Friday, February 27, 2009

Polar bears - the ultimate example

Friday, February 27, 2009 - Polar bears have drawn the short straw. These spectacular animals have ruled the north for centuries, and we are slowly eating away at their kingdom. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for global warming, but I would like to be a little more selective about where we warm.

I hate to think of these majestic bears drowning in the less than frozen waters while they roam hundreds of miles in search of food. If it means ensuring the polar bears have a place to roam, and breed, and feed and carry on, I could always put on a third and fourth sweater. It is International Polar Bear Day. I don't think a day is going to do it for them. Might need to be polar bear decade, or century if we expect them to be around for generations to come.

I have a trivia question for you. What colour is a polar bear's skin? Those large, white, top of the food chain beauties of the north are only white on the outside. Their skin... black. Pretty spectacular animals, and yet, they represent so much of what we should be. They are a blend of gentle and powerful, elegant and rugged, black and white. They are the dichotomies that make them such fascinating animals. As humans, we could learn so much from the polar bear.

The colour of a polar bear on the outside says nothing of the colour under the fur. CNN re-ran the "Black in America" series this week, and I found myself trying hard to understand the separation of black people and white people. Maybe its a testament to my mother and the values she instilled in me. Maybe it's the diverse friends I've always had around me. But I don't understand how anyone can be grouped... identified by... expected to behave in... some stereotypical way that can easily identify one as black, white or other. I've always believed that people live the lives that follow the paths they've chosen. But my eyes have been opened. Seeing just how different the many shades of North Americans are often treated, I'm almost ashamed of being a white female with an education, unlimited opportunities and a family that is always there to support my efforts.

It's a no brainer that what we really need to do is step up and be accountable - everyone - for the way we treat each other. But like all no-brainers... it takes a bit of brain to see the big picture. Small giant, small fortune, big baby, butt head, dim wit, jumbo shrimp, no-brainer... the oxymoron. For in order for something to be a no brainer, you must have had the brain power to figure out the obvious. So when you think of the no brainers in your world today, remember that in it took brains to come to some obvious concusion in the first place. On No Brainer Day... take a lesson from the polar bear. Whether you are black or white, your brains are, after all, gray.

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