Agreements

Darkness: The only way that you can exist, is if I do too. So let’s make a deal. Let’s share humanity.

Light: I choose access to their spirit.

Darkness: (laughing) perfect. I will claim their mind.

Light: (smiling) You’ll never succeed! Love conquers all.

Darkness: Perhaps, but belief becomes fixed in the mind and the mind has the power to crush the spirit. Beliefs of shame can bring dysfunction. Beliefs of secrecy can shatter trust. The mysteries of life can easily incite quarreling among those who hold the surest of beliefs.

Light: A simple willingness can turn the tides and with practice can bring improvements.

Darkness: Maybe. But, unwillingness is safe, and protects the ego, and just a little pride can ignore injustice. Belief brings belonging while rejection can be too much to bear.

Light: These are singular souls with individual spirits. They can celebrate differences and remain connected amidst opposing views. Spirit is grounding. It has the power to unite all men. Solidarity is not bound by belief!

Darkness: Ha! Your hope is no match for the oppression of belief. A belief that gathers multitudes can also crucify all hope.

Light: (confidently) Hope cannot perish – it is one with the spirit.

Darkness: Yes, but belief can conceal with an illusion of power; belief can smother, with its blanket of certainty. A slow and steady suffocation is all it takes. Few will barely even know it’s happening. Beliefs can pacify and the complacent love comfort!

Light: Even at its most vaporous state, hope can still hold infinite power. It’s hope that moves mountains while belief may claim impasse.

Darkness: (Standing to his feet) I will lead them to an agreement that belief is the light, and belief is what will keep their spirit alive! Without it they will feel lost, cut off from the truth. (laughing) They will cling to their belief as their only hope!

Light: Hope stands alone – it’s tethered to nothing. It remains steady against all odds and stands firm in unreasonable circumstances.

Darkness: (sitting back down) Oh, I too, have hope. Hope for unwillingness, hope for hate; Hope for complicity, and hope for division. Hope is universal.

Light: My hope incites development; yours develops ignorance.

Darkness:  Growth is growth – only the direction differentiates.

Light: (moving in closer) My hope can empower the most vulnerable; A singular radiance can blind the widest deception. Books will be written about encounters of hope – stories will be published revealing hope in action.

Darkness: Those same books speak of my stories, as well, connecting humanity with resounding grief. Misery loves company and beliefs will be the tar that traps capability.

Light: Grief may unite, but hope energizes bonds. You might destroy that which is temporary, but I am in the business of leaving a legacy. Sometimes it’s good for things to fall apart – it can often identify a poor construction.

Darkness: (smirks) See, you value my presence. Admit it, I’m necessary.

Light: Without darkness, the sun cannot rise. (Places his hand on Darkness’ shoulder) But this is not about dark and light. This is about where a man derives his thinking.

Darkness: (breaking free from Light’s touch) Ah yes, free will. What a dangerous gift.

Light: (confused) Free will is empowerment! Only those who live by fear constantly see danger. What each man chooses, will be his to decide. I exist to help him along his way. You exist to lead him in your way.

Darkness: I’ve been proven to succeed!

Light: And you have chosen what is best for you. And where one finds success, another finds failure. Where one finds sorrow, another finds joy. When one finds pain, another finds pleasure.

Darkness: My control is effortless.

Light: And I will continue to send messages of light – turning up the brightness all around them. I will illuminate a path that blends logic with faith; through intelligence they will find knowledge.

Darkness: (scoffing. standing to leave) Good luck. I’ll just make enlightenment appear phony – even comical!

Light: (reclining peacefully) With all that you are planning to do, we both know the unstoppable power the will of man has when entwined with hope. And where there is a will, there most certainly is a way.

 

 

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Be The Rain

The bad news: some people will continue to clutch their beliefs, their rights, and their (limited) understandings with such a firm grasp until something actually dies. That is why we call it a “death-grip”. Something has to die before we will allow ourselves to let go. What dies may be compassion, a relationship, love, or even another human being.

The good news: there are people all around you who are learning how to be better listeners, better communicators, more flexible in their (limited) understandings, and more willing to remain united amidst diverse thinking.

The great news: you get to choose who you want to become and what tribe you want to run with.

RELIGION is the rules, regulations, ceremonies, and rituals, developed by man to create conformity and uniformity in the approach to God.

SPIRITUALITY is God’s call in your soul.

– Iyanla Vanzant

Yes, I Am Biased.

Having spent my childhood in a private, religious school, church and family, asking questions was viewed as disrespectful and rebellious. We were groomed to follow and obey – as was fitting for children in honoring their parents, or those in authority. To challenge an adult, was an act of total defiance, even when things did not make sense or seemed wrong. We were taught what to think, not how to think.

When I left my home at 18 years old I had zero tools or resources for navigating life and making smart choices for myself. This has developed my point of view into a swift distrust for people.

I hold transparency and honesty in very high regards. Things are never cut and dry, or black and white, for me. I need to ask questions and I need more evidence to gain my own, personal understanding. As I ask questions, I take note of the response of those who are being interrogated. Are they uncomfortable or irritated by my inquiry, or are they eager to share?

Being on high alert for a red flag guides my perceptions of people and situations in a heightened way than most people. I hold the pain of having been duped. My thinking has been manipulated before, and I will be damned if someone gets the opportunity to do it again.

My bias comes in when interacting with those in positions of leadership and authority. I almost automatically think they are lying, trying to fool me, or get my allegiance for their agenda. Those who speak with charisma and have no formal education, I find myself quickly discounting them and questioning their motives. Add in religious views and judgmental beliefs and I will reject the information you are presenting in a blink of an eye.

Now that I am aware of this bias, I try to be conscious of my external emotional presentation. I try to remain neutral in the physical and it helps me to be neutral internally, until I gain more evidence. I am slower to make judgments and I listen a little better, as to not jump to a conclusion based on my feelings in the moment.

I think there will be a future generation who looks back in disappointment at how we raised our children: the home life, schooling and religious affiliations that may have prevented young people to lead confident, intelligent and productive lives.

I think there will be more focus on education and a healthy family dynamic. Where the energy that used to be spent on getting our children in sports, after school kids clubs, and entertaining them with technology, will be replaced with living on less to be more involved in our children’s lives, sitting down for meals together, and engaging in more meaningful communication with them.

I think the future generations may criticize our willingness to allow ourselves to be so easily marketed and manipulated. They may say, “How could they have been so gullible?” The charismatic leaders, persuasive jargon and fallacy-laden media may be less powerful in the future. People may be more intentional with their time, not allowing affiliations, and organizations to drive their life choices.

And while living this way is beginning to take shape in this day and time, it is difficult to break free from the ways of living and being that we have held dear, and to some degree viewed as “normal” for so long. But I believe it will become easier -and that the forming of the quality of our future will be more deliberate.

XO,

M