Originally Posted by Alecto
I wish the whole school was like that, but this particular teacher was more an exception than a rule. The only teacher I still talk to / hang out with (5 years out of graduation), that was the one room where no gay jokes would be ignored.
No surprises there. Insight is insight.
I think "the cage" was left deliberately vague, because it's like...we're the ones that can see that we're in a hurting world.
When I taught in a high school classroom, I told the sensitive, 'seeing' types that the world especially needs them.
What those hurts are, and how we see them, and how we think we might go about healing them are going to vary from individual to individual, and I think she saw that and was ok with that and wanted to be supportive of multiple emphases. Queer rights is obviously the direction I settled on, but other folks went into environmentalism for example.
You and me both. I remember thinking ending hunger and ending war seemed more pressing, except that those issues were easier for others to understand the need. It seemed to me that gay rights was in possibly the weakest position with the fewest advocates. I invested my entire heart into it. I have the utmost respect for those who go into other avenues of advocacy and healing, because ALL the contributions are so desperately needed.
So I guess the cage is primarily societal, but there's definite tie-ins to the other things you bring up. I've heard her make reference to the metaphor in a spiritual sense too, so I think it's just an image that she likes that's fairly adaptive. As for leadership roles, I think that's exactly what she meant (though I could expound a bit on wider definitions of "leadership").
Please do! I'm not sure we yet even HAVE a definition of leadership.
But you think your teacher may have meant the same 90-10 split my hubby refers to? I will have to ask hubby what he thinks of if I simply say 90% of people cannot see the cage and 10% can.
This could be great fun, and lead to new creativity and insight.
I threw the "unsee" part in because I went through a phase where I very literally tried to pretend things weren't all kinds of terrible. Because then I could be happy like everyone else. It doesn't work.
Ach, I can imagine. I knew I could not do it, did not even try.
When I was very young, I was an unhappy kid and that projected to those who met me. At 13 years of age, I did a show with a very understanding group of adults, one of whom was very gentle and reached out to me. At a group dinner one night he sat beside me and asked probing questions about why was I unhappy? I said because the world is unhappy.
He said, "But you! You're young, healthy, have a beautiful voice, you're a great actress, you're incredibly intelligent and a great writer. YOU have no reason to be unhappy." I told him, sure I can enjoy singing, and if life turns out great for me, if I have food to eat and I can sing and have friends and do fun things, I will enjoy that. But what good is it if my happiness is only mine? People around me have unhappiness. How can I enjoy my own happiness if the person beside me is struggling with deep unhappiness?
Who will be there to listen to their stories? Who will wipe their tears?
We cannot be fully happy unless there is an opportunity to begin turning the direction of these sorrows. If we can have a hand in steering the world towards a kinder, more equitable, more loving place, then we can be more fully joyful.