Tuesday, December 28, 2010

...and all is right with the world

Well, I think this blog will just be an update on Bonny’s world. As you can see the Google ads are gone and we are back to the old format, which I like better anyway. Angels was not paid for any of the traffic generated from our website. So, the grand experiment ends with a lesson learned, always a valuable thing ;-).

My faith in the Creator’s ability to put me where I am meant to be, has once again been re-affirmed. I am living where I need to live, to best access my new job, which is a position I absolutely love, and an excellent fit for both me and my employers. The schedule for this job offers me the time necessary to continue working with homeless initiatives and street people.

I am once again enjoying the great peace of knowing my path is firm and clear before me. Thank you, all of my dear friends for your love and support during those dark months of uncertainty. Have a joyous day and I am sure I will be back to rant about something else again very soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

As Christmas approaches I am always reminded of an incident which happened many years ago. My best friend’s little boy was 7 or 8 years old, which is about the age when logic sets in and kids put aside fantasies of Tooth Fairies, Easter Bunnies and Santa Clause. My friend gently prodded the boy as to what his beliefs were on the subject of Santa. Although, she would have been happy with a simple yes or no response… her son, a very bright kid was willing to explain his position. YES, he does believe in Santa, because if Santa wasn’t real we wouldn’t know how to think him up. In philosophical terms, I would call this the “Santalogical Argument”. This is the same circular reasoning that has been used in the “Ontological Argument” for hundreds of years to prove the existence of God. Does this small event exemplify the boy’s maturity of thought or the inherent childishness of the Ontological Argument? Either way I personally love the Santalogical Argument.
Ultimately every child comes to understand that presents are put under the tree by grown-ups. Which is a good thing; because part of the Santa mythology is that good kids score better at Christmas then bad kids. So if it were all up to a magical elf, every well behaved child would get their hearts desire… up to and including a pony. I wonder if this misconception might be the root of our cultural tendancy to assign our self worth on the basis of our stuff / money…
Some people were so dis-illusioned by the discovery of the Santa myth that they refuse to “lie” to their own kids. What they don’t realize is that human beings have so little time to be purely innocent in our thinking. While we can continue to image fairies and elves… there is only a small window of time when our brains will allow us to truly believe. The time to be honest with your child (in this, as in all things) is when they ask the question. If a child is old enough to ask the question (be sure to clarify the question) they are ready to handle the answer. And if you didn’t like the way your parents dealt with the situation, resolve to handle it better for your children.
I remember how I found out about the Santa Myth and I would like to share that story with you here. At the age of 4 or 5, I was standing on a chair at the kitchen table while my Grandma wrapped Christmas presents. She handed me a card and told me to print, “to Grandpa… love Santa”. My Grandpa died before my 6th birthday, but I knew my alphabet so I have to assume age 4 or 5. I asked my Grandma if Santa if would be mad that we were signing his name. And she explained to me that, Santa is the spirit of giving that we all feel at Christmas time… so we are all Santa, even little kids like me. In ten minutes I went from believing in a generous magical being who spread joy at Christmas; to having that power for myself.

Whether it is God or Santa (and I paraphrase here), for the nonbeliever no proof is enough… for the believer no proof is necessary. Have a very HAPPY HOLIDAY… whatever you believe.

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Dead Indian

History is written by the victor. I don’t know who said that, but it seems to carry some truth. Then again, who the victor was can be open to interpretation. There are parts of the U.S.A. where people believe, they won the war of 1812 lol. Empirical truth is something that is absolute, what happened, happened, what is, is; but too often lines are blurred and obscured by the record keeper’s particular perspective. Then for generations to come, we are misled by a semi-truth.

On Saturday night I was watching a movie on APTN (aboriginal people’s television network). The movie was titled “One Dead Indian”… a docu-drama about the shooting death of Dudley George during the 1995 occupation (reclamation) at Ipperwash Provincial Park in Ontario. The thing that made this movie so wonderful was an astounding commitment to truth; there were no real heroes or villains. Although I kept wishing everyone in this situation would just shut up and listen to each other… ignorance is a sad reality of life. In this movie we see how people are motivated; action, reaction, fear, frustration… all playing into the unfolding of events. Nothing in this movie was exaggerated or whitewashed. The interactions between the OPP and the Native activists are very credible performances. Even the trial’s outcome strikes a blow for reason over revenge. I won’t go into the details of the movie because I strongly urge you all to rent it, borrow it from the library or watch it next time it plays on television. This whole movie is a tribute to how history should be recorded.

The trouble with info-tainment/docu-dramas is difficulty in holding audience's attention while respecting the truth of the situation or events. By Bruce Willis blockbuster standards, “One Dead Indian” was not so much entertainment. And fortunately by Harpo Productions standards “One Dead Indian” was not nearly so boring in its quest for authenticity as Beloved. From the occupation of Ipperwash, through the inquest into the shooting; Dudley Georges story took, 9 YEARS… the human anguish of justice delayed (or worse denied) could never be adequately portrayed in book or movie.

It is for us to place ourselves emotionally into another’s (life, situation, shoes) to even begin to understand and use that understanding to create a better world. Empathy maybe one of the most important emotions we can cultivate as human beings. Imagine how much better everything would be if everyone just tried to understand each other. Once we understand a person it is so easy to accept them, possibly even respect them. And isn’t that what we all want, just to be accepted and respected for who we are?