Yes, I did that once. Buying French porn that is… Now let me explain, when you are all alone in Paris you need a little distraction…no, no…actually I was all alone in Belgium, I had decided to backpack through Europe…in the midst of winter. Not surprisingly I was alone. I also happened to have made the decision that I was bringing no entertainment on this trip, so as to clear my head. Belgium in winter with no entertainment. Ya…
So what happened was that one fine day in one city, which one I have forgotten, I decided I had had enough of being without brain stimuli and company, so I walked into a bookshop. One of those second-hand bookshops where you never know what you will find. I found a cute little French book (or at least it was written in French) and so I decided to buy it. It was from 1890 or something like that, all about a school for girls.
I then got back to the youth hostel, or a cafe, I fail to remember which and decided to read the book. Something along the lines of smacking naughty girls on the bottom with hair brushes. (I’m sorry to disappoint you all, it was not exactly two women and a man with an over sized penis… You must be terribly disappointed if you thought this blog would be about that…)
Now I find my book buying escapade rather innocent and as you may know I’m not the kind who thinks porn is a sin. I believe there are more tasteful ways of displaying eroticism, but anyway. So for me this is no sin, but to some it probably would be. Like the pope or something. Yet, I didn’t pick that book being aware of what was inside it. So if you thought porn was a terrible sin (especially the hairbrush spanking…) would you judge me for it?
For a fact we are all born into different places in this world. Different things happen to us when we are children, which often determine our world view and what we end up creating in life. Some people commit terrible mistakes as a result of that. They do things most of us would judge as sinful and downright nasty (I’m not talking about watching porn if you haven’t gathered that by now). It may then be that one day they wake up to the fact that what they have done harms others, themselves, or the planet and they regret it. They regret it because they see there are other ways of life that don’t do harm.
As people we change. Most of us because we discover something beyond what we knew before. Yet, we still have to live with our past actions, even though we have changed we can’t change the past.
Someone here in South Africa told me that Mandela stole some food or something in his youth and because of that they had mixed feelings about him. Now I don’t know much about that man beyond Invictus, but if someone spends that many years in jail and then go onto abolishing apartheid whilst trying to prevent the black turning racist against the white…would you still judge him for the mistakes he made in his youth? No, neither time, nor his other pursuits will make it up to the people he stole from, they won’t get their things back, but still – is the Mandela today to blame for what the Mandela seventy years back?
Sometimes I’m more ashamed of where I came from, than proud of where I got to. Can you recognize yourself in this at all? I never did terrible things, my “sin” was being petrified of people, not having self-confidence and generally disliking myself. I wasn’t happy, I was psychologically messed up and I’ve been really depressed twice. I never feel totally comfortable talking about that though, because I believe people will judge me for it. And I don’t want to be judged for it – I want to be seen for who I am today. On the other hand I truly want to share it as I hope that it might help others realize change is possible. Self-love and acceptance is possible.
I was given my childhood and safe to say I did not know how to interpret the world around me, or what happened to me back then. I drew conclusions that messed me up. I was unhappy. Very unhappy. I acted from that place of unhappiness and created even more unhappiness. But if you want to judge me for that, it’s kind of like judging me for buying porno in Belgium – I had no clue of what I was doing, I bought into something I did not understand. (I wish I had gotten hold of something raunchier at that time…but anyway…) I didn’t commit crimes though and most people would probably only judge me for being miserable and potentially pity me, but what if I had been born into something else? Like poverty and power greedy people around me? Who would I be today?
It’s my belief that we are all hearts. The rest is the topping – both the good and the bad (ego go go). We can shed the topping though, even if scars remain. It can be a bit rough for the ego though, as if you realize the bad isn’t you, maybe what you are proud of isn’t you either. Maybe we are all just hearts…
I don’t know if you can undo criminals – some minds have gone far, far away from their hearts and may be impossible to reconnect. And you have to reconnect with your heart if you are to live a happy life where you serve yourself, others and the planet. I believe you can try though. I believe in “thou mayest” as Steinbeck put it. I believe we have choice. If we are shown so. And that’s why I’m in Africa right now with The Wandering Tales. I believe Africa has a choice.
Choose…choose what’s underneath the clothes…that naked liberation of the heart…