This is the kind of thing you never want to think about. You never want to take that good, hard look at yourself and ask if you’re becoming an unkind person.
As a woman with skin that is too weird to be white, but too pale to be considered truly Native American, I’ve faced a lot of pressure from my people and from white people to basically “pick a side.” To change myself in a way that will make it clearer what I am, make it easier to be put into a category. To be quantified and found wanting, like blood is used by the USA government.
Whenever I hear someone say, “I’ll send you details later.” Those simple words evoke one of my many painful bittersweet childhood coming of age moments. We all have them.
My first grade teacher was beautiful and looked a lot like a younger version of the movie star Sofia Loren. Fresh out of the Peace Corps, she, like so many others of her generation, was out to save the world and definitely made a difference. I can still picture her in her tight pencil skirt and beautiful black hair like my mama’s.
It’s hard to be a human. It really is. It’s easy to be a homo sapien, but it’s hard to be a human. Being a human requires so much more than—sadly—we are often able to give. Being human requires remembering our birth. We probably can’t claim to remember our actual birth... a crying little baby coming into the air of this world and out of the warm womb of our mother longing to be held next to the warmth of the same body in which our human form was created. We can take a moment and use our imaginations to remember our birth...
She lowers her copy of 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' and sees I am daunted, lost, nervous, and facing the spiky shrew that is my own pride. She smiles at me. It is the direct look-you-in-the-eyes sort of smile, which, in a single moment says; I see you. I know you.
Have you ever felt like if it wasn’t for you, a lot of things would go wrong? How about feeling you have to do it because nobody else would do it? Or maybe you’re the universal psychologists, does everybody come to you for advice but never ask you how you’re feeling? Well I’m here to say me too.
One of the reasons why people don't like their jobs, their relationships, or their lives in general is that they don't feel like they are appreciated. Today's a pretty fast-paced world. We often forget to show our appreciation for people around us. When we do decide to show our appreciation, there can be a bit of awkwardness. Sometimes we don't know how to show our appreciation for others, and then there are times when the receiver of the appreciation doesn't know how to react.
The things we value most in life stem from a place of happiness, a past time that was so wonderful we hold onto with a smell or a specific color or a song that'll help us to remember those happy moments. We carry on family traditions because in those moments we were at our happiest. Those treasured moments that are rooted deep in your soul, they're weighted in your heart and will forever be there like a stuck anchor on a ship.
Anyone with even an ounce of integrity would know a thing or two about the challenges that the world faces today. In the so-called Anthropocene age where human activity is a forceful influence on climate and the environment, we are witness to a massive and ballooning global population, rapid and unprecedented global climate change, obscene levels of consumption, production, and waste, the sixth great mass extinction and staggering losses to biodiversity, widescale eradication of cultures and languages and their wisdoms, and the constant threat of warfare between nations, violence within communities, a widening gap between rich and poor wherever you look, and diseases that resist our best efforts.
We know of the people that we see on the streets that have been thrown away, by choice or circumstance. There are also throwaway people much closer to you, maybe in your very own home. These throwaway people can be given this label because we have mentally thrown them away. These people are isolated, just like the people you see on street corners or lurking in the dark shadows of the night.