I was working on an art journal page recently and started digging through my paper collection. I have some ephemera of my own, but I also have a stack that I’ve bought from a lady who meant to use the items for her own art. She soon realized that she had more ephemera than time for art. It turns out she has a great eye for things that spark creativity. One of the pieces was a page from a book of fables – stories designed to teach us something. I think this one is remarkably appropriate for what we are experiencing now. The entire wording is contained between the lines below. My comments will follow.
A quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. The Hunter agreed, but said: “If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.” The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: “Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back.”
“Not so fast, friend,” said the Hunter. “I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present.”
If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.
It is now time to be aware and awake to our divisiveness. Our lack of unity with each other and within ourselves allows us to be led astray by others. It renders us passive and not active members of life, of community.
It is not time to worry or complain about those who seek to divide us – to put us into “us” and “them” categories, who want to bait us like fighting dogs.
To be against those who seek to use us for their own gain is to further be drawn into the spiral. It is to become that which we are trying to be aware of.
The goal is to be aware of every time you are distracted.
Notice when you are being baited, being told that “they” – whoever “they” are – are the reason that you are down.
“They” aren’t the reason for why you feel the way you do. “They” are the same as you. They are struggling too.
It is easy for people to pick on those who are seen as weaker. It is easy to scapegoat. Don’t do it. Rise above. Don’t be drawn into that game. Turn it upside down. Notice who you are being told to be afraid of, to hate and instead make friends with them. Learn everything you can about them. Join up with them for your common cause of working together.
Remember the old phrase – “United we stand, divided we fall.”
Remember the motto on the back of the US dollar bill – “E pluribus unum”. It means “Out of many, one.” It means we are stronger together.
It is time to stop being scattered and divided. We allow others to use us when we are like that.