WOW. I wonder what she would think about the title. LOL.
As a child, I accepted that my Mother would talk to everyone: store clerks, waitresses, bus drivers, etc., as if she knew them. As a teen, I was learning the isolationism and the fear of “other” so I was often embarrassed by her willingness to befriend another human being. Her invitation to people, welcoming them into conversation, was out of place in the world that was becoming ever more fast paced and selective.
Now, especially after my time at Standing Rock, I am realizing she was teaching me to be human, by example – even though I fought it with ignorance and fear.
At Standing Rock one of the sweetest principals shared by Native people was to greet each person as a human being. There is much implied goodness in that. Too often we walk into a room filled with people and do not acknowledge that anyone is there. It is time, my friends, to unlearn the fear of “other”.
My Mom had it right. She was kind to people. Growing up “poor” and mistreated as an immigrant, she resisted doing the same to people that she met. I now look back with pride, smiling to myself as I catch a bit of her in me. Sometimes I find myself falling back on little sayings she used, full of humor and wit. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.
Of course, she had a line she would often say and I witnessed the bite of it throughout my life: “I am as good as gold, but don’t cross me.” A little bit of salt came with the sugar. A bit of protection came with transparency. I suppose that kind of discernment will be needed until we all remember the simple truth: we are one people, one planet. My Mother knew this; she just didn’t have the words for it.
This is the musing that gave way to this post: It is time we counter the fear of other with transparency. Hearts of love show your selves. We got this.
It will be nearly two years since she has been gone. I am still learning, I am still grateful, recognizing this eternal bond of love.