I used to have nightmares that my hands were being chopped off. So you can imagine my horror when I was trying to be a good girl and learn my history (since I seem to have been radically unschooled in certain areas, despite the fact that I went to graduate school) and I learned about how Columbus chopped off the hands of his slaves--the American Indians who had been so welcoming--when they didn't meet their duty of finding enough gold.
Cheery reading for a subway--Jeez!! I wanted to yell to everyone on the A train what I was reading. "Did you know that Columbus was evil?" But alas, I didn't. I remember when I learned about the horrors of factory farming, I also wanted to tell everyone I knew (and in fact, I try to do just that).
What is the difference between Indians being enslaved and having their hands chopped off, and factory farmed birds being enslaved and having their toes and beaks chopped off?
What is most staggering is how short it has all been. New York City, for example, is 350 years old--that's only 4 lifetimes, potentially. Much like the country, we are also a city that was built on theft and discrimination. And oh how history repeats itself.
Yet I have hope knowing that people are capable of change, and in many respects, we are all fairly new inhabitants to this world. So maybe we are still trying to figure it out. Maybe there's hope yet.
I don't believe that people are inherently bad--I like to believe they are good. I'm not *that* jaded. And I want very much to live my life with a greater purpose, as opposed to only happiness being the core of my existence. During the process, I'd like to savor the happiness that comes. But that's not the point. It's not my point anyway.
Please don't misinterpret this as me being depressed or sour. I don't feel I am either. Well, maybe that's not true...maybe I'm a little of each. But I'm also optimistic (that's what my doorman tells me). And I'm funny (that's my shrink says).
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