On the definition of “Race”

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I’ve been silent on this blog. It has just been one of those weeks where coping with the “stuff of life” that comes up around jobs and getting along with other people has required extra time, and I come home, falling into bed exhausted, without much time for any internet activity. I miss writing. It is one freedom of expression in the midst of my chaos that lets me feel connected and heard by the human race.

The human race… I wonder how the word “race” took on another meaning for the word “species.” When I watch a horse race, or a car race, I am surely not expecting the plodding speed of evolution. So are we talking “race” as in the evolution of a species?

A visit to Webster’s fabulous, infamous book on word meanings has solved that question for me. From the Old Norse räs and Old English ræs, “race” evolved from the word to rush, go fast like competing horses or a creek rushing through its passage in the rocks. “Race” in terms of people came from the Old Italian razza, which meant breeding stock of animals or a certain group of people bound together by common interest. Question solved.

Being a naturally curious person, I love it when such questions are easily solved. But many more questions are not easily solved, and they are not mine to solve.

I have been much preoccupied with the question, “What’s next?” now that the president and many of his power-mad puppet cronies have caught the very disease that he has been denying since its inception and during the campaign trail. There is a law in physics that pretty much states the obvious, I think. “For every action, there will be an equal or opposite reaction.” Going back to that original Old Norse word for “race” – räs – in terms of exposing themselves to contagion, could they have been in a race to see who was stupider?

We already know from his own lips that #45 supported white suprematists – that Old Italian word razza – so I think this pretty much ties both meanings of the current English word “race” together, would you agree? Therefore, I will draw the conclusion from the coinciding origins of this word “race,” to be that we are stronger working together than apart, in listening to science and what science knows is expedient and smart, lest we pay the ultimate price for personal stupidity.

I believe that we as a nation owe Donald Trump a debt. Whatever the nature of his soul, he has been a constant, tumultuous, driving chaotic force in exposing the belly of America’s shadow. I do not like the man, and I will not have much good to say about him whether he survives the Corona or not, but he has done this service for America. One of the things about working with my own shadows has been that I must expose them to the light of truth for them to reveal the emotional healing that is necessary. Donald Trump has exposed the belly of America’s racism, American’s narcissism, its sexism, and environmental excesses, so that “We the people by the people” must face, decide, and act on the tomorrow we would like to create collectively.

I would like to see a world made respectful and more loving from the grief we have collectively faced in confronting COVID-19. I would like to see a world that gives a damn about Nature out of respect that Earth is home to all of us and we will not survive long without a healthy environment. I would like to see us examine our most personal values in the light of truth with a willingness to engage the shadow in order to heal things. I would like to see human beings willing to engage with “What is” instead of what they imagine is real.

We can race on from birth to death caught up in the dream of life, or we can slow down, take the time and occasion to perceive that which IS, and react or respond accordingly. We cannot expect to learn about reality from “Reality TV” or “Reality TV stars,” because that is all show for glamour. What is Real, is my husband beside me sharing this Earth walk, the dog asking for her morning stroll to stop and sniff the not-daisies, the need to go to work to pay the bills, and the need to dive within myself to feel as deeply as I can the meaning of my life today. This is Real. This is Now. This is What Is.

And how is your life going today? I sincerely hope things are good for you. In this time and upheaval of chaos and change, I sincerely hope things are good for you. We all need some well wishing in these times.


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