The Caste System

It is a privilege and opportunity to speak with many people who share with me their most intimate and life-threatening thoughts and actions.
“I was going to , but I didn’t.” “I didn’t think….” “It didn’t occur to me.” “I just thought…..”
These phrases often precede an action that did not take place. An act of courage, an act of compassion, an act of honesty: all what I call “mini suicides” because they are preceded by years of entrainment, of squelched purpose.
Often the perpetrator is a well-meaning boss or parent. Perhaps someone who doesn’t want you to be let down. Who wants to protect you.
How often do I hear of a friend, relative or parent who has undermined a step to a leap of faith by offering  a zone of comfort at just the time when a push was needed.
These are small steps taken to entrainment, to living within the system. System of what? Our own making, laid down for us by generations. And we accept the help in that moment and let ourself go.
It’s usually not as clear as the difference between a Brahmin or an Untouchable. Often a barely detectable expectation, a look, a nod. Sometimes as obvious as, “I’ll only pay for this and not the other,” and we think we can’t get what we want so we take the offering. It’s a deal.

One thought on “The Caste System

  1. Pam, How timely this always is. A rope let down the well, when so many of us have slipped back the proverbial two steps for every leap forward. I am packing my old life of sorrow and pain into boxes. Re – claiming a soul. This time, it is my own. I realize that writing and advocacy is my true passion. To get there, I had to reach the BOTTOM of the well. Everyone told me I should be going for the top. In yoga and shamanism, learning to find the gently guided path. Thorns and brambles, and unsheathed swords line the way. Obstacles are only that. Things in the way. There are ways around them, magical thinking, if necessary. I was always better at riddles than crosswords. In freeing the person I love, Knowing they and I will be different forever, and not together then, is the hardest thing to do. But we will both be alive.

    Working against myself and my family, cross purposed, to come to this cross road. How ironic. How often we humans give up, just before seeing the fruition of our love – labor, and blame someone else for our own failure to thrive.

    So many mornings I woke and what you had posted gave us all another day, a new way of seeing the world.

    Thank You.

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