Archive for August, 2009

Pretending to Be Asleep

I was doing a bit of research on Native American proverbs and came across this one from the Navajos:

“You cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.”

It really struck me, and it’s been coming back to me for days now.  It’s the whole idea of being accountable to our own enlightenment.  If we know there is another, more humane or healthier or environmentally sounder, way we can behave, if we do not behave that way, aren’t we “pretending to be asleep”? Isn’t that worse, in a way, than truly being unaware?

I just read the novel, American Wife (just for fun, not a review–boy,  it sucked me in!).  The tale of a first lady, inspired by Laura Bush, focused in part on the psychological dilemma of how accountable she is for her husband’s actions that she did not speak up about, how responsible she is for what she does not say or do with her personal power.  Brilliantly told, the book had me thinking about this concept a lot.

On a cultural level, not unlike bystanders in such social tragedies as the Holocaust or the Tuskegee Experiment — how responsible are we when we see something happening, something we can do, but ignore it?

On an Earth level, why aren’t we all composting (why aren’t I? buy the composter for the patio already, Meeg!) or driving electric cars, or taking five-minute showers, by now? How many of us truly don’t know we should be doing this to help preserve the planet?

Even on a mundane, personal level, if I know I could be eating healthier or exercising (ahem) and I don’t, aren’t I also “pretending to be asleep”?  I’m speaking to a wellness expert tomorrow about a possible collaborative project, so I’m really thinking about the fact that I am currently deep in the mommy syndrome of taking care of the children and not so much myself these days.  Of course, opening myself to this project is also hopefully a way to nudge myself awake again on the personal wellness front.

It’s all about being awake, and it’s all connected, isn’t it?  It’s all connected…

August 4, 2009 at 6:13 am 2 comments


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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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