.(Part 11 of 7) Tests exist anywhere you are. Since life is continuous, so are tests.
Many indicators suggest one of the most often avoided testing places is the quiet space with self.
The test is conversation.
Far too many of us talk to other people more than we have conversations with ourselves (which includes Ancestors).
Truth is, if you are not able to have conversations with self, you are not going to be able to do so with others, instead you will talk, but not have conversations. Most of us talk like the media and mis-educated children, in soundbites and pre-established phrases. Just listen to people for a minute and you'll hear the sophisticated noise.
Another testing place is the internet.
And yet, another place not understood to be a testing location is family and friends you grew up with and went to school with, including the community you lived in. No matter how old you get, to whatever degree you are not able to deal with these people, is the degree to which you are not ready for the world.
As each child grows and meets person after person, that group of, formal or not, of frequent or infrequent interactions, becomes more and more like any other collective. That group of people contains a range of logic, thus behaviors similar to pretty much anywhere you go in the world. Same emotions. Same ideologies, just culturally adjusted. Same gender issues. Same children issues. Same relationship issues. Same community issues. Same self-esteem issues. Same, same, same.
As you get out into the world and move in and among different groups of people you will find this to be true.
If you practice critical analysis you can understand this by paying attention to people wherever you are.
However, if you rely on your schooling and other types of media to tell you about people, you will be misled to think that some groups have overcome their human behaviors.
The reality is the behaviors are there, just manifesting in different ways to different degrees. Some people have more of this issue and less of another issue. For the moment.
Even today, in my mid-fifties, when dealing with people I grew up with, it is as if I am being sucked into a time warp of adolescent logic.
One of the most difficult things to deal with when interacting with people you grew up with is how quickly who you were becomes a stereotype of who you are.
This is clearly a test for the world because the world does the same thing, treat people as they perceive them to be and not as they truly are.
Recently I returned to the county I grew up in and went into a bakery. It was the first time I was in the store and there were no prices so I had questions about this and that. I finally decided up a one inch by one inch brownie that cost one dollar. It was ridiculous but my sweet tooth was in control. After I bought the brownie I moved down and looked at some other items and inadvertently knocked over a cup that had “tip” money in it. Naturally I made a motion to pick it up and the woman's whole demeanor changed and said no, I'll come around and pick it up. Since I saw no reason for that I picked up the money and put it back in the cup and put the cup back where it was. By the time the woman made it to the side of the counter I was standing on, I had picked up everything. She stood there looking at me as if to say, why did you pick that money up, let me see your hands. At this point, I began to fail the test because I became angered by her ridiculous silent accusatory behavior. I left and will never return. This behavior is the same as those who suspect you of shoplifting and those who clutch their purses.
We must learn to deal with this behavior that manifests many ways as unfounded trust.
There is very likely someone among your family, friends or community that doesn't trust you or someone you know for a ridiculous reason.
By going back in and among family, friends and community we are tested to see if we have learned the proper responses, which to me, doesn't always mean being nice when stuff like that happens. It does however mean understanding down, distance and situation.
This process of going back home is necessary because when we left from among our home folks, we were supposedly mature enough to go out into the world and handle whatever comes our way. Clearly, I needed to go back home and get a refresher course on racism from East Coast America so I could have realized its same ole ugliness in the Midwest that hasn't changed for the better since my youth.
The place we grew up in is a home base for us to come back around and touch home plate every now and then to test how well we really are maturing in understandings.
"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)
“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”