The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Story Are You Telling Yourself?

Another question is "is it useful?" Truth, in an ultimate sense, is often outside our ability to error-check. And some mighty smart people have chased their tails into a knot trying to determine, finally, what is truth in arenas where our perceptions are inextricably intertwined with our actions, and our subjective reality. But it is far easier to determine what is useful, and what is useful is often true. Look at all three major arenas of your life. Does this thing you believe help you to navigate your life in all three arenas? Does it make you more loving or more fearful? Does it help you deal with the world of commerce, which is a matter of understanding the needs of your fellow man, and channeling your disciplined energy to create goods and services that allow you to meet some of those needs in an ethical fashion, while preserving enough self-respect to demand the payment you deserve? Does it help you separate your needs from your wants in the arena of your body, to develop a physicality that has abundant energy, so that you can work hard during the week, and enjoy your weekend without just collapsing on the sofa? Anything you believe that has a positive impact on ALL THREE arenas: love, health, and success has a darned good chance of being accurate. And if it isn't? What a delightful delusion it must be.


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Marty S said...

This has nothing eo do with this post, but I have to say I can understand where liberals are coming from when someone can spend a million dollars for a comic book

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Just heard an interview with the author of Sugar of the Crop: My Journey to Find the Children of Slaves-- she got the interviews just about at the last possible time. None of her interviewee are still alive.

What's relevant to discussions here is that the freed slaves made good lives for themselves and their children. Even granting that the children probably didn't want to speak ill of their parents and that the ex-slaves who took more psychological damage would be less likely to have families, it still may be that whatever damaged African Americans happened well after the end of slavery.

There are a lot of possible candidates-- just that things didn't get a lot better, sundowning (blacks driven out of small towns and rural areas), urban renewal, segregation, drugs, the war on drugs.....

Steven Barnes said...

if rape, murder, torture, false imprisonment etc. did not damage Africans, it seems odd to me why these things are considered damaging to anyone else. They were not super people. Don't buy into the illusion. They were "o.k." so long as they remained within very narrow strictures. And you were dealing with the strongest of the strong--those who had survived multiple generations of abuse. As they regressed to the mean, you had normal, average people...who began to display massive dysfunction.