I called my good friend Paul last Saturday to wish him a happy birthday, and I got a gift from him I’d like to share with you. I love hearing stories, and I love telling them too. Here’s how the story, the gift he shared with me, took place.
The river has risen and the older and younger monk need to get to the other side. When they reach the river bank, there’s a young lady who also wants to cross. Now monks are supposed to be very serious about practicing celibacy, and the elder monk was immensely upset when the younger monk hoisted the young lady to his shoulder and carried her to the other side.
There was no conversation on the way back to the monastery, but once they got there the elder monk went off. “You know we should always be focused on practicing chastity he proclaimed, and ou’re well aware that one should not risk temptation. Why would you even think about taking that woman to the other side, let alone going through with it” he asked. “I left her on the other side” declared the younger monk, “Why are you still carrying her?”
Sounds like something I still be doing, even after being told years ago that i needed to let things go. How long do we hold grudges? How often do we talk about how someone else is doing things they shouldn’t be doing, especially when we think they’re doing these things to us. How upset do we get about people and situations over which we have no control.
My contention is that the majority of us need to address this racial facade that is existent all over the place, and with the advent of social media has become more noticeable than ever before. We need to understand that white supremacy is existent because the bulk of the world’s economic and political power is in the hands of a few people, and they’re capitalizing off our belief that racially related factors are the cause of financial disparity. The real deal is that the folks calling the shots, with their have/ have not mentality, are the real cause of economic inequity, and as long as we continue to harbor resentment, hatred , and ill will against each other, from a racial perspective, the disillusionment of race being the reason for our situation will continue to exist.
Do we, or have we ever accepted and embraced the racial stereotypes attributed to others? Do we, or have we ever thought that we’re less or greater than people of another ethnic persuasion? Do we, or have we ever thought that another held something against us simply because of the color of our skin. Well, I’m going to be honest and answer ‘Hell to the yeah’ to all of the above questions. I’m also going to admit that letting that racial profiling stuff go ain’t easy, but I sincerely believe that working on doing so will help to achieve our universal objective, i.e. to amicably co-exist on this planet we all share.
Where do we begin? With communication!! Now I’m not saying to purposefully go out and start talking to people of another race about race. I’m saying start letting go of the animosity that you hold against the members of your family. If they've hurt you, or you don’t like how they communicate or don’t communicate with you…let em know. You think your co-workers treat you disrespectfully…tell em. You feel that a store clerk, restaurant personnel, or any other social service employee is not being cordial with you…let em know it’s unacceptable. Now don't do it with blame and condemnation, but in a manner that says to them, "I’m looking for an understanding of who and where you are in this space we’re sharing at this time."
As we trod this path of beneficial interaction with others, we’ll be amazed at how the racial paraphernalia is diminished and we’re able to see the all pervasive picture of divide and conquer. Be that as it may most of us are still not going to see things eye to eye. Therefore, we should not necessarily expect a positive outcome when we communicate with others, because people are always going to be who they think they are. Our primary objective should be to let go of our prior assumptions of them, hopefully find out who they actually are, and then deal with them from that perspective.
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