When I was a teenager, my family granted me the dubious honor of sticking me with a nickname: The Bear. Now, to be clear, that was not meant to be flattering in that “bears are cute and cuddly” sort of way; rather it was because I slept a lot and tended to growl when disturbed from my slumber—especially in the winter.
This past winter was no exception in that I slept a lot. And I loved it! However, with Spring well underway and Summer approaching fast, it is well past due for me to emerge from beneath my comforting blankets and rejoin Humanity.
I have recently engaged in several conversations with friends regarding society, politics and the myriad problems attendant therein. One of the most frustrating things about these conversations is the belief that it’s the “other side’s fault.” That is to say that there is a belief that they are right and that any opposing argument is wrong by default—never mind that the reality does not actually work that way.
As some of you may know, I sometimes take a dim view of Humanity—in particular when Humans refuse to actually be humane. I do wish to point out, however, that I am still a somewhat idealist in that I believe that Humanity can in fact rise above the pettiness and shortsightedness that it sometimes falls into. Indeed, I have many times quoted the very people who buoy my faith in our collective humanity and its ability to aspire to be better than we are today.
For instance, here is a legendary BAMF Gloria Steinem who is still working for peace at the age of 81!
Here she is, when most people would’ve been retired and playing cribbage, walking hand-in-hand with peace activists from both North and South Korea along their shared border, the Demilitarized Zone. She is one of those very people to whom I can look and genuinely, realistically aspire to emulate.
Not a bad thing to see when I finally came out of my winter slumber—especially since it was Humanity’s divisiveness that wore me out to the point of needing to retreat to a Fox News-free cave to recover. Looking back, the nickname my family was pretty accurate if you take into account the cross-cultural symbolism of the bear.
I don’t consider myself terribly wise, but one of the things I do try to do is teach others to be good people (whether I succeed or not, however, is another matter). The desire to teach is one of the numerous reasons I finally started this blog after many years of telling myself that no one wanted to read what I wrote, especially if they had to be educated in the process. But looking at Ms. Steinem, who is over twice my age(!), I remember that stifling my own voice in favor of not going against the grain is not who I really am.