Archive for March 8th, 2011
Plum blossoms from Hong Mei Park in ChangZhou formed a beautiful reminder that spring is on the verge of coming bringing with it, a new season of regeneration, a new season of hope. In a strange kind of way, the promise of rebirth is both saddening as well as it is uplifting.
I think of my childhood and the short time I believed in the literal dogma of the Catholic church. Spring, the season of Easter is a celebration of rebirth. But, that rebirth is founded upon death, upon the shedding of blood. The images that come to mind are of a Christ with thorns around his bleeding heart – the colour that is found in these plum blossoms.
Something has to die in order for rebirth to be possible. This is something that happens everyday, in ways that one never thinks about. Hidden within our bodies, cells die in order for new cells to take their place. In our communities, businesses die so that newer versions better adapted to newer conditions can take their place.
Some changes are slow such as the process of changing one’s mind, allowing a new idea to blossom. We cling to an old idea long after it has ceased being useful. As humans stuck in patterns we bring out the big guns in order to resist letting go of the old. It matters little if the old ideas have ceased to work. Like old warriors, we mount a crusade to restore the primacy of an idea that has long since been rendered lifeless by the cosmos.
I remember working with teachers in professional development workshops where resistance often got in the way of real improvements to what was happening in the classroom. All agreed that there were problems, but the act of letting go of old ideas to allow new ones to be tried was resisted as if the new ideas were an enemy. Rather than change, the belief was that everyone else was doing it wrong and that all had to do the same old things harder and more often. Blame was placed on the parents, the children, colleagues, administrators for the problems encountered in the classroom. The common denominator in all of this resistance was a belief in the past as the only truth. Current reality was denied and as a result, the future was sacrificed.
When I see the issues that trouble the world today in places such as the U.S.A., Canada, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and numerous other places, I see the same fundamentalism at work, those in power refuse to allow something different to be born. New ideas are purged as well as those who espouse the new ideas. Yet, change does come, eventually, even if it means waiting until the holders of the old ideas have died. It comes back to the idea that rebirth only occurs because of a death.