White men can jump. It’s off a box called privilege
White men can jump!
They have a box to jump off.
It’s called privilege.
And every honest breath has come to this realization.
And honesty for a mature man is not telling someone else how you feel about them.
Emotional honesty is looking at your own behaviours.
The good and the bad.
And then owning the shit.
And then telling someone else about YOU!
And what I have experienced with my emotional honesty is an ability to look at others without a filter.
I do not look at gender, colour, age or status.
What I ‘see’ is the back of peoples eyes where the human being lives.
Way back into their eyes, where the colour merges with the soul.
And if you have looked frankly back at yourself, people will give you the permission to look at them.
When you have been brutally honest about your own foibles you begin to wear the cloak of life lightly and not take yourself too seriously.
From pain comes reward.
The lens of discrimination and the burden of resentment falls away.
Sadly, this seems a rare skill because we live in a strange world.
An upside down world.
Led by angry, old, white men driven by fear and resentment.
We tear down the righteous and look up to the arrogant and the ruthless.
Somehow, the calculating bullies make it further down the capitalist road.
Or do they?
My view is that democracy and the propaganda of success is a myth propagated by advertising and social media.
It is a trick and con job to persuade people to purchase ‘stuff’ they think they need to appear successful.
Invented after the First World War to keep the white warlords in the seats of power.
Fat white bums.
Withered black hearts.
Pompous, arrogant old men.
Building and selling the machines of war to feather their own barren nests.
Yet the pages of history unfold and the words scream at us to really see the con job we continue to believe and uphold.
World War Two.
Words written in blood.
Yet, popular opinion seems to avidly soak up each dripping, vile word as if it is written by the angels themselves.
What have we become?
There needs to be a revolution.
And I am starting my own revolution by shutting my mouth and listening to women.
A silent revolt.
Take for an example an amazing experience I had a few weeks ago.
Sitting with two women on a Sydney, corporate rooftop.
Perched up in the blue, marbled sky.
The haze and the heat surrounded us as the billowing air bounced and danced off the sparkling harbour down and to our south.
Below us, the sounds of kids playing in a school yard echoed up off the metal and the glass.
I could hear the crack of a cricket bat and the bounce of a leather ball, as the kids ran to and fro across the baking, black tarmac.
It felt ok.
And I was taking a back seat.
Listening to two women.
And it hit me;
‘When men stay silent they become effective.’
And I was being effective because my mouth was firmly shut.
With my eyes, and my heart and my soul.
To two women.
Younger but wiser.
And I had much to learn.
And as I looked over our beautiful harbour city, I realized that the age of the old, white man is coming to an end.
Yes, we have had our time.
And this is a good thing.
White mans’ legacy?
108 million people killed by war in the 20th century.
90 per cent of the worlds’ animals extinct.
So I turned back to listen and they unlocked my block.
Women see life.
Men see death.
Women open doors.
Men close them.
And life talked in front of me about children and family and dogs and community.
And one turned to me and said;
“You are different.”
And I ran my hands through my greying hair and caught my thinning face in the reflection of a metal chair.
And this older, white male sensed his mortality.
And in my mortality I saw my privilege.
And privilege had set me apart.
It was a reason and not an excuse.
It is a reason to explain who I was and a reason to change.
But there is no excuse for my birthright, nor do I apologize.
It demands that I recognize.
And I recognize that my social position and the colour of my father’s skin gave me an advantage.
Yet, as a teenager I had no idea what a gift being a white boy with a private school education really was.
Pissed most of it against a wall because that was my right.
And it took me many years of unshackled, self-righteousness to see I was wrong.
Then more years of work on myself to right the wrongs.
And as I get further away from my last drink of alcohol I see that my antiquated, outdated view of manhood drove my inadequacy and this inflamed my anxiety which fueled my addiction.
When the man sees the boy only then does the boy commence to become the man.
He starts to grow.
And the growth is painful because the very things I exploited I actually coveted.
I was a child living in fantasy.
Reality was a concept I did not understand.
Yet, wasn’t I successful?
The house and cars.
My suits and watches and memberships.
All the trappings but no substance.
And at the root of all my self inflated misery?
My warped view of women and sexuality.
Yes, I was a good man.
An open man.
But a sick man.
Pickled by alcohol and drugs.
My years of standing in pubs lying to my mates while I listened to their bullshit had formed a view in my head that was corrupted.
I was a fool.
And the solution to my sickness?
Obviously not drink booze.
It is a poison.
But the critical second step?
And listen to women.
And I have failed time and time again.
I still fail.
And I slip back into old behaviour.
But when I stop talking and I start listening the magic begins.
And I hear the truth.
My time as an old white man is coming to an end.
And that is ok.