19 Oct ¡Viva La Muerte!
The other day, as I walked into a local supermarket, I nearly tripped over a display of large pots of marigolds seasonally marketed for Day of the Dead. This store is in a neighborhood that has almost no Latinos, and so all the more reason it gave me pause to note how much Día de los Muertos has penetrated American society.
I don’t think that is a bad thing. Besides the obvious reminder that Latino culture is well woven into the fabric of the US, this celebration is also a subtle reminder that our traditional indigenous cultures were much more adept at addressing the concept of death than we are today.
Modern advancements in science and medicine have not only allowed for a delay in the death process, they often removed the entire process from sight. Generally speaking, modern western culture fears death, and when we fear something, we give it power.
Fear doesn’t keep the inevitable from happening, it simply limits our ability to respond.
On the east coast, we are experiencing a major season of death. I was reminded of this while I was out walking and noticed how many piles of crunchy dead leaves were beginning to pool on the sidewalks.
In the natural world, death has to come in order to make way for new life.
Death comes in many forms: habits, practices, and belief systems all have the ability to die. And, sometimes that is a really good thing.
We all have things in our lives that need to die off – places where new growth cannot happen until they do.
Pervasive in the current news is the increasing number of revelations about sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry.
We know that this kind of behavior is not isolated. It occurs everywhere and in many types of situations.
Social media is filled with the echoes of people- me included – who have shared their pain through the hashtag, #MeToo.
Perhaps, just perhaps, this will be the beginning of the death of the attitude that anyone has to accept this treatment as an inevitable; that they have to stay silent; that this is just the way things are.
See, death can be a very good thing.
But what happens when fear keeps us from killing off things that need to go? Halloween is a time when we use fear as a means of fun. However, fear in our personal and professional lives can keep us from acting, from growing, from living fully.
Is there something in your life that is ready to die so something better can be born? Where is fear keeping you from taking an important step.
Share your story for support and encouragement on our Facebook page, and viva la muerte!