Walking In Someone Else’s Moccasins Is Rarely Accomplished

Created September 23, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.

It’s so easy to say things but so hard to ever do them actually.

That bit of advice associated with Native Americans but probably evolved within every culture in the world is most profound: put yourself in their shoes. What would you be thinking, feeling, and doing?

It requires a willing imagination to do something like that. Most of time people are just saying those things not even attempting to actually do them – because they think they already got the point, but didn’t.

Hearing any old proverb, one tends to assume they are now obeying it having been reminded of it. As if it is easy to do. Just hear it, remember agreeing with it, set it aside and express agreement, then move on, coming from exactly the same place you were in before hearing the mantra.

It is easy to actually test out the proverb, but it does require concentration, time, patience, openness, imaginal powers (many of us have let that muscle atrophy), and a genuine desire to understand the adversary of the moment.

In the Acceleritis Culture, one does not have time for such fripperies.

We might think a person is strange who actually took a minute to mentally/emotionally put himself in another person, sense what that would feel like, enduring the discomfort of the long pause in the conversation. Because it’s not just a proverb, it’s an exercise, something you make time to do, because it’s one of your responsibilities as a human being.

Some ancients in every culture came up with this same exercise and the proverb is merely the mnemonic to remind us to do the exercise, pointed at each person with whom you have any discomfort.

There was a time when the human race automatically understood stuff like this, and knew it was a level above the importance of choosing the right style or watching the right influential. Perhaps from an ethical point of view the Neanderthals were the Golden Age.

I jest to make a point. Our obligation being the stewards of right now, is to make this the Golden Age.

Admittedly that seems laughable given the darkness of the latest half decade, but we have to remember that we are the same brave people we were before the present darkness set in. That gaiety will return. It can Be Here Now.

We are all affected, we therefore are each responsible for sauve qui peut. (Save as many as you can.)

We seem to have lost respect for the dignity of the human race. Realizing this can lead us to become more courageous, serious and open-minded.

If God is watching, let’s make Her proud. (We should rotate God’s pronouns every 2000 years.)

We can’t endlessly shrink from debate with people who seek to debate with us, or seek otherwise to possibly to do us harm. “We” must speak together with “them” (the us/them tendency is built into our language) only after agreeing to keep it nice, and then keeping it nice.

Fortunately we have that age old adage exercise, Moccasin Imagination Mode (MIM). Before thinking of talking about it, see if you can begin to feel the way they do about it even just a little bit. You’ll gain an understanding of larger issues you never thought about before.

Here’s a report of my recent MIM exercise. It had been brought about by the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and then the articles about colonial brutality. In my MIM, I imagined many scenes out of many times, and felt strongly one way then another. In one vision I saw and heard the Queen saying, with a tear in one eye, “We thought we were sharing civilization.”

The tendency to demonize one another is demonic.

Share warmth.

Love to all,

Bill

 

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