“We are being shaken to our cores.”
Karen Curry Parker, Human Design author
“Know better, do better.”
Robert Hatch, business coach talking about prejudice
“Things are not always as they appear.
This experience is a gift that’s slowly opening.”
Anne Reader Heck, author recovering brilliantly from a recently shattered femur.
These are just a few of the ideas I’ve read this month that have grabbed my attention. As soon as I read each one, I knew they were messages from the Divine for me.
I write them here in case they also resonate with you.
On my Facebook page, I’ve shared several other thought provoking posts from others this month (more than I usually do) and sent lots of hearts and thumbs up as I’ve read what others have posted. I continue to pray for all of us and every country each night as I’m waiting for sleep.
One of my Facebook shares was a shocking video showing how quickly children can be guided into prejudice and discrimination. As part of an experiment, what appears to be a third grade class from the 1950’s was directed by their teacher to discriminate against their brown eyed classmates one day.
The next day she reversed it and told them all that the brown eyed kids were now the smart ones, the favored ones, and the blue eyed kids were now the bottom of the class and couldn’t use the drinking fountain.
Watch the end to see what happens – it was sad and then awesome! I wish my grandkids could have this experience and that all schools did this for every year level, however that would never be allowed now. If you missed this old video – I’m hoping you can watch it here. It’s also on my FB home page.
During this past month I’ve continued to examine the shadow side of myself. How could I not with all that’s going on?
All our fears, angers, and uncertainties are rising up for us to examine in the Light of Now, individually, as a country, and a world community. We can no longer hide from the patterns we’ve been locked into for centuries, justify misguided actions, or ignore that things are drastically different.
When I asked my Records recently how we can change discrimination of all types, I thought their answer was going to be through better education of children. No, that’s not where they directed me.
Instead, they reminded me of a few pivotal moments on a very hot day in the late 1950’s when I was about 7 to 9 yrs old. Standing outside in our front yard, I witnessed my mother talking very loudly to our two new Yemini yard “boys” we called them, but they were young men. (I was born and raised in a small American oil company town in Saudi Arabia where people of many different nationalities worked.)
In a flash, I remembered the whole incident.
My mother was an intelligent, motivated woman who worked cleaning homes to put herself through Michigan State in the 1940’s. She’d grown up dirt poor on a farm and worked hard to create the glamorous big city life she craved. Unfortunately, she also happened to be very prejudiced against people of color, and so much more.
Even at that young age, it was so clear to me that it did no good to speak more loudly to someone just because they couldn’t understand your language.
I could tell that her yelling immediately shut down the small grasp of English these men had. Being horse mad at the time, they reminded me of wild Arab horses brought off the desert straight into town where everything was strange – the houses with peaked roofs, the streets paved with melting asphalt, the sidewalks, the trees and green lawns, the white people in their strange clothes, especially the white women who in the summer heat wore short sleeved blouses and skirts that showed their legs, who didn’t cover their hair let alone their faces.
I recalled the fear in the deep brown eyes of these men and the pain I felt for them and my mother. I was deeply ashamed of her behavior and confused why she, as an adult, couldn’t see that she was making a challenging situation even worse.
Was she happy with their work when they left? I have no idea. I don’t even remember if they ever came back. I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked to work for somebody else!
This is my first memory of realizing that adults aren’t always and automatically right and my first experience of prejudice. It left a bad feeling in my heart that I never forgot.
Over several days, as this vivid memory kept coming back to haunt me again and again, I had an epiphany – something else was going on that I hadn’t understood at the time.
My mother, who’d married my father and moved from Detroit to Saudi a few years before, was actually terrified as she tried to direct these two men on what to do in our yard. Yes, they looked rough, probably didn’t smell great either, and were certainly already nervous. And yet they were so eager to work, to please, so they could earn a little bit of money.
Instead of feeling compassion for them, my Mother reacted with fear of the unknown. She could have talked to them quietly and slowly, gently pointing out what needed to be done. She could have brought them water. Instead she yelled and made big, sharp gestures. She became a very scary woman! She did this because she too was just as scared as they were!
Fear is a frightening state. And yet it often offers me opportunities to move into love and achieve soul growth. I firmly believe that when you love, you let go of fear. I’m grateful for the many growth opportunities fear has brought me in this lifetime. Understanding my mother better as an adult, I forgive her and thank her for being a vivid example of how not to act.
I pondered more, remembered more.
