Calendars, culture, and taking responsibility for our own continued learning as adults in a modern democracy (well, republic, actually), are all part of Adulting Education. Understanding how our calendar shapes our ways of thinking is a first step, hopefully, toward accepting the use of the Holocene Calendar as one more tool in our toolbox of empathy-building tools.
In my review of a book on Cherokee Women’s Voices, I commented that the change in the calendar, from the traditional East Coast native American way of seeing time, to the Gregorian Calendar, played a large role in cementing the ‘civilization’ plan to Europeanize Native Americans:
Voices of Cherokee Women is a well-written chronicle, from pre-contact to modern times, of how Cherokee women went from respected voices in the community to silence, and back again. Telling many stories again from another perspective (particularly Mooney and Lt. Timberlake, whose accounts look different when viewed through the lense of women’s history), this book shows another side of the story. Our story.
Acceptance of the Gregorian system of time-measurement, which came with more quickly produced (manufactured) goods, led to rejection of a more feminine calendar, and thus eventually to acceptance of European religion (at the point of trader debt and guns, admittedly), loss of the Tsalagi language in favor of English, and a forced acceptance of the ‘Civilizing’ program: an attempt to replace the Cherokee way of thinking, respect for mothers and honored women, with the domestication of obedient ladies: a European way of thinking.
These essays show more than just how Cherokee women went from equality to inequality and back again. They show how the imposition of calendar, religion, language and ‘civilization’ led to the loss of a more open and flexible way of thinking.
originally posted on : Wednesday, 24 September 2014
But I wonder whether all the work those in the Calendar Reform movement do will really lead to the cultural change, and hence the world change, that we want to see? An inclusive calendar could, hopefully, make people think more open-mindedly, or at least think in terms of Humanity rather than just the Christianity of 2014 AD, or Judaism’s 5773, or Islam’s 1400 years? But are we calendar reformers too optimistic? How do we all come to think of ourselves as just human beings, rather than Black, White, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, American, Russian, Ukranian, etc?
In Service to Community Cooperation, and Fraternity,
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Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:
1.) Search for two different sources discussing how our calendar frames our way of thinking.
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.
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