to wonder what if everything I knew as language was backwards. What if what we know as red was actually called green? This intrigued me.

As I reached what some would call Adulthood I noticed another thing about Language, Tone. I had long heard the phase It’s not what you say but how you say it. As an adolescent I hated the phrase. To me I delivered words of rebellion in the same way I delivered words in usual conversation. Being an adult and listening to people young and old I started to understand this idea of tone. Somehow two people could say the same exact thing but it could be received in completely conflicting ways. Ah the tone I would think to myself. How was I unable to hear it before? Did I simply choose not to hear it or was I incapables at the time? All I know is I hear it now and it puzzles me constantly. Not only do we have hundreds of languages but we also have hundreds of tones those languages can be delivered in.

This is where language can become a hinderance. It is very hard for people to properly communicate their feelings with such a wide variety of options to convey them. Human perception also makes this difficult because even when we find the right words to say, the person/people receiving this message may percieve a tone in the way the person delivered the words. This may in turn lead to a long discussion explaining why what you said was not what you meant. I often find that words can never describe what we are truly feeling or trying to communicate.

I think it’s funny that there is so many words for one thing. We call them synonyms but what they really are is useless. Why do we need twenty words for beautiful? Do we really need three ways to say to/too/two or there/they’re/their? Are these necessities of language or excesses? Would language crumble if these ceased to exist?

Sometimes silence is the easiest way to communicate, odd as that sounds. At least that’s what I’ve found. In the words of the great Joss Whedon “When people stop talking, they start communicating.” (if you haven’t seen the silent episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Hush” I recommend you watch it!)

As I was scrolling through “topics” I came across a blogger who had this thought the power of a positive idea is greater than the power of a negative idea.  In reaction I had this thought who is to say whether an idea is positive or negative. Can an idea not just be an idea? Why do so may things in our lives have to have a charge, a meaning, a description? Again I ask, can things not just be things? Why does the grass have to be green, is it impossible for us to see it as just grass?

I often here people say there is no love without hate, or you have to take the good with the bad. I don’t know if I want to believe that, I think I would rather not have either than have pain, suffering, oppression, anger and bouts of happiness, bliss and love. Would the world really be boring if every feeling, idea, thought felt the same way? Not to say the every thought, feeling or idea would be the same but would affect us in the same way.

I then have to ask you this, is peace boring? In a sense if global peace was achieved we would all accept every aspect of existence/life as we know it on this planet. We would have respect for everyone and everything. All things would be different but be accepted in the same way or is that an unfair assumption of peace? I guess that’s what my idea of peace is.