One, among many, memories of my father was he was a collector of things! He collected books, collected coins, watches – he just never threw anything away. But his worst collection was his video recording machines (Beta and VHS) and they were all hooked up to the TV – all seven or eight of them. It was way too many for one household and one man. He was the master of these machines, and no-one was allowed to use them. This irked me to the max, and I asked him why he needed so many video recorders and pretty much alluded that it was a kind of sickness. Needless to say, you can picture, that he and I butted heads on everything.
So what I was trying to tell my Dear Father was to get perspective. Perspective is everything in terms of figuring out if you’re crazy, normal or out of this world.
A few days ago I commented to someone, “Hey, there must’ve been many periods in history when there’s been a pandemic, and probably complicated by social issues. With my limited knowledge of history my example is the Middle Ages with the Bubonic Plague and the land owners and serfdom. Here we are again, pretty much playing the same story.
I am not downplaying the personal stories of loss, humiliation and suffering. We are all experiencing the effect of the freak show. Each and every story is real and deserve empathy. How else can we grow as individuals and as a community of human beings? We have the capacity to evolve because we’re gifted with tools to be more than what we think we are. But we have to use those tools to transform to a higher level of consciousness. Again, imagination is a tool, and another one is perspective.
Without perspective we can lose ourselves in the vortex of emotions and confusion. Meditation is another tool to observe from within what’s happening inside and out; and outside and in. Knowledge is another tool. Having a perspective of history and the movement of humans from hunters to gatherers to information workers, artists, farmers and service providers allows us to let go of the fear that we’re not enough, and there’s not enough to go around.
A recent make-over of my abode in South Los Angeles resulted in sorting through boxes of books, memorabilia, clothes, shoes, CDs, laptops, musical instruments (including seven guitars and downsized from a larger collection). Now talk about the fruit not falling far from the tree. I am my father :-). I’m able to recognize the heap of things I’ve collected and see that I am repeating the same story.
And I can actually relax and let go of my anxiety that I’m not normal. My father was normal. I’m OK and he was OK and you’re OK too.