We are whiplash…

We are whiplashed between an arrogant overestimation of ourselves and a senile underestimation of ourselves. – Parker Palmer

I think what scares me the most is success (because things will change that are out of my control), and the second thing that scares me senseless is thinking that I will never be able to grasp that success (and then nothing will ever change). It comes down to wanting to maintain your comfort level in the mundane and striving to move yourself from ordinary to extraordinary. Of course, that all depends on what your definition of success is.

Mine is quite a bit different from the dictionary’s definition.

What prompted this change of mood from my previous post of complaining about the hot summer weather?

I was watching Courtney Martin give a talk on TedTalks. Her talk “Courtney Martin: Reinventing Feminism”, was definitely inspiring and gave me a lot of food for thought. (http://www.ted.com/talks/courtney_martin_reinventing_feminism.html)

To sum it up, and possibly give you a few things to think about, I’d like to outline the three paradoxes she talked about.

Paradox 1: Rejecting the past and then promptly reclaiming it.

Paradox 2: Sobering up about our smallness and maintaining faith in our Greatness.

Paradox 3: Aiming to succeed wildly and being fulfilled by failing really well.

She then goes on to tell everyone that we should do a few things: Embrace the Paradox, Act in the face of overwhelm, and Love people well. Very wise words, in my opinion.

I wish I could thank her in person for the wonderful talk she gave. The website that she co-edits: Feministing.com, is actually well received and I enjoyed paroozing the site and reading different articles.

I can’t say that I am the standard textbook version of a feminist. Probably far from it. I believe in gender equality and the greatness we can achieve if both male and female and every shade of gender in between worked together and supported one another fully. I believe that if a woman wants to stay home and take care of her family instead of work a 9-5, she shouldn’t be labeled with an outdated and inappropriately used stereotype. Same goes for if she is the CEO of a company. Same goes for men. In my mind its really just that simple. You don’t have to be a loud activist to hold the same views; and labels only get you so far.

That being said, I hope you – my lovely readers – will go check it out and tell me what you think in the comment section below.

If you have any other links or lectures and whatnot that you would like to share – please do! I would love to check it out!

Hugs, Kisses, Love for all,

Aurora

 

In my Native American Studies Class

I forgot to mention earlier, I am working on two majors at the same time. My first is in Psychology, and the second is in Native American Studies :Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Psychology is amazing and keeps my brain active and happy. Native American Studies stirs my soul and a part of me that I didn’t know existed. And it’s not just Native American studies, its the study of indigenous cultures around the world that we are covering as well.

Before I get all sappy and gooey over the immense love I have for this class, I’ll stop here and continue with something else.

In my Native American studies class I was reading something today that made me sit back and think for a minute and I would really like to share it with you. It’s a piece called “Americanizing the White Man” by Felix S. Cohen.

“W HAT CAN -we do to Americanize the Indian?” The question was earnestly put by a man
who was about to assume control over our country’s Indian affairs. He was appalled by the fact that
over a hundred native tribes within the United States still speak their own languages and make their
own laws on the little fragments of land that Indians reserved for their own use when they sold the rest
of the country to the whiteman. The Commissioner-elect was a kind and generous soul, but his Anglo-
Saxon pride was ruffled by the fact that so many Indians preferred their own way of life, poor as it
was, to the benefits of civilization that Congress longed to confer on them. Perhaps, if Indians did not
realize that they needed more Indian Bureau supervisors and bigger and better appropriations to make
real Americans out of them, it might be necessary to use a little force.
A bronze-skinned figure in the audience arose. “You will forgive me,” said a voice of
quiet dignity, “if I tell you that my people were Americans for thousands of years before your
people were. The question is not how you can Americanize us but how we can Americanize you.
We have been working at that for a long time. Sometimes we are discouraged at the results. But
we will keep trying. And the first thing we want to teach you is that, in the American way of life,
each man has respect for his brother’s vision. Because each of us respected his brother’s dream,
we enjoyed freedom here in America while your people were busy killing and enslaving each
other across the water. The relatives you left behind are still trying to kill each other and enslave
each other because they have not learned there that freedom is built on my respect for my brother’s vision and his respect for mine. We have a hard trail ahead of us in trying to Americanize you and your white brothers. But we are not afraid of hard trails.”

The Commissioner-elect, in the months that followed, had repeated occasion to realize what lay
behind these words.”

I absolutely love this class. It’s not just a part of my family history I am learning about, it is a huge cultural history that I am being shown. There are incredible pieces that I am being introduced to that have just left me staggered. I’m thinking of starting a side blog on here to go over some of the pieces and discussions we are having in class. I would really love it if everyone gave me their two cents. So what do you think? If you would like to comment please do, and subscribe away so you don’t miss anything! If you want the rest of the piece, just leave me a comment with your email address or email me personally and I will send you a copy.

You won’t regret it. It’s really interesting stuff.

-Aurora

xoxoxo