Archive | October, 2010

Yin and Yang

17 Oct

So, I’m thinking, when it comes to honesty, people don’t really want to hear it. And really, what is honesty? Or truth? We all have our version of it. What has shaped us throughout our lives has shaped our version of the truth as well. Because although some truths are absolute (like one should not kill, for example), most are extremely subjective. And, sadly, even the “absolute” truths can actually be argued.

Could truth really be an opinion? I have always believed that there are rights and wrongs. Some truths simply WERE, and anyone who argued them was either an idiot or evil. (And I don’t mean that in a religious sense, by the way.) But now I wonder, did I just mean that anyone who didn’t subscribe to MY truth was an idiot? And does everyone ELSE feel that way too?? Damn. That can get confusing.

There are the superficial “truths”. Like when I ask my hubby what he thinks of an outfit I’m wearing. Generally, if his version of that truth differs from mine, he will feel the wrath. (Love you, babe!) But what about the more important truths? Like, would your friends appreciate if you started to honestly express how you felt about every aspect of their lives? About their parenting skills, for example? Or their lifestyle choices? What if you thought their brother was a jerk? Do you tell them that? How about if you thought their wife was a flake?

But this once again brings me back to the beginning: are any of these actual “truths”? They are to YOU but, in fact, they are all your opinions. You may be able to argue them to death, but I still guarantee someone out there can counter your argument effectively. And, even more importantly, who cares what you think! What I mean is, at which point are you being a good friend who is genuinely thinking of someone’s best interests OR are you simply giving your version of a truth and trying to change others to suit what YOU think is the “right” way to live.

Now, I don’t even want to get started on the bigger truths. Like faith, or love, or politics, or music… Is everything subjective?? Do we live in an utterly subjective world? This shakes my judgemental, opinionated Virgo to her core! I think I need to go call customer service at Bell or Enbridge or (insert any similar company here) and argue with them for a while. This will restore my faith in that there are ultimate truths and, more importantly, I am right and they are wrong.

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Class of 2010

2 Oct

I am no expert on social issues. Some may say I’m the worst candidate to comment. I’ve lived a middle-class life and I am an Eastern European woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. I have, however, attempted to remain aware of the world around me. I try to live consciously.

I had always thought that race was one of the biggest issues plaguing our society. Hatred of others because of their heritage or the colour of their skin. But lately, I am finding that there is another disease, equally damaging and one that often goes hand in hand with racism. Classism.

Since I’ve become aware of it, I feel like I see it everywhere and it shocks me. It’s usually subtle and occurs in the most unlikely situations but I guarantee that just as I have been, you have been guilty of it.

I think having kids and being around other parents has been one of the most revealing experiences for me. People are fierce about their values and beliefs when it involves their children. Which also means they become more transparent. Things you are willing to overlook in terms of your own self become unacceptable when it comes to your kids.

What scares me most about classism is that it is so subtle. So easily overlooked. And, of course, in its most basic manifestation, it simply stems from people wanting to feel better than others on some level. But it breeds hatred and separates people. To me the perfect example of it is the old cliche: you discriminate against a race until a person of that race becomes your friend, or brother-in-law. Then all of a sudden, he’s different. Not like the rest of them. He’s of a different class.

I find it often rears its ugly head when I am around people of the same race as me. I am married to a South Asian man and we have 2 kids. We have thankfully never been subjected to any direct prejudice. But it amazes me how the same people who are SUPER open-minded when all of us are present, begin to utter the stupidest things when only I am around. All of a sudden a comment that would be (and is) inappropriate to say in front of my husband, flies out of their mouths with frivolous confidence. I guess the fact that we are the same “race” and “class” makes it ok?

But it’s not restricted to when I’m around other white people. I have seen classism among EVERY race. And it makes me feel like even though we live in this multicultural world where equal rights is a common term, we really haven’t come very far from the time of Kings and Serfs.

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