yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Justice: Reacting to Indignities

Everyday indignities seem to be in my field of awareness right now. I've always been one to speak my mind when I sense an injustice against me or another person, but have noticed my reluctance to voice my opinion for fear of not being "politically correct" and because I am weary of what feels like an endless stream of new and innovative ways we humans inflict misery on each other.

What brings this to mind is the "latest" in medical technology which I was introduced to the other day when I took my mother for an outpatient hospital procedure. I walked in the patient area to find a 1/2" x 2" metallic label stuck on the middle of my mother's forehead. I asked her what that was and she said she didn't know. She laughed it off, but I could tell it offended her, wearing what looked like a UPC code across her forehead (left on for a few hours). Finally, a nurse explained it is a thermometer. Well, that is certainly innovative. In our "self serve" society, not having to take a patient's temperature is convenient for the medical staff but damned undignified for the patient! Like those stickers on raw fruit and vegetables that seemed shocking at first and are now ubiquitous, putting a sticker across a person's forehead is to me very disrespectful. As a friend says, as if branded like cattle and ready for slaughter.

In many cultures and religions, the forehead is a sacred part of the body. In yoga, this is the "mystical third eye" area, where we allow vision, clarity, enlightenment, higher thought to flow. In India, married women paint a red dot between the brows. In Judaism, teffilin (black leather boxes containing sacred scrolls) are worn above the forehead by devout Jewish men. There is symbolic significance to the forehead in Buddhism, Taoism, gnostic texts, and western wisdom teachings as this is the location of pineal and pituitary glands. There is also the connotation of "dunce" or being marked as an outsider. The next time my mother has one of these things stuck to her forehead, I will speak up (with her permission) and ask to have it removed. In a hospital setting, patients get cowed a bit, I think, as you are trusting the staff to do what is "best" for you, and maybe don't feel able or allowed to speak up.

One should always trust one's gut. It never lies. If we see with our mind's eye as well, we become more aware. If we have a voice, we can speak out against injustice (even small indignities) and not stand aside but stay true to ourselves and our beliefs. We can look out for ourselves and for others who might need our assistance. I for one am tired of following "political correctness" and pretending to smile while inside I am angry about another slight, another indignity. We have so much to celebrate, too! But there is a balance. I know in my gut and have seen with my mind's eye that I get more bees with honey than vinegar. That is a way to peace in the world: Speaking with kindness, but speaking what is right!

1 comment:

  1. I dropped by nursing home where my mother is since she broke her other hip. Even though I have been coming a lot to oversee her care I felt my blood pressure rise walking through the door. The questions start...why is she lying in her room dishevelled and pale as if no one cared enough to help her into her nice clothes and comb her hair? But she said she didnt care. Then her lunch came...mashed potatoes again, overcooked vegetable and rice-- Where is the protein? but she said she didnt care.
    I feel upset imagining what it's like when Im not there. She has good insurance and in one of the better nursing homes. I dont trust there is enough oversight. So I show up with my back up ready for the next little indignity on my mother. I dont want to let her go this way!!!