You Are Already Whole
Who are you?
If I asked you this question, how would you respond?
Girlfriend. Dog mom. Daughter. Sister. Gardener. Southerner. White female.
Humans need labels, boxes, and a way of organization to make sense of the world around them.
Race is a construct and so is gender, and these constructs are how we make sense of life and relate to each other.
Some of our constructs are healthy. Being able to identify as a sister or a daughter or simply as a family member helps us understand that we share genetic information with some people.
It helps us understand where we come from- and belonging is very important to human beings, whether we find it in our birth families or somewhere else.
Other constructs serve as a way to oppress certain people by skin tone and sex assigned at birth.
Society very quickly assigned certain sets of qualities to the masculine and feminine, for example, leading to the misogynistic society we see today and have seen in many(but not all) civilizations for centuries.
As useful and/or damaging as our perception of the world through constructs can be, I know one thing, which is that we tend to use them in a reductionist manner.
How Can You Be More Kind To Yourself And Others?
A teacher of mine proposed this question the other day as we were studying ahimsa or the practice of non-harming.
What’s come to mind for me is to first view myself and other people as whole human beings.
We tend to immediately classify people as dangerous/not dangerous, useful/not useful, mean/kind, racist/anti-racist etc. Often based on our first impression or only knowledge about that person.
This has been coming up a lot for me in examining how we treat those who have committed crimes- yes, any crime.
Is it the “right” thing to simply reduce them to their worst moment, or can we view them as all of the moments that led them there? Can we see their attempts to rehabilitate…