When I was growing up many Americans called Arab men ragheads because of the cloth headdress Arab men wear. (They also called them yahoos. So I was very surprised years ago when yahoo.com came out in competition to aol.com.)
I easily recall derogatory terms for Pakistanis, Italians, Spanish, Irish, and Polish people as part of the general vocabulary of the town. Nobody seemed to think it was racist, let alone impolite to use these words. Maybe you had these experiences too?
Then I remembered my Dad used to tell stories about street fights when he was a kid in his home town of Manchester, NH – a short, half French, half Irish boy who didn’t belong to either nationality. These two groups, divided by the railroad tracks would engage in brutal turf wars, each thinking they were the best and the others were dirt.
I remember wondering why French and Irish boys would fight. Weren’t they all devout Catholics too, like us? While I knew that in America black and white people lashed out against each other, it seemed to me at the time that the French Irish were the same color and so would have no reason to hate. Little did I understand then how deep these patterns run.
The ray of hope my Records brought to me with the memory of this sad incident and many more about my mother that came flooding back to me, is that it is possible for children to recognize that prejudice and discrimination is not helpful, not something to emulate, even when it’s what they’re taught. Instead they can have a natural empathy and loving compassion for all life, inspired by their souls. Let’s step forward and help them by our loving example.
In my vision children, Americans and from all nations, become our teachers. These wayshowers refuse to follow in the footsteps and narrow vision of their parents or their culture. They see how essential it is to respect and honor everyone. I believe that what we can conceive can happen when enough people hold the same vision. I pray to be guided how to do my part for this change. Will you join me in my vision of peace, empathy, and mutual appreciation where people are motivated to act from love, not by fear?
I hope this Akashic Inspiration resonated with you and inspires you to look at your upbringing and how it shaped you. Certainly major conflicts because of race, gender, religion, politics, sexual orientation, social class, (even accents – my personal weakness) and more are all percolating in some way within us all. These issues didn’t begin this year; they have been part of the human race since the beginning of time!
I’d love to hear your comments about your pivotal childhood experiences that formed the person you are today!
Till next time,
Radiance and Love –
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I really enjoyed that. I remember some of my relatives using the N word. And also a negative term for Italians. My father however, did tell me never to call black people that name. He said we were all the same.
Wow, Linda – you Dad was an enlightened fellow for the time! Thanks for sharing your memory.
Thank you for sharing that memory, Sandra; it must have felt jarring to watch and listen to her behaving so aggressively, out of fear. (I do recall that she had other, probably also fear-based habits as well.)
My jarring memory was while walking with our grandmother. After we met and exchanged hellos with a very kind man on the street, she exclaimed, “Why, he was right nice for a %!@#&.” I think I was quite young, yet I remember feeling shocked by what she said.
Who knows? Maybe experiencing such prejudice from a care-giver helped us to internally question its source, and decide not to follow suit.. It’s odd, because I have only scattered memories from my early childhood, with most related to photos. That her comment has stuck so indelibly suggests that it was an eye-opener, or maybe an empathy-opener.
Hello Carla in Queensland, Australia! Thank you for sharing your childhood memory of a disconnect between you and your mother about race. It encourages me to hear from you and others that perhaps there has been a quiet wellspring of revolt against the prejudices of our parents that is more widespread than we have perhaps realized. Children are very smart. Their hearts know when something is wrong. Love to you – Sandra
Thank you for sharing this wonderfully thoughtful post. Growing up in California, I was immersed in many cultures. Thankfully my parents taught me that people should be judged by their hearts and character, not race or anything else. I did see some prejudice around me. I am most saddened by the history that I was taught in school that whitewashed everything. I am now taking the time to both learn and grieve. We must make the future better. Much love to you Sandra!
How wonderful Christy that you too grew up with access to a variety of cultures. Sounds like your folks were pretty enlightened. Makes my heart happy for you. Yes I still remember when I found out that the white soldiers and settlers wrote the history books about the Indians from their point of view – not historical at all. We do have to do better. Hugs back to you.
love this post! Everything going on in our world is indeed a reflection of the shadow of this country and also each one of us, so doing our own inner work matters, as does taking action in the world to help clear that collective energy. I love your vision and will hold it, along with more & more adults parenting children in ways that nurture rather than hurt. Thanks for this today!
Thanks, Louisa, for reading my post and taking the time to add your supportive comment. It means a lot to me because these “shadow” topics are not easy for me to write. Have to reach deep. Thank you for joining me in my vision!