‘Aint’ aint a word…

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I have had many awesome work colleagues throughout the years.  Most of whom should be richly rewarded for having worked with me so gracefully (I put in ‘good karma’ points for all of you!).

 

One colleague in particular comes to mind these days.  She of humble infinite wisdom – although I believe she would accept the ‘humble’ part, I feel sure that she would ascribe her ‘wisdom’ to anything other than herself.  But, she IS so wise.  She knows what to say, and just when to say it.  Even if you do not want to hear it, she confidently speaks what you need to hear anyway, and in such a way that you are thankful to receive the message.

 

I have been fortunate to know one other person like this in my life.  They are both from an intersecting life place.  They both know each other.  They are both women .  Their similarities end about there.  One of them is very practical and pragmatic, the other is far more spiritual and mystical with her messages.

 

It is the practical woman who has been on my mind.

 

When I would bemoan some seemingly critical work decision/process/event etc to her, while trying to place my appropriate political chess pieces on the work board to best suit my group/employee/department, this woman would patiently listen to me.  And she really listened: eye contact, nodding, asking reflective questions.

At one of these moments, when I was seeking her advice,

she replied, “You know, aint none of us getting out of this one alive, so you go ahead and make the best decision you can today.”

 

That has been a truth bomb for me.

 

Aint none of us getting out of this one alive – do the best you can today

 

Which then leads me to thinking about what is happening with mass shootings, bombings, trolls, outrage memes, and the extreme ridicule of our political system.

 

I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of ideology supported after-life rewards.  I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of fear and hate.  I know that some of the extremism is coming from a place of comfort with debasement due to anonymity.

 

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that in the thousands of years of modern human development, we continue to miss the mark in understanding and nurturing a way of communication beyond a fear-based disenfranchised model?

 

Or, perhaps, as humans, the “fight or flight” instinct is too strong for us to move beyond.

 

Don’t hate me – or, do hate me…  whatevs… Isn’t it alarming that here we sit with all of our insights into science, space, human emotion, power of love and positive thinking, and yet we continue to be subject to very base instincts?  I am not suggesting that becoming emotionless robots is the answer.  I am suggesting that having the ability to live by “aint none of us getting out of this one alive – do the best you can today” mentality is the complete opposite of shame and blame fear mongering, and I am wondering why we have not made more strides towards better understanding, better nurturing, better support, better respect, better acceptance and better love.

 

Can collective humans even do that? 

 

Does it truly begin by loving your family and friends?

 

Love, Ms Herisme xo

 

ps. I am well aware of the irony that I am not using my birth certificate name on this blog

Feet Bar

My sweet little bear is quickly becoming a sweet middle bear on his way to being a sweet big bear.

Through the precious months and years while he was learning to speak, he referred to himself as, “Momma, I you feet bar” = “Mommy, I am your sweet bear.”

So sweet.

So gentle.

So darling and delicious, just like all of our sweet babes.

 

And, like all of our sweet babies, he is growing up in this world, in this country, in this state, at this time in history.

All times in history have had their challenges, I am aware of that.  But, I am not handing over the walking talking embodiment of my heart and soul to those times.  I fought to bring this person into this world at this time.

Now is the time I dig deeper into the explanations of how and why others, and potentially he, will be treated very differently from others.  I have to explain about privilege and discrimination, hate and fear.

 

My son is mixed race.

 

I am not.  I am white, white, white, Northern European, pale fleshy white lady of whiteness.

 

When I was growing up, I prayed that I would wake up as a Native American with long glossy straight black hair, proud posture, magnificent history.  I prayed that I would wake up so Jewish that I could speak fluent Hebrew and dream about wearing a tight scarf on my head.  I prayed that I would wake up Italian, African American, Hungarian, Russian, really anything with deep rich cultural history, languages and traditions.

 

When I was growing up, my grandparents were very racist, classist and bigoted.

 

My father (their son-in-law), made it a high priority that we children all understood the evils of racism, classism, and discrimination of any kind.

 

I grew up believing that my generation was an enlightened one – one that believed, truly believed and lived the belief, that all HUMANS are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Yet, during my adult professional life, I have been professionally chastised for interviewing “those sorts of people,” for positions considered prominent and customer service oriented.  It took me hours to figure out that I was being told not to interview anyone who wasn’t white-skinned.  It took my perplexed confiding in a very patient dark-skinned woman, whom I admired, and her willingness to endure and enlighten my naïve altruistic soul.  Once she said the words, “You’re being told not to interview black people.  That is how Gayle operates.  She is a good businesswoman and knows that if you put a black person in those positions, we will lose business.  That’s the reality of this area and these customers. But, she isn’t allowed to say that you can’t hire black people, so she refers to us as ‘those people,’ which stops the lawsuits because that could mean anything”

 

This incident was in our country, not that long ago.

FOR REALSIES

WTeverlovin’F

 

The recent publicized incidents in the national news, are horrid grim reminders that outside of my little bubble existence, racism and discrimination, are rampant.

 

Having lived in, and traveled to, a few places around the world, I have been witness to modern-day slavery as well as cultural/economic/racial/religious discrimination.  All of it is disgusting and horrific.  In my world of Montessori school, karate lessons, swimming at the lake, and square foot gardening with my beautiful, mixed-race, light brown-haired, white-skinned boy, it is so easy to pretend that none of this exists in my world.

 

The real horror is in recognizing that all of these things do exist in my world, and as an unengaged bystander, I am a huge part of the problem.

 

And so begins the discussions with Mr8, so that he is aware and engaged.  His buddies come in all colors, all religions, all genders…

 

We have to turn that learned

deep rooted fearful awful human evil lure to be

CRUEL

into

Compassion, Respect, Understanding, Empathy, Love.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Every Day

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When I drive past the overly thin man relentlessly walking the streets downtown with his backpack and uncomfortable smile on, my stomach turns and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I walk past the local mission service house with desperate people loitering outside, my stomach turns and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I park in front of the therapist’s office, next to one of your series of attorneys’ offices, surrounded by housing for people on permanent mental illness disability, standing in their doorways, staring at cars and people or off into vacant space, my stomach turns for you and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I am faced with the reality of our son’s lacking education as a result of your bad behavior, my stomach turns for him and my heart breaks for him.

 

When I am staring at my financial reality as a result of my misplaced trust in you, my stomach turns for our son and me, and my heart breaks for our son and me.

 

Yet, every day I awaken with a new sense of hope for our son’s and my future.

 

Every day, I am able to see grace and beauty and potential.

 

Every day, I can feel our son and myself getting stronger and more confident.

 

Every day, I am blessed with being surrounded by the support of my family, friends and surrounding communities.

 

Every day, I wonder at the miracles and tragedies all around us.

 

Every day, I am grateful for all of the little moments of happiness,hard work, and challenges. 

 

Even on days when I wonder how we can possibly get through any of this, I am grateful.  Painfully heartbroken and sad, but grateful.

 

Because all of these things mean that we are alive and full of love.

 

This is an amazing, strange, weird, awesome life. 

 

I pray that all of us can do this gift some justice.

 

Love, Ms Herisme xo