I won’t become a doctor.
One day you will be sick.
Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous).
“Hell, yes. The idea that there’s one soul out there, waiting to merge with mine like some data-sharing program, depresses the hell out of me.”
“It’s not like that. It’s not about losing yourself.”
“Then what is it?” Alex was only half listening, still occupied with the viselike tightness of his chest.
“It’s like your whole life you’ve been falling toward the earth, until the moment someone catches you. And you realize that somehow you’ve caught her at the same time. And together, instead of falling, you might be able to fly.” The ghost went to the discarded clipping and stared down at the photo, riveted. “She’s a beaut, isn’t she?
I have been to many religious services over the years. Each one I go to only reinforces my general impression that religions have much, much more in common than they like to admit. The beliefs are almost always the same; it’s just that the histories are different. Everybody wants to believe in a higher power. Everybody wants to belong to something bigger than themselves, and everybody wants company in doing that. They want there to be a force of good on earth, and they want an incentive to be part of that force. They want to be able to prove their belief and their belonging, through rituals and devotion. They want to touch the enormity.
It’s only in the finer points and it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we all have about 98% in common with each other. Yes, the differences between male and female are biological, but if you look at the biology as a matter of percentage, there aren’t a whole lot of things that are different. Race is different purely as a social construction, not as an inherent difference. And religion – whether you believe in God or Yahweh or Allah or something else, odds are that at heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, like the focus of the 2% that’s different, and most of the conflict in the world comes from that.