I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.
~ Terence circa 170BC
I stumbled upon this. My takeaway is… okay, here’s an aside. ‘Takeaway’ refers to ‘lesson learnt’ or ‘light-bulb moment’ – a term which is rather common in therapeutic circles in Sydney.
So my takeaway from this video is that we, no matter the sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, religious beliefs, nationality, age, talents and abilities, are the same. We are all capable of the horror some have inflicted, or the love bestowed, or the pain suffered. We are the same in our humanness.
I recall the exuberant youth I was, die-hard feminist exclaiming to a classroom that ‘all men are potential rapists’ – to parrot the words of a renowned radical feminist whose name escapes me now. Marilyn French?
Now, before you get all a-fluster, upset or angry, hear me out. Firstly, that statement does not suggest that women can’t or won’t. Further, that statement was made in the context of socio-political and legal discourses. The legal definition, at least in Australia, for ‘rape’ is such that only a male person can do so… so yes, the penetration of Y into X. So, the ‘potential’ part refers to the capability by reason, in this instance, of the male anatomy. It does not suggest probability nor is it definitive. Okay, If you are to return to the provocative statement, can you see what I was referring to? Thirdly, then the corollary was perceived as some to say that ‘all women are potential victims”. Again, true if taken at face value. Again, it doesn’t mean men can’t or aren’t.
And how did I get here? Oh right, we all as human beings have the potential to inflict pain, to be cruel, to be selfish… Our shadow follow us. And so does our light. We have the potential for kindness, compassion, generosity, love…
This is humbling. I keep reminding myself in moments of righteous indignance, of snobbish intelligence, of wallowing sadness,… that we are the same.
I know what I can be, and I know who I am.
We are each on our own journey 🙂 What do you make of this quote or even Maya Angelou’s video?
In light and shadow,
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