Thursday, January 24, 2019

Sowing Seeds of Otherness

Sowing Seeds of Otherness

Otherness is defined by Merrium-Webster as 1the quality or state of being other or different
2something that is other or different.

   “ I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.Nelson Mandala

Ephesians 4:31-32 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive                                          one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done."
I am in hope that as we in this nation awaken more to the understanding of systemic racism and the oppression of woman, that we would not forget that hatred begets hatred.  There is much in the history of this country that is tainted with White Eurocentric privilege and oppression and yet there is also much in its history that is redemptive and allowed for more freedoms than many previous societies.   When  I look at all the unrest with the status quo of unjust systems I see with expectation . Change is good. Boldness to speak up and out is good. Courage to go and stand firm in seeking justice is a God centered value.

BUT when is it ever beneficial for the oppressed to turn and become the oppressor? When is it healthy for those who have been the “other’ to sow seeds of otherness? I cannot help but simply peer back only a short while ago to Rwanda. Genocide. The oppressed gaining power to then wield it in the form of a Machete. Words beginning the easy slip into a murderess mob. Words of otherness, words of hate sowed and eventually blown up into full hatred and a loss of sight for humanity. The very thing those who had been oppressed desired; to be counted worthy and equal. 

My heart is sad to witness bitterness and such vitriol being spoken and sent out into the internet. There has and remains injustice and systems that are broken. Man, by nature tends towards corruption even in the noblest of intentions but we individually and collectively must begin to learn from the past. Let us monitor our words. Can we ever justify what we are spewing out even if we were once on the receiving end of it?  Has change ever come about through anger and hate? Love and relationship is the most effective tool. Conversations, breaking bread with our enemies, finding our commonalities.To find points of sameness does not negate or say the pain caused in the first place is invalidated.To  give voice to injustice without degrading your “opponent’ is life giving. It is in fact a beginning of healing for those who have been treated as other. 

I look often to Jesus as my model, who does not  make distinctions about external differences rather looks to the heart. He who came in a lowly manner to serve and save humanity. He called out inequality in the pharisees yet invites all to partake in learning to love God and one another through relationship with him.
I often fall short of loving but hope to seek to be purposeful in not hating or creating division. And I beg forgiveness where I have explicitly or through complicity allowed injustice to stand and ask those who have been hurt to not hate me but come and talk about it. Let us all invite those we deem as other into our spaces and sow seeds of forgiveness, seeds of belonging, seeds of hope instead of otherness.

Who is my enemy?
by Dale cupo

 So disheartening,
 When the world still sings
"You are the bad guy", its they verses we.
 But really Who is our enemy?
We need to cease our theorizing
And stop our constant compartmentalizing.
Color, creed, religion, sexuality not our Foe.
We say yes we understand but our actions say we're slow.
 When we get right to it we often make a wedge
Using Democrat, Republican, Libertarian as a hedge,
Or even more division using religion
To designate wanted and unwanted based on type of sin.
All fall short of the created intent.
All have need to turn and repent.
Entering in as partners against hate,
Stop using each other as an escape.
 Our call as Gods children to reach out and love,
The many, lost, lonely, addicted and unloved.
Partner with those who we call nemesis,
Come together and stop the arrogance.
With new vision see all who in desperation and destitution cry.
We are in truth each an ally.
The enemy is that which separates and divides.

No comments:

Post a Comment