Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Which lobster are you? Danielle Mansfield posts at Northern Lights

Danielle Mansfield offers a powerful metaphor in her post over at Northern Lights. I highly recommend reading the whole thing, as I am incapable of rendering the nuance and loveliness with which she tackles a very depressing concept.

In her essay, she addresses issues of shame, agency and compassion. The stinger for me was this metaphor she gives about cooking a lobster. Apparently, if you only cook one lobster at a time, as soon as the water starts warming up, the lobster will claw his way out of the pot. If, however, you cook two lobsters in the same pot, one lobster will try to climb out and the other lobster will pull him back down into the water until both are killed. The implications here are obvious.

Are you the lobster who tries to climb out but feels constantly pulled back into your old ways? Are you the lobster who, perhaps out of jealousy or narrow-mindedness, prevents people from climbing into a new life, insisting that the pot is the place to be? I sometimes feel like the former, but too frequently feel like the latter.

Danielle addresses a number of other compelling issues in her post. Spare five minutes of your day and have a look at it.

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