Where was I, by the end of Pop Music (Part One)? Banging on about freedom, I’ll be bound!
Or rather, I’ll not be bound. Anything that restricts my freedom of movement – my natural right to become a fuller, deeper, happier version of myself – is utterly intolerable. I won’t conform to anyone else’s idea of who I should be or how I should behave.
Most of all, I reject any attempt to limit me to any particular culture. The age-old tactic of those who seek power over others is to divide and rule. Convince people they are surrounded by enemies and they will be putty in your hands. Allow them to Flaunt their imagined superiority over others and turn them into little Hitlers.
I’m sure most people have seen this fairly short documentary film about an anti-racism classroom exercise. If you haven’t, I can thoroughly recommend it:
50 years after this startling little film was made, education is still the battleground for hearts and minds. Telling is no substitute for experiencing. And empathy is the most powerful educational tool. To use the teacher Jane Elliott’s favoured phrase, Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.
So I prefer to assume everyone is my friend unless and until I see evidence that they’re not. Evidence of my eyes, not hearsay. Innocent until proved guilty. I base this on the fact that I belong to many cultures which reach out to include the vast majority of my fellow-creatures. Not only that, but these cultures overlap to provide an intense and overwhelming reassurance that my faith in most others is firmly grounded and impervious to interference from above.
I use the word ‘culture’ to describe a broad affinity arising from a perceived similarity. There follows a list of the cultures I belong to, in no particular order:
Yes, blogger. Last but not least. In a way, it includes all the others. And that, of course, is true of them all. They intersect with one another and all (plus others I may have left out) combine to bring me the fullness, depth and happiness I require.
You, I’m sure, could make a similar list and a similar case for its indivisible totality. We have an affinity based on perceived similarity. We belong to so many common cultures, it makes sense to imagine we share one culture. No one can put a name to it because no name would be sufficient to describe it. It is in the process of development, invention, evolution. And no one can possess it for it belongs to us all.
It remains to be seen whether we can keep it in our sights amid so many calls to withdraw our empathy from those that somebody hidden in the shadows deems to be different, alien, other … whether the circles that bind us will remain unbroken.
Turns out I’m happy to be bound after all …
OK, I’ve done my link to WordPress Daily Prompt. Now all that remains is to justify the title. Bubbles pop, you see, and ‘Bubble’ was yesterday’s Prompt word and then there was that Bert Weedon track and … and … oh, never mind, here’s Joni Mitchell !!!