Skip to main content

When the world keeps telling you they have all the power and you have none

Remember where that voice is coming from.  Is it your family, your spouse, your company, the ad agencies, the government, the bank, or your mind?  Who keeps giving you the message that you have no choice or that we have no choice?

Once you've figured that out, ask that voice what a super-hero would do, or a genius? Ask Nelson Mandela what he would do.  What would your grandmother do?

Take notes. Write down all the other voices along with their answers.  Put the notes away and come back to them later.

Going over those answers - are there any that you are capable of doing. You don't have to do anything you don't think you can do.  Not now anyway.  There may come a time when you really have no choice and there is no time to weigh up the costs, but now you can ask yourself what you can do.

At the very least, this exercise is one of privilege, and it can help us feel compassion for those whose only option is a dangerous trip on the sea or perish beneath the bullets and bombs.


Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

Creating Chaos

A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men.  "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."

In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5. 

"So the experiment is: he takes monkey three out of the cage and he shoots him up with testosterone, off the scale, and puts him back in. What do you think happens? When I tell this story my students always guess that he immediately becomes number-one monkey. But that’s not true. What happens is that when he goes back in the cage he still avoids monkeys number one and two – but he beats the …

Albert Camus: Our task