The Indigenous Peoples March Incident

Let me preface this post by saying this: A friend asked me yesterday, “What do you think about the indigenous peoples march incident?” I had not seen the video. I asked him not to tell me anything. I wanted to avoid the commentary and really focus my intention on seeing this “viral” moment capture for exactly what it was.

I watched the video. Many times. Observing all the parties within view. I tried to place myself in each individual’s shoes. I am immediately overwhelmed with the task. I would like to share my perception:

I am at once drawn to a smirk on a young, white man’s face and his red fucking “Make America Great Again” hat. (insert severe eyeroll) Admittedly, there are many social assumptions I could make, but I digress for the sake of this social experiment. I will block that out. Actually, there’s several repeats of this young man. What else? I am struck by the overwhelming disdain I feel rolling off of him. He reminds me of my son. Am I projecting? I notice two more faces. More smirks. More … ? It just feels oppressive. One of them is saying something about “Europeans and Africa”?  Again, assumptions…pause,  What else can I say: This seems misplaced at an “Indigenous Peoples March” on Martin Luther King Jr, weekend.  I cant see what it is directed at. There is someone with long, flowing hair. They beat a drum. The cry sounds likely to belong to a man, he is clearly of Native American decent and shit, the boys are clearly mocking him at this point. It feels gross. Why do I perceive it as a cry? Is he in pain? The vocals are foreign to me and also, he beats the drum with purpose. It reminds me of the way evangelical Christians worship. There is a similar emotional weight to his noise. Perhaps he is praying? He does seem to continue to “pray” or “chant” as this cloud of disdain somehow breaksdown, which is kind of breath taking because it just felt like … that feeling of electricity in the air before a storm lets loose. Perhaps we just witnessed an act of God. I am suddenly full of awe. I can understand why it went viral. I am struck by how many emotions/feelings I have in the span of watching this video. Eventually, I find myself in tears. I require time to process and will revisit.

It is only when we stop lying to ourselves that we can stop being lied to by others. It is only when we trust our own experience of the truth that we can be free.~ Tovar, Virgie.

Sunday’s Song

I’m always trying to do and say the right things, yet somehow constantly coming up short in others eyes. I know, logically, that I can not make everyone happy, even with the best intentions. Yet, whenever I deem somebody to be upset about things (that have absolutely no bearing on me) I try time and time again to “fix” it.

I must learn the subtle art of not giving a fuck. Literally, I could care less. It appears to work out better for those who care less. Well … the others appear alive and fulfilled, but they are the walking dead. They’ve gone numb for self-preservation’s sake. They can’t see or hear you.

This means all the sugar I was spoon fed through my church upbringing is what now makes me sick. Being told to do unto others as you would do unto yourself (or is it: as you would have others do to you?) in principle, is lovely. Out here in the hard knock life, the reality is quite the opposite though. Everybody is looking for real and nobody is bringing real to the table. The most socially acceptable and fashionable means of intimacy is sexual, but sex does not equal love; and it does not quench our soul’s deep thirst for connection.

We’re left with sadness, feeling incomplete. Those feelings are valid;

And also, I am done with them.

The problem with label makers

Recently it has occurred to me that the only person who ever really knows you, is you. We exist in people’s minds as their own perception and that perception is based on their own beliefs and life experiences. People always fear what they don’t know. I watch as so many try to make things fit into little, tidy boxes which they can fit into their lives, but rarely do they ever try to discover and understand. There’s a large piece of me that wonders if this lack of putting ourselves in others shoes, compassion, is because there are too many shoes now.

Our world view used to be compromised of our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We belonged to one another. We watched out for one another. As the internet superhighway revealed new landscapes, cultures, people and problems, it seemed as if we were evolving to a greater sense of stake in humanity, but somewhere, something happened. I don’t know if we have become desensitized from exposure, or lazy and label-reliant.

Why do we so often jump to a label and why the hell would we think that any label could be all-encompassing of every fiber of a human being’s existence?

Single. Divorced. Female. Male. White. Black. Mother. Father. Son. Daughter. Brother. Sister. Friend. Addict. Average. Beautiful. Smart. Disabled. Obese. Bipolar. Narcissist. Loyal. Kind. Christian. Jewish. Muslim. Buddhist. Gay. Neuro typical. On the spectrum.

All of these words have a different meaning because we all have different perspectives.

For example, seeing someone as a traitor is not an absolute truth, even if everyone believes it.

Another example, hearing something about someone you “know” and thinking, “That’s not the person I know.” This, on the other hand, is actually true.

This is why you should question everything you’re told, even if you heard it from me.

The most interesting take away from all of this has been discovering what people think of me and realizing that it almost always has nothing to do me. It’s their perception and if you pay attention you learn WAY more about the other person before they’d ever have a clue they’d given themselves away.

It’s slowly becoming the most frightening and exhilarating discovery of my life.