"...It is not easy to stop thinking ill of others..." writes Hafiz.
Blaming and shaming are habits we cultivate often unconsciously. We judge thinking that our ideas about things don't mean anything. We think what we think is harmless. But is it? Often we judge harshly. Opinions carry weight, however. We don't realize it until a bias comes home to roost and sits awkwardly within us or takes ownership curling around our necks like an albatross. It has become, for Americans especially, a kind of sport to volley biased, discriminatory and half-baked unsolicited opinions as if they will never need to own and stand by them.
We have very few celebrities and iconic social leaders who are exemplary in editing their own thoughts before they begin throwing them around. You can spot those who have forgiven themselves for thinking and doing hurtful things to themselves and others as they carry a certain je ne sais quoi of elegance in their bearing. This elegance is not because they are beyond bungling, it is a result of their no longer requiring anyone else to bear the weight of their misgivings because they can allow and take responsibility for their own part in making mistakes. They learn.
There is no shame in making an error for anyone in this life. It is said, and I believe it to be true, that we are designed to make errors and to learn from them. The clumsiness comes from being unwilling to own our own strength of character and impact upon others. The default reaction to everything is to criticize, shame, and blame others to avoid understanding our own part in any given narration regarding that person or an event. We blunder when we refuse to accept and appreciate a truth as it is presented to us. We stumble. We fall. We get hurt. We blame and we shame. There are better ways.
Thank you for listening.
Music: I'm not very familiar with Taylor Swift but I've been looking into her because of the overwhelming popularity of her of late. I find it fascinating that her music is so popular and I'm wondering why it has ignited such a flame with so many people. I mean the music itself is not, at least to my ear, that phenomenal but I looked at the lyrics and noted the strong sugared themes towards blame, revenge and hate in them. This is not my jam but I think it is for many people - young and older. I'm not necessarily afraid of vengeance and hatred but I DO think it is a theme that many people are keen on. I mean, obviously! This artist is extremely popular for a reason. They are acting out and presenting a part of the zeitgeist of the times. There is a part of working through our feelings that involves diving into the how it really feels that cannot be denied. I get it. Once that treasure is spent, however, there is a value to explore that is the foundation for a life of deeper loving and reverence. This is where Hafiz' poetry resides. The way to love, it seems, is through the fire, for this artist. Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.