155 Big Green Pen Minutes Day Twenty: Discover

I am participating in the 31 Days of Free Writes October challenge. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Today’s prompt: Discover

We have lost something in our country.

We have lost the willingness to discover people’s nuances.

Obviously it’s an enormous overgeneralization to say that, and I do know many people who take the time and effort to see nuance, to listen endlessly, to respect, encourage and keep seeking.

I got on this train of thought because “discover” led me to think of the recent day in October on which Columbus Day had been traditionally celebrated.

There was widespread acknowledgement that the lands Columbus “discovered” were someone else’s lands first.

One discussion I heard was of a possible removal of a Columbus statue (and history aside I am not sure I can envision a NYC without a Columbus Circle but that’s a post for a different day!). Then the Italian-Americans (some Italian-Americans at least) were upset that removing it would offend their heritage.

I am not sure how the Columbus issues are going to resolve but I was happy to see indigenous people recognized.

In the meantime, I wonder what each of us (me included) is doing to discover something in our communities or our world that we may be misunderstanding or minimizing.

Writing Challenge

7 thoughts on “155 Big Green Pen Minutes Day Twenty: Discover

  1. Pingback: 31 Days (155 Minutes) of Five Minute Free Writes - Big Green PenBig Green Pen

  2. Paula, I could REALLY go on about this…but I won’t.

    We’ve descended into what Churchill called ‘paralysis by analysis’, so desperate not to offend anyone that everyone’s offended, and angry.

    You can’t serve a meal that everyone’s gonna like.

    • This is true, Andrew, and I *almost* didn’t go there with this prompt. It would have been easier to talk about discovering the beauty of nature or really anything else. Five minutes is wholly inadequate for this topic, for sure. I think there are angles of our current discourse that actually signify progress (or the opportunity for progress) BUT as you say there is also an element of utter fear of offending that keeps us from making that progress sometimes.

  3. Hi Paula! Thanks for this perspective. I’m an elementary teacher and always trying to figure out the best way to teach little ones how to respect and listen to each other. It’s definitely a struggle to balance what’s considered PC and what seems right to me in my own world view! Thanks for being willing to challenge us to slow down and value others!! Glad to be your neighbor today at FMF!

    • It’s SO hard, Amy. So hard. Props for you for the really important role you play in those young lives. I think much of the challenge lies in teaching critical thinking — the ability to intelligently question anything you are told as “fact” while simultaneously respecting the people behind the message.

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