Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent Tradition

You can take the girl out of the church, but you can't take the Catholic out of the girl. While we weren't super observent Catholics growing up, we did observe Lent. I really wish UUism had something similar. I love the idea of a community taking time out to reflect and deepen their spiritual practice. Maybe we should start a movement! What to call it....

It has become a tradition for Husband and I to give up eating out. You might ask how that is deepening our spiritual practice. To me it is a way to refocus our efforts back to respecting family time, whole foods, and slowing down. Eating at home is healthier. A healthier body allows for a more focused and engaged mind. I realize that eating out is a luxury for a lot of people, but Husband and I use it too much as a crutch for poor planning and just plain laziness. The kids take it for granted that we can just pick something up when we don't feel like cooking. That is not how I grew up. Eating out was a rarity and certaintly not something you just did because you felt like it! I want us, as a family, to be healthier and really value the process of putting food on the table. Having enough to eat is not something to be taken for granted.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Black History Month and Where I Live

In one of my classes we were discussing segregation, especially within schools and the incredibly inequality of education. We heard a clip from the agitator Jonathon Kozol. If you are a social worker, you will be familiar with his work, if you aren't, please read some of his books. (this class is slowly drawing back to social work...) He really got me to thinking about where I live. It is no secret that St. Louis is very segregated. I don't mean suggest every neighborhood is like that, but there was a lot of white flight. I live in suburb north of the city that is also experiencing white flight. We knew that when we moved here. It was an adjustment. Not with living within an integrated community, but with the extreme negativity the white folks had with their new neighbors. Once again, not every one is like this, but it wears on you. I have chosen to live here and I am tired of people criticizing it! I can't even imagine what it must be like to be African American and know that you have all this negativity directed towards to you. Due to the housing collapse, a lot of the flight has stopped and people are starting to get used to each other. The misunderstandings and assumptions are fading. I remember growing up thinking that I wanted my children to have friends from all different backgrounds (race and class). They are getting that here. Their school is approximately 50% white and 50% minority (mostly African American, with a few Hispanic and Asian). To my kids, the world is not segregated. Skin color is just a color. Their best friends are African American and that is completely normal. They see us hang out with a whole spectrum of people and that is just everyday life. Is everything perfect? No, but no community is. But, to break down those walls, we need to live with each other and see each other as individuals and all the gifts we bring to the table.