Friday, December 9, 2016

Ally Ally Oops

Stating out loud that you are an ally is a sure-fire way to make yourself look like a complete hypocrite. If you are anything like me, at some point in your allyship, you will make a terrible mistake, possibly publicly, that will make it look like you are not an ally at all, and truthfully in that moment we really aren’t. We will have to be bigger than that moment. We will have to own it and learn from it and realize that it is all a part of the process of making life in this world more equitable for all.  

This is a hard thing to parse, because this type of failure is particularly hard on our egos, and because to successfully move on from this place, we will have to do some serious self-auditing, looking for thoughts that are our own, and thoughts that we have absorbed that we need to challenge, update, reprogram or altogether delete.

This world tries to possess us all, with its overbearing realities demanding our immediate attention, sweeping us along in a tide that leaves little room for questioning or objecting, but to be an ally of any kind requires questioning of the very fabric of life and civilization itself. It requires questioning systems, institutions, authorities, and most especially our own self-motivations.

Being an ally requires resilience. It means signing up for military service of a sort, with the knowledge that real lives are being tragically lost in the fight. All of that is more important than our pride that gets hurt as we trip on our own privileges and prejudices, and until we trip on them, we may remain unaware we have them, so at least now we know where we need to work to improve. We must accept that one moment of abject failure does not define the whole of our character. We must accept that we ourselves possess this pocket of ugliness, which empowers us to pull it out of ourselves and our modes of operation, and then we make consistency of character our goal in this point from here forward.

Being an ally isn’t about being perfect; it is about being honest and compassionate with ourselves and others, it is the actual hard work that we do to better ourselves so that we can co-create with others a world that welcomes and values our differences as the strengths that they are.

I only desire to wage virtual war. Real war accomplishes nothing that lasts, and the price paid is higher than anything we can repay.

Let's collectively grant ourselves the freedom to be exactly who we are, and accept no substitutions. 

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