When you Google the word “change” and ask for images, you get pictures of butterflies. These miraculous creatures undergo a metamorphosis that boggles the mind, from a caterpillar to pupa to butterfly. Change implies that we are many things at once and there are not clear boundaries. Being in flux means that we hold different viewpoints, and some that are in conflict. We are not whole because we can not be contained. Our edges seep between being a man/woman, natural/synthetic, right/left, living and dying…the list goes on.
Anyone who thinks they are one thing are in for a big surprise, because someone they know and care about will not fit in their limiting bucket or be easily categorized by their “sorting hat.” Then a break comes, either a worldview is cracked or the person is cast out. So many dramas follow this storyline and arc, a few of my favorites follow:
- Ruth Coker Burts was a 20 year old mother in Arkansas when she began taking care of AIDS patients who were abandoned by their parents. Her story on NPR is here.
- Steve Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, whom he said, “were my parents 1,000%.” The artist Banksy saw the irony here when people began calling to not allow Syrian refugees into America –but – the revered American innovator Jobs was the biological son of a Syrian immigrant. (Photo to right of Banksy’s art work.)
- In a recent video, individuals talk about people/countries they don’t like. Then they do the swab and spit DNA test and shocker (!) all find out that they are descended from the group they dislike. The video can be seen here called a “DNA Journey.” My favorite part is when one lady says it should be compulsory because when you realize you are all related what is there to fight about? Well, families know very well there is always a reason…
One of my favorite metaphors is about the snake shedding its skin. In order to grow larger, the skin must be sloughed off, but in the middle of the process, the snake is blind and helpless. To me it is very apt for the feeling of change, the helpless liminal moment. Exercise your muscles in remaining an ambidextrous mind, a blurrer of boundaries and free-thinker. Make a list of each of these questions and then find a reason it is wrong:
- I would never
- I can’t
- It is wrong to
- I hate it when
- I can’t understand why
- The world is
- People are
Ex. I would never kill a wild animal, but then again I do eat meat so I do kill animals.
Uncomfortable, right? But worth thinking about to understand the complexity of ourselves and the world around us.