The Broken Spear Vision is delighted to introduce Roxanne Baker, our newest guest blogger. Read below for her thoughts on Ferguson, educational trends, and the urgent need for creative approaches to conflict.
Shoot for the Pie
“Just the facts Ma’am,” was a recurrent quote from the old tv show Dragnet, and where I started from before writing today. I wanted to get the facts about Ferguson, Illinois as if that would help me expound some new idea.
In reality, however, it only took me three-quarters of the New York Times article “Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck At Least Six Times”(Roblesand Bosman, 8/18/14) before I was sick to death about the facts.
Here’s a better fact: a bumper sticker worth cheering on my way back from Cleveland:
They say in any brainstorming session that there are no bad ideas. With that in mind, let’s think of a much more perfect world:
1. Let’s have a time out/reflection room for those apprehended for not following the rules or law (in fact, lets simplify that to the golden rule and implement it in our schools if it’s not already in place).
2. Time out rooms would be for both the ‘perp’ and or the ‘defender’. Let’s face it, in a school setting as well as Ferguson, adults or people in charge can lose their cool, too. In fact, I would bet once this was implemented, with a more enlightened conscience, you could voluntarily give yourself a time out.
3. In this time out facility, you could be alone initially to get a handle on your thoughts. You would have access to whatever implements helped you to create rather than destroy based on Picasso’s wisdom, “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” You’d have access to laptops, writing utensils, art supplies, and musical instruments to regain your composure. The emphasis would be on creating something from your feelings, rather than destroying.
4. Next, if you still felt uneasy or simply needed a human connection, a social worker or therapist would help you talk it out or hear a new perspective or coping strategy.
Pie in the sky, yes, BUT, acceptable in a brainstorm. And at the risk of being overly dramatic, when we look at the world and the turmoil that continues due to a polarity with the golden rule, we need this pie and we need it now.
How could each of us as individuals, make a difference?
First, be open that each individual can and does make a difference. In his book The Light of Conscience, philanthropist Billy Shore discusses our need to start with ourselves in offering basic kindness as a daily practice. Our actions create energy in our world and reverberate in waves to the greater world.
Second, reflect quietly on a daily basis. This needs to be a positive mantra, not a rumination of ‘facts or wrong doings”, but a repetition that you can be kinder and gentler to those in your immediate surroundings.
As an educator for 28 years, this past 2013-14 school year was when I saw and heard a different culture gaining momentum that I do not think is healthy; and that is the loud screaming rambunctious learning environment. While fun games must be part of learning as the ‘spoonful of sugar’, daily competitive‘cup fulls of sugar’,only accelerate stress hormones and produce a more reactionary society.
And this is what we see in Ferguson. Folks are angry and disenfranchised and in need quiet reflection on how they can positively interact or create with or within their immediate surroundings. Policemen who need to daily reflect on how they can be helpful agents in their adjoining surroundings. And a time out facility when those reflections can no longer be self-generated.
We not only can do this, we must.
*Roxanne Baker is an English Instructor and Playwright from Honeoye Falls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org