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Posts Tagged ‘not ready to make nice’

In 2003 Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, uttered some very famous words.  Infamous, actually.  At the time I was still in college, still living with my extreme right-wing, Bush-voting, all-military-all-the-time, iron-fisted family.  That makes them sound much worse than they are but you can imagine what their reaction to a statement like Natalie Maines’s was.  They threw away their Dixie Chicks CDs, they went to pro-US rallies and cheered as other patriotic folks set their Dixie Chicks concert tickets on fire.

And I went with them.  Because I was young and I hadn’t gotten out of that environment.  I wasn’t raised to consider my own opinions.  There were, in fact, no opinions in that house at all.  There was right (what my parents told me) and idiocy (whatever came from the mouths of people who disagreed with my parents’ viewpoints).  And that was that.  I didn’t know any different.  I didn’t even think to question it.  I was successfully programmed to be as outraged as they were that anyone would dare speak ill of our country or its leadership.

And I love my family, dont get me wrong.  I still agree with them…sometimes.  But not about this.

Three years later the song Not Ready To Make Nice came out, followed by a beautiful video that stayed on the charts for some incredible length of time.  The first time I saw it, I was either pregnant or sitting at home with a newborn (those months sort of blend together in my memory so I’m not sure exactly when it was).  But I knew I was a mother to a little girl.  And when I saw this video and listened to the lyrics I burst into tears.  That I remember clearly.  I had a moment of clarity or a shift in awareness.  Whatever it was I learned a great deal in that one brief moment – about compassion, about the crucial need to refrain from making judgements of others, about who I really was and what I really believed.  And, most importantly, about who I hoped my daughter would be.  Every time I hear this song I turn up the volume as loud as it can go and say a little prayer that I never forget how I felt the first time it played.

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