Be a wounded healer

A few years ago I heard a great interview* with Dr Cornel West on the National programme. I loved that it was at times scathing about the U.S president (Obama at the time 2011) but still generous and hopeful and considered across a range of topics.

Now 7 + years later Cornel is in Auckland at an event called POLARISED DR CORNEL WEST AND DOUGLAS MURRAY

Personally I could do without the other guy but I do understand how something like this could be a more useful way to acknowledge differences and enjoy a debate of ideas in a non-clickbait environment ( he says hopefully.)

We live in a world where personal relationships are being abstracted by electronic disintermediation in a way that McLuhan thought about but never quite imagined. Our “social” persona’s exist as an unfriendly assembly of attitudes and outcomes that do not sustain and heal – rather the opposite.

Every day brings challenges of meaning and context into the communication flow and some of that is just the struggle with my email spell checker. I swear it takes regular sentences now and swaps in words that make no sense at all. Artificial unintelligence without a conscience. Amplification is not the same as meaning. Personal connection is not social media. We need to transcend all of this. That is the challenge for our times.

I’m not sure that anyone sets out to outright lie but somehow we need to speak the truth to power without validating the fringe.

Here are some lyrics from a Bootsy Collins song that Cornel guested on. Cornel has also worked with Prince, Andre 3000 and others.
 

“We got to be careful with the words that we use…
If we choose to be wounded healers,
Rather than wounded hurters,
We need words of encouragement,
Words of gentleness…
Words of kindness…
Words of ennoblement…
 
Yeah, we want these young brothers and sisters of all colours
To broaden their horizons…
Connect the three dimensions of time,
Your past, your present and your future…
 
You got to respect yourself,
Have confidence in yourself…
Who told you to doubt yourself!
Who told you, you can’t soar like an Eagle…
Who told you that you are to demean yourselves…
Straighten your back up,
When you straighten your back up, you’re going somewhere,
‘Cause folks can’t ride your back unless it’s bent!..”

 
Listen to the whole song below.

 

* from one of my earlier posts & added below as it links to that earlier podcast.

Cornel West Podcast manages to namecheck Plato, Bootsy Collins, Socrates and more – the funk of life…possibilities for transformation. …

Professor West is still a great listen – especially considering these we are short on ‘profound teachable moments” and the U.S is embarking on a dangerous experiment. Among other things Cornel is famous for “Examined Life” which I didn’t remember when I wrote the post above but it all fits.