• the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form. 

I think I was in fifth or six grade when I learned the first part of this definition and and that there was some kind of disdain for it. Disdain is stronger than I mean, more that there was societal quiet disfavor for it. 

I found this description on which gets to what I'm alking about 

  • It is when you assign the qualities of a person to something that isn't human or that isn't even alive, like nature or emotions. 

That's what I'm talking about. The kind of sense that nature and emotions are not alive. But that’s not true in all cultures; it's not true for me. 

Here are two sisters: 

Here are two cousins:

When we talk about diversity, when we talk about listening to other ways of being it’s much more challenging than finding broad strokes for agreement. It’s about daily interaction and radically different approaches to, for example, looking someone in the eye, to how you view conversational interruption. It's sentence structure, acronyms and emphasis on unusual-to-you phonetic sounds. It's about acceptance that other societal structures have something of value to enrich your life. 

Exclusion and prized exclusivity keeps us from enjoying all that life is actively offering us, creating rules around what's not, instead of nurturing understanding for what is. 

Some say our society is an enneagram type 3 society - extroversion is prized, exclusivity is coveted (i'm recalling so many micro-apartment ads that I walked by in Williamsburg in the past few years), there is only 1st place, there is only hard work. 

From Integrative9's website:

At their best, others will experience Threes as hard-working, principled and receptive, offering the gifts of hope and integrity to the world.

In an unhealthy state, the Three’s over-expressed need for achievement may seem self-important and inconstant. This stems from a sense of self-worth that is built on what the Three does, rather than who they are.

I mention our country because it's almost July 4 and as we celebrate all that we all, I want to acknowledge that this undercurrent is true in my experience. And yet, we know that introversion has value, inclusivity is an acceptance of reality - it's not a choice, and that bronze and silver are achievements too (funny how even typing that brings discomfort!). We now know that there is smart work that better replaces hard work.

My wish for this Independence Day is this: 

Let us free ourselves from viewing life through a what's not lens. 

What is? 

What is - in all its gory glory. 

What is that is with or without you. 

What is in that second part of the definition of personification and how can we better represent the abstract in our human form.

Peace and love til next week,