Dropping Pennies is about insights, changes in perspectives. The Ah Ha!, and Oh!, moments I have, books I read and anything else that catches my fancy. And every now and then I’ll throw in something about my business, Wise Women Travellers, travelling theater company.
I grew up in a family of girls in the Cariboo, BC Canada. My father followed the work, mining and logging while my mother kept the ‘home fires burning’, canning a quarter acre garden and the deer or moose they brought in, not necessarily during the hunting season.
I was in my early teens before we got electricity and running water.
For my 10th birthday, I begged my parents for a pair of cap guns that I saw in the window of the local store – they were full size with leather cross holsters that tied down. I was in my 30’s when I let them go, and even now question why. I believe that the choices we make in life should be informed – conscious – not because others say so or because we’re swept up in the moment – I found not thinking through a choice creates regrets. And so, letting go of my guns was not something I thought through.
About the same timeframe, age 10, a group of entertainers came to town and played at the community hall. The MC and main singer introduced his daughter who tapped danced, telling us that she didn’t like to practice, she would rather skip. So, he and she agreed she could skip as long as she tapped at the same time. It was the first time I realized that work could be more than drudgery.
At Simon Fraser university, where I graduated in 1994 with a BFA in theater, I met a young man in his 20’s, who was born in Tibet, raised in China and India, and was Caucasian. He showed me that race, colour, or religion do not necessarily create culture. Culture stems from our life experiences.
According to E.B. Taylor, culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a man as a member of society.”
Today there seems to be more pressure on people to conform. Different cultures demand that their differences be acknowledged and the expectations that we deny who we are in order to be seen as politically correct and unbiased. I believe that if we accept our own culture, and acknowledge what doesn’t work, and what does, then we are apt to look for alternatives that are more expansive than our individual culture and then become more accepting of all cultures.
Denying ‘our Selves’ doesn’t create better people. Denying who we are doesn’t help the issues that arise when cultures clash. How can we accept one another if we are denied our own?