see the rest of this thought provoking post here:
I read this today and have to comment on it.
We are currently focused on bullying in social media and discussion about what is being done, what can be done, is typical of many of our approaches to our problems – we are talking band-aids – what kind and when to apply. It isn’t easy to have to stop and take time to figure out actual causes – because knowing the cause requires much harder, long term work, than simply applying an effective, temporary band-aid.
Lots of discussion on loneliness lately as well. We are now realizing the damage that prolonged loneliness can cause a human being. At least we are waking up to the fact life is not just about the physical, immediate, identifiable, measurable situations that impact us.
Businesses spend a small fortune sending their employee’s to all kinds of courses meant to amplify their self esteem and pump them full of bravado about who they are and what they are capable of. Yet, when they return from these courses, full of ideas and attempting to change and grow, the reaction of the office is usually one of “who the hell does he think he is?”
We don’t like people who are different, who think differently, look different, act different . . . and we especially do not like those people who are different and who feel good about themselves.
Those are the people most often targeted.
And they are attacked not with their own insecurities, but the insecurities of the people doing the attacking. Weight may not be a remote concern for someone – not for them in terms of appearance, or for their doctor in terms of health – and yet the bullies will accuse that person of being “fat.” People called “ugly” seldom are. People called “sluts” or “stupid” seldom could be found guilty of either charge.
These marginalized people who are attacked by others have to be beyond strong to be able to carry on with their lives and believe in themselves when the whole world appears to conspire against them. But they don’t have super powers and even the strongest person can be pushed to the point of wanting to just give up.
Giving up is not only about those who may choose to end their lives, although some do. It is also about checking out of reality with drugs and alcohol and other addictions. It is about surrendering and conforming to what is acceptable to the masses. It is about bleeding out through your entire life, every last ounce of your own unique life force until you are a hollow empty shell that is lonelier than anyone will ever know . . . but at least you are no longer attracting the anger of the mob who wants to destroy you.
All around us are people in various stages of giving up.
So we go back to the real solution. I look around me. My children are grown but there are still ways I can encourage them to be themselves. I can do that by letting go of my expectations of who they should be and what they should be doing with their lives. I can let go of my need to tell them the better way to do things and be more supportive of their own efforts. I can let go of ever labeling them “right” or “wrong” or “good” or “bad.” I can make the fact I have told them for their entire lives that my love is “unconditional,” actually mean something.
I have grandchildren that I can have a bigger influence on, and encourage their parents not to be so quick to insist they be like every other child. To that end I say to hell with all the charts and books that tell us what “normal” is. Your child. Here and now. Work with them. Work with who they are and help them find a way to hold on to that and negotiate the things they need to learn. Parents need to trust their instincts and to teach their children to develop and trust theirs.
I have people around me that I interact with all the time. How do I contribute to their lives and support their efforts to interpret life in their own unique way? How do I unwittingly contribute to any sense of judging or diminishing them? Stop it.
I can speak up. I can work to not be so closed minded about how I think things should look like or be. My experience may hold clues that, contributed to a conversations, can aid the process of finding answers, but I can be more open to other ideas that are from the experiences of others.
I can find the courage to be me, even though it is painfully difficult. No more compromises. Perhaps it is too late for me to reap any of the rewards, but if it makes the way for the next person even a tiny bit easier, then it will be worth it.
WE are society. And it is our thinking that is at fault. Because we begin from a faulty thought process, our actions are off.
Our thinking is at fault because we have bought into beliefs and ideas that are not ours by choice, but those given to us by our parents and our upbringing. We accept them without question and we transition from childhood to adulthood with all those things neatly wired into our beings. Our perceptions. We are part of a “way of thinking” that is reflected in how we then interpret the world and what we engage in and produce. The world reflects back to us what we think.
We can change that reflection by changing our thinking.
What people have forgotten is who they are. Who they were before the world told them who they should be. Letting go of what we think we know is not as scary as it may seem because rediscovering our own hearts and giving permission to ourselves to be who we really are brings both joy and peace.
The more of us who have the courage to do that, the more others will feel encouraged to do the same and perhaps one day we will talk in terms, not of “blaming” society for the mess we are in, but “thanking” society for saving us.
Either way, we will be responsible.