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Saturday, August 6, 2016

"Tiny"

It’s easy to make a mountain from a mole hill.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we make mole hills from mountains.   They’re so much of the landscape we can’t see them anymore.

A boyfriend was cooking dinner once.  "Can I help?" I was given a pile of green beans to prepare.  I did it the way I was trained, snapping each end and pulling the string.  He grabbed a handful of beans, and whacked off the ends with a knife.  I was shocked.  My world changed in an instant.  Really, why painstakingly string beans?  I told Mom about this epiphany and she said, "But that's the way it's always been done!"  A side discussion of sitting on porches with old ladies, but in the end we agreed grocery store beans aren't very stringy, and we won't die from cut ends, though Mom still prefers it the old way.

It never occurred to me to question my green bean training.  Now apply it to something that matters.

I started wondering what other mountains I’ve made tiny.  It’s hard to know because our perspective is so skewed.  You can point at something like women’s role in society through the millennia and wonder how many women actually stopped to wonder if it was a good idea to cripple their daughters by breaking their feet for foot binding or giving them genital mutilation.  It all seems so obviously abusive now, but I bet millions of mothers just thought that’s the way things are.

Are we still crippling ourselves?  Even though the wounds are invisible compared to foot binding, aren't we still keeping people down in countless ways?

America has about 3 more months of political craziness before the election.  During that time we get a chance to see impassioned people spouting off their dearly-held beliefs.  Some of their invisible mountains will be obvious to a lot of us.  The white supremacist yelling about welfare mothers and immigrants had to be taught white is best and everyone of color has to be feared and kept out.  But what of our own beliefs?  How many of our own thoughts are flawed?

And really, I'm not talking politics or racism.  I'm trying to explain that I've been trying to figure out my own faulty thinking on a very personal level.  What do I believe that hurts my own success and happiness?  For instance, I've been taught that my value in the world is measured by what I do.  Whether that's my creative output, giving of my time or money, whatever, whatever.  I bought into this, but it's a skewed view.  I bet I have a lot of them, and I bet you do too.

Sometimes you just have to find someone who cuts the ends of beans with a knife to see things differently, to find people who haven't bought into your belief system, especially people who are positive and uplifting.  It’s like the old saying about what you water in your garden.  If you water weeds, you get weeds.  I prefer tomatoes.  I prefer being around happy people.

As for the mosquito, I doodled while watching a show about viruses and thought about how something so tiny can eliminate life as we know it.  Maybe I should watch happier tv shows too?

20 comments:

  1. Wow, what a thoughtful post. Now I'll be looking for my molehills. I have recently been made aware that one of them is privilege. And yes, watch happier shows. The Olynpics?

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    1. Thanks Terri. I did watch some swimming. It's amazing how fast they can go :)

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  2. Lots to ponder here. I'd like to feel that I think outside the box because I question many things - some that you've mentioned in this post; however, as much as I'm aware, I'm certain that I'm doubly (or exponentially) unaware. :)
    I have to keep telling myself that life is short and to keep striving for how best to fit in while I'm here.
    I double clicked to enlarge your mosquito - awesome little gal!

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    1. I'm all about female power lately :) I think we're all unaware of too many things, but I'm glad others are working to lift our blinders. I think we all help each other with that.

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  3. A very insightful post Linda....I prefer tomatoes too ;-) Mozzies are such horrid things..a shame them and slugs aren't threatened by extinction! Great doodle x

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  4. A very insightful post Linda....I prefer tomatoes too ;-) Mozzies are such horrid things..a shame them and slugs aren't threatened by extinction! Great doodle x

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  5. Thanks Jane! Though now I'm thinking about the last time I accidentally stepped on a slug. Ewwww.

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  6. Wondrous piece ... thank you, Linda!

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  7. There are plenty of happy TV shows to watch. I know. I watch them.

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    1. I watch them too. I just got derailed by skeeters this week :)

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  8. It is always enjoyable to read your musings, Linda.

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  9. Thanks Paula, and thanks for including a link to my blog in your last post too. Wishing you every success with your art!

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  10. My biggest kitchen time saver is remembering to lock my cat Hana up in the bathroom before baking. She's like an annoying mosquito!

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  11. I keep the dog around. She keeps the floor clean in case I drop anything :)

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  12. Poignant pondering. Are we still crippling ourselves? We probably are. The only thing of course is that we don't know, not until, someone shows us how easy it is to simply cut the ends of beans. Or how Columbus showed everyone how and egg can stand upright.

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