Cliff Huxtable and his family were the first black people I ever really knew. You can suggest I didn’t know them because they were on television but I felt like I was with them all the time, they were an element of my childhood in the same way that I know what street I lived on, where I went to school, who my friends were.
If the Huxtable’s weren’t real, neither were any of these other things.
Even though I grew up on a liberal University campus that embraced diversity in a big way, it was Bill Cosby who made significant impact on my understanding of our commonality and helped so many of us become colorblind in countless ways.
We fear what we don’t understand and he helped us have no fear.
Fast-forward 3 decades and I observe my own daughter, just now an adult herself. She is nearly colorblind. I have not ever noticed her to describe someone as black or white, Asian or Hispanic, gay or straight. She describes them as they are, authentically individualistic people with parts that make up the whole. It does not even occur to her to characterize them in any grouping other than human.
With all that’s being revealed about Bill Cosby I’m contemplating what’s happened. I ponder if the immense good he’s done, good that I am the product of, is now somehow invalidated because it appears as though he caused immense suffering?
I once read some writing of Ted Kaczynski and thought it was extraordinary wisdom. I even began to quote it in an article I was working on until I realized who wrote it. Were those words somehow less wise because of their author?
Way back in the day, my friend was a massively bad dude, a killer honestly. He served his time and did immense inner work and now 30 years later I’ve never been with a more holy, kind and noble man. Is his kindness today somehow invalid just because he was previously horrible?
I think about all the times I’ve been awesome and done really good kind acts towards people, followed up by an almost inevitable moment of assholeness. Occasionally, overtired and in a hurry, I can be epically mean. I work on it, but it’s just a part of my nature. When that part of me reveals itself, does it erase all the good I’ve done?
I think that answer rests somewhere in the middle of yes and no.
I often think about how Osama bin Laden was born perfect, a cherished baby being held and loved just like me. And, all those people are still dead.
The seeds of evil and the seeds of nobility are deep within me, in all of us.
It takes focus and strong determination and vigilant attention to cultivate the parts of me I want to see the light and to grow into something so big it overshadows any darkness that still resides.
I’m on it.
―“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ―Rumi
―”If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ―Lao-tzu
―“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” ―Pablo Neruda