Yesterday I was reminded of why I got in to the entertainment business in the first place. It wasn’t because I loved production or acting or writing, although I do, it was because I felt like there was something I needed to express and that film and television, were the most powerful mediums for expressing it.
See I grew up kinda odd. Thanks to my mother who was a very successful divorcer, I was blessed to be raised and loved by 5 wonderful, sane, intelligent, non-imposing, non-violent parents, who have acted as amazing mentors, each teaching me different, important and powerful lessons about life and I listened to each of them with an open heart and open ears.
But here’s the key: they all taught me different lessons, sometimes very different, and in my attempt to love, honor, respect and assimilate all their viewpoints I became a very different kind of person. Thanks to the remarkably diverse environment I was exposed to I became aware right from the start that there were no “right” ways to do anything, there were just ways, what worked for one did not work for the other and that that was okay. I learned that there were no “right” and “wrong” people to love, there were just people and you could choose to love them or not but that if you chose not to love them then that said more about you than it did about the other person.
For the first 20 years of my life I thought I was normal. I lived in this lovely little Holly bubble were I thought it was natural to love everybody, to live and let live, to listen without the need to judge and control. I thought it was normal to discuss and to debate but never to fight. I thought everyone was as committed to getting along and treating each other with kindness as I was. That everyone agreed that fighting and hurting one another was tantamount to failure, a failure to communicate effectively, and that people took that failure as seriously as I did.
But when I was 21 the Holly bubble burst. I got exposed to the world at large and found out that that is not at all how most people see the world. Suddenly I could hear all the fighting, all the intolerance, all the miscommunication, all the sides being chosen, all the lines being drawn, all the blaming and that drum has gotten louder and louder ever since and its been heart breaking.
At first, I tried to listen to every bit of it, and I mean all of it, from every source no matter how extreme, no matter how much it hurt, thinking if I could just understand it all maybe I could make a difference. And I tried everything I could to use what I learned to make that difference, I lovingly shared new viewpoints at every chance I could, I tried writing movies and tv shows with a message that nobody ever read, I even created the Human Flag (a flag for all humanity – yes I am that much of a geek) that I think people just kinda laughed at me for, but to be quite honest, with all my effort and heartache, I am not sure I really made all that much of a difference. For the most part I felt misunderstood, and even invisible at times, to a world so committed to their fighting.
But recently I realized that I can’t make a difference by listening to all of this nonsense and trying to make sense out of it. It’s like standing in quicksand because there is no sense to be made out of why people are so hurtful or combative to one another, period. We always have choices about how we are going to react and behave in response to all people and circumstances and we are always 100% responsible for our own choices and behaviors. I don’t care what the other person, country, political party or blah blah blah did, I care what you did in response to it. Didn’t anyone’s else’s parents ever teach them this? I realized that out of compassion, I have actually been an enabler, trying to make excuses for this dysfunctional family that inhabits our planet, and in the process it has made me crazy and even often times depressed and I am done.
Enough is enough. I am going back in my Holly Bubble (or my turtle shell if you will). It’s nicer, kinder and more tolerant in there. It’s the place where I can be my happy self, it’s where my true center is, and if I am ever to make a difference in this world I think it makes sense that it will be from that place. I would love company, and would especially love help from some special people to help me tell my stories but naturally, since it’s my shell, everyone will have to abide by my rules and my rules are as follows: Be Nice! If the nicest thing you can do is leave, then leave. If you can figure out a new way to be nice, then come back. For me it’s really that simple. And that’s all I have to say about that.