How did I get here?
I ask this question in an earlier post. If I am being honest, I ask it nearly every day. I find it an immensely important question amidst the chaos of living in 21st century Western culture.
Daily, we are pummeled by opinions, listicles, commentary, social media, news. All too often, the strife we encounter in the cauldron of opinion arises from various sides of an argument, conversation, or debate staking firmly to their given position. We see this manifest in politics, religion, and personal relationships, even. Much energy is spent defending one’s position while lobbing critique at another – the “other”.
Two Dr. Seuss stories from childhood come to mind – The Sneetches and The Butter Battle Book. In both stories, opposing sides are arrogantly convinced of their rightness – leading to an arms race in The Butter Battle Book and socio-economic exploitation in The Sneetches. A challenge both the Yooks/Zooks and Starbelly/Plainbelly Sneetches face is an absolute commitment to their cultural values and belief systems to the detriment of others – and to their respective economic and ecological systems.
Important questions arise from these stories:
How often do we spend time in the grey space between opinions or deeply held beliefs seeking to understand how and why someone got to where they did on a given topic?
More directly, do we think about how we, ourselves, got to where we are?
Do we engage in retrospective thought? Do we have time? Do we make time?
It is so easy to ingest endless amounts of information while barreling ahead on a linear trajectory, forgetting to look beside, above, around, and behind oneself at the marvels and challenges of life.
The goal of my writing is to traffic in the grey spaces…ask questions…think differently about topics. Sometimes we may weigh in on pressing issues of the day, but I sincerely believe there is a compelling need to rethink how we see the world and interact with it – and, consequently, each other.