I was okay until I wasn’t. As I was rushed to emergency I stared at the ambulance ceiling, scared & confused. I thought I’d had the flu yet a week in intensive care later, I was treated for kidney & blood infections. My blood had become poisoned.
Fast forward. I’ve composed this post to you a million times in my head while in my hospital bed (that’s me above). Now that I’m out & mostly recovered I can finally settle in to write it.
I have a phobia of needles. I’ve been known to pass out when having one. That’s why when the male nurse startled me awake in the middle of the night saying he had to give me one, I was on full alert. I didn’t understand why & told him no 3 times.
He ignored me & lifted up my hospital gown to give me the injection in my stomach. On his way out he chuckled & said ‘next time I’ll have to sneak up on you.’
I spent the rest of the night humiliated & terrified. I didn’t press the call button for fear he’d answer, rather I’d wait until I could see another nurse walking by & I’d ask her for help.
We’ve lost our way in the world.
This is a small example. Zoom out & sexism, gender based violence, racism, ageism, homophobia, discrimination against people with disabilities, poverty & environmental issues are all rampant. At times it seems like we’re headed nowhere good. The distance between us growing. Violence is often the answer, no matter the question.
And yet …
Let’s find a new path
We can make choices. We have agency. Beauty & kindness exist in parallel to the violence & discrimination. It’s up to us to make a difference & increase the former while addressing the latter.
As a professional trainer, I create workshops using praxis, which simply means continuously alternating between reflection & action. Praxis can also be a path to effective social change.
Reflection (thinking, theory) + Action (practice, application) = Praxis
One without the other (action & reflection) is ineffective & inefficient.
Reflection without action is unapplied learning. Learning doesn’t leave the room.
Action without reflection is impulsive, reactionary & risky. It’s a flurry of go go go, do do do without any thought.
This is the first of 3 posts. Next week is a post on reflection; some tips on how to get your mind around issues like sexism, racism & homophobia. The third one will be how to take action.
Tidbits to ponder when tackling tough issues
In the meantime here are some tidbits to ponder when thinking about stirring, controversial topics. Think of them as ways to frame your thoughts. Because it’s tough & tender to delve into:
- Know that we’re all in this together, even though the dividing lines can seem impenetrable.
Sunlight looks a little different on this wall
than it does on that wall
and a lot different on this other one,
but it is still one light. ~ Rumi
- Learn from the queen of vulnerability, Brene Brown at home in Texas & dealing with the massive flooding says watch your judgment, don’t diminish people & aim to lift everyone up
- Expect to make mistakes. It’s inevitable, we’ll put our foot in our mouth, say the wrong thing, use the wrong words, talk when we should listen, listen when we should talk. Like this funny example to do with a box of chocolates apologize, learn & move on.
- Figure out the difference between haters & constructive criticism. Leave the former behind & welcome the latter.
In short the world can suck. It’s easy to get discouraged &/or overwhelmed.
But I have a better plan. Wrap your head around the tidbits above (we’re all in this together, watch your judgment, don’t diminish, life people up & figure out the difference between haters & constructive criticizers) & gird your loins for next week when I share some tips on how to reflect on this world gone mad in order to tackle tough issues like racism, sexism etc.
Now please excuse me as I edit the letter I’m writing to the hospital about my incident with the nurse.