Those I know who have taken it have found it an astonishing experience. We don't always know what prejudices we may hold. Prejudice, division into "us" and the "other" begins at the very beginning, becomes so much a part of us we may not even know it is there. That is especially true for those of us who have enjoyed the "privilege" of being white.
I think of George Bush today and can actually feel sorry for him. Imagine having Barbara Bush for your mother. He was not allowed to grieve the death of his little sister. He had to hold his feelings in more and more. He let them out by torturing frogs. Maybe he didn't even want to go to Yale, but it was expected and he had an easy in. He will now, most likely, go down in history as the worst president ever, and yet, maybe someone had to be that person, to give us Barack Obama, our first Black president.
We can't pull events out separately and judge them. China pushed the Dalai Lama out of Tibet. It means we have more access to him.
I think our purpose here is to absorb all that comes like a rolling ball gathering and gathering, acknowledging that a piece of me is this and a piece of me is that. I could be an Israeli, a Palestinian, a terrorist, a peacemaker. All of this lives in me, because all of this on this planet is part of me. I believe that allowing more movement and acceptance in my own body gives me the peace I need to be more accepting of others and their impact on me.
I know the difficulties around territory on a personal level. We moved here over thirty years ago. I was 28, soon to be 29. Our neighbors came to us, wanting us to know the history and politics of the neighborhood. A marina was intended to go in very near us, a huge development. We were told about the value of the marsh, and also, the importance of private rights. Those who could sell to the marina people would make a great deal of money. Did we have the right to block it? Well, we did, and there is a marsh and Tam Junction is a pretty disgusting mess and we like it that way, but new people move in and they want to make this into suburbia and so we go through it with them. I realize now I am ten years older than some of those I saw as "old" at the time. Our local magazine has a big article on the disagreements over the trees in this area, the lawsuits and arguing and then they conclude maybe there is something else going on . I see that we are all territorial. We, who have lived longer, can give a history of place. We want that honored. The new, the young, are involved in raising their children. Meanwhile we share a sewage system, water system, garbage collection, and park maintenance.
A friend of mine used her own money and time to plant some flowers in one of the open areas around here. People were furious. They didn't want a manicured look. I was caught between. These issues are petty, but it allows me to understand why resolution in the Middle East is so complex. I am talking about a few years, about silly things. We are talking of thousand of years, thousands of injustices on every side.
There is a place though where we may need to let go, and not let go so as to fall apart, or collapse, but so as to have more leeway in the breath, and, in that, in how the situation might be viewed, in how we perceive.
May this be so, each moment, each day, in each individual and personal world!