Heather Brewer, MA, MFT Intern, once shared an idea with me: don’t make it precious. I’m sure I’m misquoting her something wretched but the gist of it is that we tend to lend things too much importance in our lives. We prop up our egos and our self-esteem with the rickety old branches of the “Precious Tree”. So in my case I will hold my “next blog post” to be the most precious thing; it must be amazing, it must be better than the last, it must be my pièce de résitance. Why do I do that? Why do I make my next blog post so precious?
IT’S A FRIGGIN BLOG! WITH A READERSHIP OF, LIKE, EIGHT!
I’m sorry to say that I do not have the answer to that last question because the answer is slightly different for everyone. The answer is found when you make the choice to sit down and talk to someone like Heather Brewer, MA., and explore the all too often foreign realm of inner space. So that’s it! No more precious blogs (pshh, who am I kidding 🙂 ). But seriously though: I’m here with my verbal pruning shears to trim those dead branches from my Precious Tree; so with that in mind I present you with a departure from my usual display of genius wit and comic relief. I present you, instead, with a subject matter of great prevalence and of paramount importance: racism. Fair warning, things get real from here on out. I have a platform and I am going to use it on occasion to affect positive change. The Enliven Guy is all about spreading health and happiness but sometimes we must come face to face with the solemn and the serious in order to find the serene. I want world peace god dammit!
So here is a post I made on Facebook as a response to this excellent article:
I was just talking about this with a group of friends (of many levels of skin pigmentation) and what has only recently become abundantly clear to me is that I have been going through my entire life bragging that I don’t have a racist bone in my body but all the while living that life within the cradle of a system whose entire framework is built upon white supremacy. The whole system was designed for white males to succeed, classifying everyone else as a secondary citizen. It’s not necessarily at Nazi or KKK levels of violent, hateful white supremacy, it is simply the product of a society and culture that was founded by white men who came from a world where they grew up being taught that they were superior because they were white. While they may have understood that “All men are created equal” (let’s leave systemic misogyny for another post), that didn’t change the fact that our country was founded by racists, or men who are like that old grandpa: He isn’t a hateful man, he has just allowed himself to be programmed to feel discomfort in the presence of Non-Caucasians.
I wish we could release ourselves from the pervasive and insidious language, from the terms “black”, “white”, “brown” and any others that have arisen from our deeply flawed cultural framework; but alas, there is a vast amount of work to be done before the mindset of equality will permeate our psyches. It requires a bit of an upheaval, a restructuring of how we, in the industrialized world, are brought up. A paradigm shift. It is going to be hard work and guess whose shoulders it falls on to do the majority of the work? White people. As a wise Facebooker once commented:
[The system was designed for white people so white people are the only ones that can really affect reform].
It’s time for white people, especially those of use who are not racist, to stand up and remove the blinders that the old white men have placed upon our eyes. White privilege is real, it is undermining, and it will not go away until we swallow our pride, put aside our egos and admit that the system has long been rigged for white supremacy. We cannot defeat racism outwardly, we must defeat it by changing the hearts and minds; this takes time, and it all starts with acknowledging the very thing that this article discusses. We can do it though! I feel a critical mass is building. I am hopeful. Peace and love to you all!
So there you have it, my ritualistic “depreciousizing”. This blog post isn’t funny. I’d hardly call it lighthearted. It could upset someone but that’s okay, it’s an important topic and I feel it needs to be addressed. My blog is not so precious that I cannot use my soapbox to get up on my high horse and ruffle some feathers like a fox in the hen house…from time to time. My self-esteem no longer dangles from a rotten branch on my Precious Tree so please, comment on this post, send me an email, open up a discussion and try to leave your ego out of it, I dare you!