***Remember Alert.Aware, Mindful is every other Monday!***
Song: This Side of Town by Voice4Education
AAM Episode #4 (Loosely based Transcript)
My name is Elle Madelyn and this is my podcast Alert Aware Mindful or AAM for short, which includes my own thoughts and reactions to current events, pop culture, social justice activism and consciousness, I will also discuss coping skills to deal with the inevitable stress that dealing with these issues bring up.
This week I feel a bit unsure about the direction of the podcast versus what I originally said, it was about. In the first episode I said that I wanted to make an impact on POLICY because I think it could affect more people in a positive way. But I am unsure as to how to make that jump. I think that informing people “Hey racism is bad! Or Hey sexism is here! –is good in that it speaks to being or becoming more aware of moments when discrimination is present, but it does nothing to inform you of what to do when you see it.
Some people will feel awkward and not say anything and they may feel guilty later, some will get in the offending person’s face and make their feelings known that it’s unacceptable behavior, etc., or wait and try to quietly address it later.
On top of being unsure when witnessing discrimination while it’s happening –sometimes we don’t know how to respond. Sometime confrontation can lead to escalation and drama. Most don’t want to be in the position of scolding a peer or a coworker or even a boss.
My concern is that I don’t want my podcast to be a complaining space session. Many things in the world are wrong. Too many people starve to death, while fruit withers on the tree. In all these many years with all our technology and resources—the world should not have this problem. The ubiquitous SOMEONE is supposed to have already figured this out and fixed the problem. The same someone who was supposed to “fix” racism and sexism and homophobia.
I love the idea of having guest interviews because some of the people in my life are so interesting. I’ve always known that, but we really don’t talk about their social justice work in their jobs or volunteer time. Also I find the reasons why each guest feels a pull towards social justice work— to be fascinating. Maybe it’s that I find people to be intriguing, which is why my chosen profession is essentially listening to people tell me their story all day. There is a lot more to it, but in essence that’s exactly what it is.
This podcast was started while I was looking for a job. I was hired in January and started in February and it’s been an adjustment from getting up at 8 to getting up at 545 to do yoga, meditation, and Leave the house by 7 to get to work by 8. It’s not new. My body is just adjusting the new schedule—in short I am tiiired. I contemplated not doing the podcast this week, in fact I thought about not doing it at ALL anymore because I may not have time or I may be stressed.—BUT nothing has changed from the time I began the podcast. All of the things that cause genuine long lasting upset and sadness in regards to how we treat each other on this planet, ARE STILL HERE. And not talking about them and allowing ourselves to be distracted doesn’t help a damn thing. Life is a distraction—there are so many things that take your attention, but I can’t stop. It’s similar to my song writing and music making. I don’t know if anyone will listen to my music or lyrics—even my family and friends. But to be very REAL—It’s not for them I make for. I create music because I can’t NOT make music. I just love it. I can come up with flowery language to try and describe my feelings but the short answer is that I love music, it fills me and makes me happy. I strongly believe that when you happen upon some hobby or activity that gives you joy with a capital J you should hold onto it with both hands —-if it is good for you and let it go if it’s not.
Feeling the burn to DO something came after Ferguson. But I’m not sure I’m a GREAT candidate for policy change. A lonely minor in public policy does not a lobbyist make. Also, I hate politics. A LOT. I don’t have the patience, I think I would go nuts. I was originally thinking that I would find laws that are perpetuating damaging discrimination to bring attention to them and possibly get involved that way.
I want to help, but I want to be part of the long term solution and searching oneself for damaging bias seems to be a good way to do that, because you take the self-righteousness and judgment of others, out of the equation (if you are honest with yourself—and let’s face it, with some people that can be a big “if”). The only one you are responsible for is you. Your thoughts, your feelings, your “uncomfortableness.” Also this is something we all have to do.
I posted the article about able-bodied privilege, because privilege isn’t just about race, it can also be your country(being born in a first world country), your religion (belonging to a dominant religion), and pretty much anything that is granted to you for no other reason than being part of a group, such as looks, wealth, fame, etc. I don’t usually stop to think about that fact I can just bounce up the stairs in a few seconds, when it will take others much longer with a cane. Or how it’s not the big bathroom, but a way for differently abled person to use the facilities. It helps me to not only adjust my thinking but to take a moment and practice gratitude. I don’t think about hiding what religious books I’m reading, so others don’t make comments about me being a terrorist, I don’t think about how lucky I am to live in a much freer country than others. In some countries writing this blog would get me thrown in jail or even just READING it. The US has its problems but I appreciate it all the more when I return from overseas because I am allowed to say that I disagree with our government, without being disappeared.
This episode’s Called to Action quote is by James Baldwin.
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
Check out the Stress Less Page for progress on my de-stress techniques I have been using the past few weeks. It will be on ellemadelyn.com under the Hope and Cope Tab on Episode 4. I will close out this episode with another song. This one is by Voice for Education it’s called, This side of town. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdaQ6N8TvOE
Thank you for listening to Alert Aware Mindful, or AAM for short, this is Elle Madelyn.
Reminding you to stay awake.
Happy Black History Month everyone!