BIRDS OF A FEATHER

I have three amazing nieces. One of them is a free-spirit. At the age of three, she had her own mind and was firm in her beliefs. That’s not to say she doesn’t listen to others because she also has wisdom. She may not agree with you or act on your advice but she will patiently absorb your perspective. A change from when she was three.

Her Mom, my sister Dawn and I were sitting in her kitchen, chatting about our favourite musicians and fave songs, sipping on tea. In strolls Jess (who I called Muffy then) in her onesie and declares that  she likes Marilyn Manson. Perplexed I look at Dawn and ask, “Who is Marilyn Manson?” She ignores me and a battle ensues between Mother and child, “No, you don’t. Yes, I do. No, you don’t. Yes, I do”. After a few minutes of the same argument, my sister  exasperated raises her hand, points down the hall and in a firm voice says, “Room, now.” My three year old niece sauntered down the hall, turns and softly said, “Yes, I do” before she shut her door to us.

Now, in her early twenties she works as a Dental Assistant, still as sassy and spunky as ever. She recently experimented in some bold hair colouring. First a full head of neon pink before graduating to rainbow colours. As her aunt and artist I though she looked beautiful and I applauded her bravery. It’s not easy standing out from the crowd in our die-hard conformist society.

Beautiful, brave Jess with her hair now faded to Easter colours.

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A couple of weeks ago she relayed a story about how one of her patients asked her boss why he would allow her to work in the office with her vivid hair. To his credit he said, “I like it, many patients like it and she is not hurting anyone.” Bravo.

Bravo, bravo, bravo. With the caveat that personal choices cause no harm, why do people get so worked up about what others choose to do, with and to themselves? Some folks get so angry with others who paint outside the lines or think and actually live outside the confines of those boxes they’ve chosen for themselves. I’m not fond of young men who wear their pants around their hips. I don’t want a view of their manties but that is THEIR choice. While our sensitivities may be offended, our life is not in danger.

On my last trip to Las Vegas I saw a man who wore a crochet bag around his family jewels which was held in place by various crochet strings weaved around his body. He did not have any body issues whatsoever and while I did find myself staring, I was not offended, nor did I need medical attention. And if you choose to use your body as a canvas, that is your right. I’m not fond of a full body of tattoo art yet find much of the art beautiful. Neither of these choices would suffice for me as personal expressions but I respect they are for others. I respect their freedom to make choices. It is admirable and I applaud anyone who has the courage to do what they want to do with their life. In fact, I encourage others to see themselves, be outside the “norm” and discover what it is they truly like, who they truly are and free themselves of any restrictions society has attempted to place on them. If you want to live in Indonesia and help save the hundreds of orphaned orangutan, please, do it, they need you. Anytime I see someone somewhere expressing themselves I have more faith in humankind. When I am lucky enough to witness the celebration of uniqueness in each individual, my heart swells. When people free themselves of these false societal bonds of normalcy, it someone provides others, myself included with the impetus and power to do the same.We need more freedom fighters. We need more inspiration. We need more awe.

We are individuals and it’s time we appreciate and respect our own great uniqueness in whatever manner you chose to express it. I paint, I write. I explore and right now, I’m off to the hair salon.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. ~ Dr. Seuss

 

Speak the truth

BEING HONEST

When we are young we are often told by our parents to tell the truth. What they should have shared with us was to tell them the truth but be careful of how  you say your truth to others.

We had one house rule which was always policed in our home and it was to tell the truth no matter how difficult for the speaker; or the recipient. We could get away with all sorts of misdemeanors so long as we told the truth. As an adult, I have found that many are not interested in the truth. Their hearts and minds prefer a sugar-coated explanation in line with their perception and perspective. The truth is deemed too harsh, too direct. It’s as if many will swallow a bit of stale cake so long as the icing is thick and tasty.

For someone with my upbringing, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is the only way I know. As you can imagine, my path of honesty has got me into  a lot of hot water.

I often playback the courtroom scene in, “A Few Good Men” where Jack Nicholson barks at  Tom Cruise, “You can’t handle the truth.” And it’s true, many can’t handle truth. In questioning why, I’ve found it’s often because another’s truth and what another perceives differs. So I ask myself,  what then is truth?

To me, truth is facts, actions, events told exactly as they appear. Is it that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. But each of us has our own reality so truth is in accordance with fact and the viewers or listeners reality. Truth then becomes warped because your perception and mine may differ.

When researching truth I was directed to various religious sites. I was unaware that speaking the truth was a religious ideology as I thought of the truth as a human concept.

What I have found to be more consistent than the truth is a fact or belief that is accepted as true. Your truth is true to you and my truth is truthful to me but, and it’s a big but, if the your truth and my truth differ, then what is the truth? Or if our facts and beliefs are the same, then our facts and beliefs are accepted as true and only then does it become true, but only to those who are in agreement with our truth.

Regardless if something is true, one must make others accept the facts or events as truth in order for them to become as accepted as true.

Aha! At last, I have found a way to stay out of the dog house when telling the truth. I have to make sure I warp and lie about the truth well enough that others believe it as true. Do you think this is true?

Truth!

#truthbomb