Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tools

Audre Lorde wrote an essay entitled "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House". Not all tools are useful. I believe that there are tools that, no matter how you use them, only reinforce the oppressive social structures that we are fighting. Examples of 'The Master's Tools' include things like violence, oppressive hierarchies, and using the end to justify the means (especially when the means are horrendous).

I also believe that the converse of this is true. The tools of caring social change can only bring about a better society, no matter who uses them. Rabid right-wingers who begin to act out of compassion will find it changes them.

There is a Buddhist legend of a thief who approached a meditation master wanting to learn mindfulness. The master knew that his pupil's intention was to use the techniques to be a better thief, but taught him anyway. The process of learning the powerful techniques began to change the thief. As he became more aware, he slowly realized how hurtful his thefts were, not only to those he robbed, but to himself. He also became aware that he didn't need to steal, and as the mindfulness exercises enlarged his view of himself and the world, he began to appreciate the world for what it was, and see ways that he could get what he needed and help others in the process. The result was, rather than becoming some kind of superthief, he became a powerful meditation master and helped many other people become aware.

This blog is a toolbox, offering all kinds of different tools that I've gathered over the years. I'm taking this opportunity to put them out on display. I don't make guarantees and, more importantly, I don't know what will be useful to you, so I'm offering them all, free of charge. Take what you can use, and with my blessings. Don't bother with the rest of the stuff. Enjoy, have fun, be well, and I hope that at least some of what I'm offering will be useful in the work that you do toward building a society of compassion.


Quote of the day: "We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." - Marshall McLuhan
Word (or phrase) of the day: Genderqueer
Hero(es) of the day: Molly Ivins

1 comment:

Laura Austan said...

Reading your blog is like a meditation. Centering, uninflaming, redirecting. Thanks, MoonRaven.