Friday, January 20, 2006

Step #3: The moral of the story is ...

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(Thank you, Christian Soul for your comment left yesterday. I have decided to copy my response here. Not everyone may read the comments or know of the recent discussions and perspectives that the 'Post Its' have stirred, but ... but on deeper levels I feel these are things for all of us to think about ... "from de Prime Minister go down" as Howie would say).
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Christian Soul, yes it could have been worse, but thankfully it wasn't. (Hopefully) we all learn and will continue to learn from 'mistakes' we make throughout life. Being human, we make all kinds of 'mistakes' daily. Some we don't even know about because we just don't understand how our simple actions or statements affect someone until/unless that person points it out. I apologised to the man and to his bosses and I admitted to myself and publicly that I had learnt something from the particular situation.
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I am also learning a lot from all of these comments and discussions around the 'Post Its' and the many thought provoking topics they have raised. Maybe we have all learnt something from this(about ourselves, about others, about perspectives?) ... and maybe not.
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It's easy to look at someone else and say "You shouldn't have done that because it was wrong" or "you almost caused this bad thing to happen because of what you did" ... and even easier to not look at oneself (log in the eye concept) and ask what simple, unwitting thing you might have done that could have affected (or is affecting) someone else around you. That simple bad drive almost costing a life or causing an accident? (Just an example).
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It is easy for people to speak out to me about putting 'positive' (subject to interpretation) Post Its in public places ... and not speak out to the person who throws garbage out of the car window, casually places a beer bottle in the drain when the dustbin is right there, breaks a major road or red light ... and blatantly continues to do careless and unthinking things that have become 'acceptable' simply because we are in TT and we take it all for granted that "da's de way it is". As long as we continue to think that way, "da's de way it go always be."
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What do we speak out against? What do we speak up for? Post Its?
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Once two or more people are gathered around any issue, different perspectives will always rear their heads - not for the purpose of creating disharmony, but for the purpose of giving us the opportunity to see where someone else is coming from, stop to think and understand and step out of our own (often) limited self-vision and to learn and grow together in some way from the situation.
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One thing: I don't fully grasp what you mean by your statement: "sometimes I wonder how far you would go to express yourself onto others". Are you referring to me specifically?
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You ended by saying: "ya might need to rethink what you do when you venture out of your own country. that situation could have been worst" ... What you've said goes beyond the (I think by now) worn out example of me and the Post Its. You've said something true about our culture and the way people are. Someone may not think about what they do when they are here because they don't have to! Who will do or say anything about it? Tossing rubbish anywhere but the bin, driving crazy, pushing in lines, rudeness to others, etc ... but they are on p's and q's in "a big country", lining up civilly, waiting patiently, responding politely ... etc. Granted, the reason for some of this is the more stringent laws of the land, but ...
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Conclusion: I think the Post Its have merely brought up much deeper and more serious issues that we all need to look at and think about ... in ourselves first. This brings me back to the whole point behind the 'Steps' project.
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Elspeth

3 Comments:

Blogger Kaivalya said...

I was frankly surprised by the number of comments that were negative to the 'post-its idea.' Whenever one does anything that's outside of the mainstream, there is a risk that it will be misinterpreted or frowned upon. When I started blogging five years ago, I would sometimes experience shocked and disgusted reactions from people in 'real life' who discovered my blog. I was perceived as a 'freak' for 'putting my life on the Internet.' Now, my blog elicits polite interest, but it's not a big deal to anyone - many people have blogs. If everyone was running around sticking up inspirational messages written on post-its, it wouldn't be a big deal (though it would probably make Oprah). If post-it-sticking were a mainstream act, it would be less prone to suspicion or misinterpretation.

When Elspeth first told me about the cab driver and the post-it note last month, I felt strangely upset - it made me sad. It's true that the current climate in some countries makes people more suspicious, more inclined to read evil intent in actions or situations. But is this the kind of society/culture we want to live in? And here's a more radical thought: could something as simple as a post-it note shift perspectives and transform an atmosphere of negativity? Perhaps the cab driver and his boss learned as much as E did from their encounter - different lessons, but important ones.

My friends in the U.S. are fond of saying that "We can't let the terrorists win." Terrorists have long demonstrated that they have the power to shift societal perspective (destroying trust, creating fear and suspicion) by committing horrible acts. Could it be possible that we have the same power to shift societal perspective simply by acting out of kindness instead of suspicion? For example, we can exercise our power by reaching out to one another, whether it's an inspirational note left on a post-it, pausing to exchange a greeting with a neighbour, or lending a hand to a stranger.

We each have the power to make change, even if it's on a small scale. If each one of us exercised our power toward a positive outcome, the combined efforts could make an impact.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Christian Soul said...

No harm or negativity was meant towards you personally.
the statement that i made about you needing to rethink what you do when you venture into another country is quite simple....if you visit another country you can't always intend to operate like you would in your own country. that is just how things work. don't feel bad that this one idea you came up with is not praised .
in other soiceties people don't have the comfort of saying that they are human and they are suppose to be able to make mistakes. just face the fact that your actions this time did more harm than good. move on and continue spreading positivity in a different form.
You seem to try to justify your actions when you should simply accept what happen.
Yes we all make mistakes but we shouldn't try to justify it. and that is what you are trying to do.

honestly ask your self if you saw the postit if you would pick it up and email or keep it...honestly ask your self that.

today is a new day God is by your side and with him anything is possible.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoasah...one post-it with a positive message.....
I'm all for guerilla art - i think your (in my opinion successful) attempt at it was fantastic and like silvergull i'm amazed and surprised by the comments that were negative to it.
keep doin your thing - there will always be someone who doesn't agree/finds fault/ bla bla bla.
In the words of 311
' fuck the naysayers cuz they dont mean a thing, this is what style we bring'

11:07 AM  

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