Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Confused Thoughts on a Changing World

Ribbons of Color

My thoughts fly through the air like silken ribbons of color escaping on a whirlwind. I try to gather them together in search of meaning, of hope. They elude me. I look for signs of possibility in the creative life around me . . . by reading the words of others, by watching a choreographer create, by soaking in the powerful energy of imagination.

Mystical dance

Once in a while I am reminded of how much the world has changed, but the change doesn't always seem to be for the best.. My joy over the SCOTUS decision about DOMA is tempered by its decision that opens the way to voter rights restrictions which will only emphasize the racism and prejudice that still dominates our society.

My excitement over the ability for people to travel and see the world is tempered by the reality of travel--easy and comfortable only for those who can afford it. Experience after experience this year shows me that corporations, or at least airlines, only see ticket prices and dollar signs. They no longer recognize that they are dealing with human beings who deserve a modicum of respect.

It seems like respect is a scarce commodity in all aspects of life.

On Monday I spent the day trying to get from point A to point B.Along the way I was made aware of how much the bottom line has replaced interpersonal relations.

The trip took much longer than it should have, and I have to question why.

Now, granted the distance between point A and point B is 1476 miles, so transportation between those two points is not instantaneous, and I recognize that sometimes delays are inevitable (such as weather and mechanical issues).

So perhaps that's what caused the delay. Except that I'm suspicious. When I checked in on-line for my flight, I noted that there was a flight with the same number scheduled for later in the day. My flight was supposed to leave at 1:35 and that flight was supposed to leave a couple of hours later . . . funny thing that my flight didn't actually leave until around the time the second flight was scheduled.

Having been burned by one airline this year (BOYCOTT UNITED!!) I was hoping to have discovered a solution to domestic flight challenges, but the search continues given: my suspicions about the delay; the complete lack of communication and respect from the flight crew; the fact that you have to pay for all beverages and all luggage, even carryons, and the tiny space between seats--Spirit Airlines is now officially on my NO FLY list.

Is it really so hard to treat people kindly?

What does this have to do with a changing world? The lack of respect for one another, and the worship of the all-mighty dollar over true human kindness has gone to far. Humanity has lost its way.

Yesterday, as SCOTUS made its decision, I watched a Plays for Living© production of "What's the Difference?" performed at a YMCA camp. According to their website:
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? is a fast and furious piece designed to appeal to generation “next”. The play teaches young people about diversity and prepares them to face the experience of group identification with open minds.

 Overall the kids responded well, and seemed to understand the message of the play. However, thoughts went through my head as I listened to the talk back:
  • several kids said they thought the world would fall into chaos if we didn't define ourselves by groups
  • several kids was wanted to be identified as cool, or popular, or smart or whatever
  • the play divides people in groups by the color of their shirts, with the main character the only person to wear a white shirt. As the person facilitated the discussion she asked the question, "what color do you want to be?" The answer, of course, was white. But the question should never have been worded in that way. As I looked around this camp, and noted only a few dark faces in the midst of  a sea of white faces, I felt in my heart that we need to change the metaphor. The message is good, the metaphor is wrong. Will the world ever get past discussions of race as what defines us? Will we ever get past the creation of us and them?
My thoughts continue to fly from hope to despair, wondering if true change will ever come. But then I notice, its in the air. Sometimes it's difficult to recognize, but it is truly there. It comes in a path built so that a person in a wheelchair can participate fully. It comes in the celebrations all over the country about marriage equality. It comes when talking to an incredibly talented theatre for young audiences practitioner and seeing the spark of creative energy in his eye.

[caption id="attachment_6803" align="aligncenter" width="584"]A New Path, a sign of hope. A New Path, a sign of hope.[/caption]

Hope comes from places unexpected, if you are only open to possibilities.