Cultures of Disrespect

Reading a mathematical reference today, I came across a not so unusual phrase “It is easy to convince oneself …”. In this particular case, I had to have a quick look at the example they gave to see the “easy” fact for I was thinking along a nonproductive direction and had nothing to reposition my point of view. So, at that point in time, it was not “easy to convince” myself of the fact. And yet, the example was one I could easily have gotten if I had been in a slightly different frame of mind.

I began to think about the numerous phrases that can be found in usage that hide alternating sentiments of superiority and inferiority. We use these patterns often and they encode into our creative environment the limitations implicit in those ideas of comparison and measurement.

When we accept this language as our own, we limit ourselves, often quite severely. There are no fundamental limits or bounds on our creativity if we take into consideration the fact that we are here and not there. That is, if we accept where we are at, we are then free to move anywhere from there. The art with which we move, the creativity that we exhibit, the innovation and originality are never intrinsically limited. Yet so many believe that they are limited, so many have no idea of where they are, that their behavior shouts of limitations and impediments.

And the language we use either reinforces this or helps bring us to the freedom that the creative will needs to really soar.

Our culture is often a culture of disrespect. Because we do not dwell in the atmosphere of respect that characterizes quietness and stillness, our response to this culture is to begin desperately trading in a currency of disrespect.

Quietness sets us free.