Creating the New Normal

This week’s readings were all about finding what doesn’t work and building something new. Processes, systems and societies are constantly evolving. Sometimes, pieces get stuck and repairs need to be made.

In White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, we see that, even now in the 21st century, there are pieces of our society where the evolutionary process is not running smoothly. While I agree that there are inequalities, I don’t agree that it is the fault of any one race, gender, nationality, or societal position. The fault is in seeing “groups” instead of seeing individuals. Nobody truly knows what defines the thoughts and actions, conscious or subconscious. We can’t keep assuming negative intent when something bad or “unfair” happens. We can choose how we react. I choose to assume everyone has positive intent and build my reactions from that viewpoint.

Monica Nilsson’s Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality really spoke to me, especially in terms of finding my voice and not being afraid to use my voice even in the face of opposition. This was important to me this week since I knew that some of my peers would not agree with some of my annotations this week. These annotations were important for me to post because I had questions about what I was reading and I felt I needed to express a dissenting view when, in my opinion, the writer made too many assumptions.

Lyn Thurman’s article, Why We Need to Create Our Own “Normal”, really brought home to me how we, as individuals living in society that is for all intents and purposes broken, can reconnect with who we are and build a better path forward. I was struck by her reflection in realizing that the “normal” life she was leading had taken away the creativity and uniqueness that made her stand out from the crowd. She could have gone on living her “sensible” life but she chose instead to recapture a happier life by choosing her own path.

6231641551_541c96e583_bMaybe that’s what we all need to do. We need to scrap the “normal” ideas that keep us running around in circles trying to use the same solutions that didn’t work the last time to fix the current problems. We need to stop letting someone else talk for us and talk at us telling us how we should think, act, live, and believe. We need to stop condemning each other for disagreeing and using the past and imperfect present as a stick to beat each other with. We need to sit down, one on one and face to face, and get to know each other: our passions, hopes, and needs.

Then we need to shut up and listen.

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