Monday, January 13, 2014

Psst...


Wanna know a secret?!  I'll tell you but you've got to keep it between us.  This is a private matter.

There's something different about Pandy.  I mean, really different.  From the time Pandy was a cub, he knew he wasn't like the other pandas.  He felt in his heart he is something else.  Pandy knew, as certain as you or I know that we're human, that he is a butterfly.  A real butterfly.

Of course, when Pandy told people he is a butterfly, they made fun of him.  The other cubs teased him mercilessly.  Momma and Poppa Panda, afraid of being stigmatized, told Pandy this whole idea is nonsense and he must drop it.  But Pandy can't.  He knows he is a butterfly even if nobody believes him.  Pandy feels trapped -- he is a beautiful butterfly caged in the body of a pudgy panda.  Pandy believes someday he will grow wings and fly among the flowers.

Nature creates diversity.  Biologically, it produces a wide range of animals.  Trying to squeeze us into arbitrary categories is a human idea, not a natural phenomenon.  Nature thrives on mutation.

Technically, Pandy is transspecies.  He identifies with a species other than the one society assigns to him.  There is nothing wrong with that; it's simply a fact of nature.  The problem comes when other pandas get together and, out of ignorance or insecurity, they ostracize Pandy merely because he is different.

The real harm is caused by intolerance.  As a cub, Pandy was taught to hide who he is.  When he was alone, he'd sneak into the bedroom, pull his butterfly wings out from their hiding place, and pretend he was flying in flowers.  Those dreams gave Pandy solace -- a sense of authentic self.  Even if it was only a fantasy, those dreams gave Pandy a feeling of truth, of belonging.  Even if nobody else saw him as a butterfly, Pandy learned to accept himself as one.  This is Pandy's true identity.

I know you readers are an informed and compassionate group.  I hope you will welcome Pandy in all his fullness and not make fun of him for being different.  Of course, he sometimes puts his wings on wrong and makes mistakes from not being raised in a cocoon, but we should cut Pandy some slack.  He's had a hard life.


23 comments:

  1. Very creative Ally, I liked this, because this small story would be one to use in trying to explain to children how very diverse we are. And of course Pandyfly is welcome.

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    1. I agree, really well written and a good way of explaining things in a way kids can understand. I'm glad pandy found his sense of authentic self, even if it meant tough times to reach that spot.

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  2. Love this--brilliant on so many levels.

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  3. Hooray for Pandy! Embrace that true identity :)

    This actually put me in mind of the April Fool's "prank" you played a few years ago--the transpieces one. (So-and-so is a cat on the inside.) Only far from being a questionable writeup (I know you got some negative feedback), this post is really deep and thought-provoking. Brava!

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    1. Thanks, buddy. And I wasn't sure anyone would remember that old post. I appreciate the length of your friendship.

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  4. I wonder if the others envied Pandy a bit and therefore made fun. Pandy looks awesome with wings :)

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    1. I'm with Lara Lizard on this one. Pandy's wings are too beautiful to hide!

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  5. I have to quote Trisha Sander ...' brilliant on so many levels' ...
    Of course Pandy is welcome, why shouldn't he. Look at that happy smile on his face. He is unique like we all are unique.

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  6. I love this post - I agree with Lorena, this would be a good teaching tool for kids about diversity. And of course I welcome Pandy with open arms!

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  7. Amazing post. I agree it's simplicity would be wonderful for children. Dare I say a children's book written by you?? I'm sure there is a fab illustrator out there who could do it justice!!

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  8. This is beautifully written. It made my heart swell when I read it.

    Lisa.

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  9. This reminds me of when I try and convince others that my cat is actually a human with special powers because she told me so....my husband and my dad don't believe me, my mum sometimes does. Seriously, this is such a powerful post. I love pandy for being special and unique and also for teaching us a lot.

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  10. Now if only the rest of the world would cooperate and allow Pandy to be the beautiful butterfly he is whenever he wants. BTW--I watched a documentary on Candy Darling--if you don't know her, you must Google her. She's one of my style icons.

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    1. Of course I know about Candy! She was immortalized in Lou Reed's song, "Walk On The Wild Side." She was also from my home (Long Island).

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  11. I love that Pandy is trying his wings and sharing them with the world on this wonderful blog. You always put a smile on my face and reading your blog which is full of positivity is always a treat. You once left a particular comment on my blog that I think of all the time when I'm not feeling confident and it makes me smile. So I just wanted to say how fabulous you are (and Pandy too) xxx

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  12. Awww! What a sweet post! You are so creative Ally, you never cease to amaze me :D

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  13. What a lovely post Ally! My sister in law has a cat that reallly thinks she is human- she just doesn't act like other cats at all, she doesn't fulfill any of the stereotypes. And we love her for it!x

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  14. What a sweet, special, beautiful post, dear Ally. I can't help but think what an awesome children's book character Pandy and this tale would make for.

    ♥ Jessica

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  15. aww!
    i´m with jess - that sweet and telling story should be a book for kids to learn from for they´r own life. maybe you find an illustrator in the www.
    :-)

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  16. We all need to find our authentic selves. I love the story of Pandy ... I agree that you should write a book so that kids learn tolerance of those who are different from themselves although they look the same.

    You are amazing!!!!

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  17. Pandy is loved. Brilliant post.

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  18. I love the other comment that this could be turned into a childrens' book about tolerance and acceptance. Such a beautifully written post!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  19. When you get tired of practicing law (or even as a side job), you have a fulfilling career as a writer waiting for you. You even have your own talented photographer (you) for any images you might need. The portrait of you in the red Rachel Roy shirt will grace the back of each book jacket. And I'm very serious about everything I just said.

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