Yesterday afternoon, I was rudely awakened from my daily nap by this, a fb message:
I’m not going to say who this is, since I don’t want to publicly inflame a suddenly tense and unexpected interpersonal drama. However, do know that this is coming from one of my principal — and beloved! — permaculture teachers! And that he messaged me further to say that he is “disgusted, disappointed, and angry.”
What surprises me most about this drama is that here is a person with whom I’m sure we’re mostly in accord; but since, over the last few years, my political views have morphed from decidedly liberal to somewhat conservative, this teacher of mine elects to judge me, call me names.
Frankly, I’m shocked that even he could be so infected by the polarizing rot that has descended upon this country. A rot that is exemplified, let me add, by Saint Greta in her address to the UN: the furious denunciation, the flashing eyes, the left-right distortions of her facial muscle, her grim, mean mouth. Geez! Is this the way to create change in the world?
I used to think so. In fact, I was a violent peace activist myself, once upon a time, setting myself above others who, as far as I was concerned, were bad, wrong, evil, in their attitudes. While I’m still a peacenik, not since the early ’80s have I violently insisted on my way. Instead, I seek to set an example, by plugging into and demonstrating another value system entirely, one that “builds community from the ground up” via permaculture. And that includes, not just land-based, but social permaculture — where we aim to treat each other fairly, kindly; cooperating and connecting, rather than name-calling and judging; loving rather than hating, no matter what our apparent differences of opinion. I.e., none of us are thought police for the others. And were any of us to actually step in the other’s shoes, most likely we would see the world through their eyes.
My teacher did say he was open to a conversation with me, and in fact had tried to call me. But then told me to email the reasons for my changes to him. In response, I messaged him with this.
But you know? Now it’s the next day, and I realize that I’m just as triggered as he is, by my perceptions of him! And here I thought he was the only one triggered! I definitely need to wait a few days before contact.
Amazing, how quickly the fires start, and how hot they burn, in such a turbulent historical period. Let go, Ann, let go.