It is coming, can you feel it? The world is taking on a certain sense of transparency; where once there were lies buried too deep to see, unearth a disturbing truth. We all have things we have been hiding from ourselves and others for years. I am going to guess there is a very small percentage of people out there who experience telling the truth and being fully authentic in every moment.
I mean, to be totally authentic is not an easy task when you have been brought up to buy into both the program of “being honest,” and “keeping a smile on your face.” These things to me, seem in direct conflict of one another.
Websites like Facebook have opened the flood gates for potential pity parties catalyzed by vague statements made in a status update. Facebook is one of the first places people go to vent out their angst. They realize they can get some acknowledgment for their struggles. Commiserate over children, whine about traffic, or confess a crush. In a wifi connected world, the lonely still have a soap box.
On the internet we can see it all. And by All I mean, almost anything and everything the mind can concoct; in every spectrum of perception that we broadly summarize as “good” or “bad”; “wonderful” or “evil.” Most of it is labeled as “entertainment.” Some of it is staged. Some of it is real.
There is one thing I have never seen on the internet.
Tell me, have you ever see any one say, “I beat the shit out of my kids today. I hate what I did. I am having a hard time right now, I could use some help. Can any one offer me therapy, or some assistance. I am having a very tough time coping with this alone. And the kids don’t deserve it. I need the help of my community.”
And if you did, would you ignore it, respond, or just call DHS?
Or how about, “I have fallen back into destructive behavior and substance abuse. I could really use the support of close friends right now.”
Would you just type a message and hope for the best with a suicide hotline number or; go get them and bring them to your home, or ignore it.
Or, off a deeper end; ” I sexually took advantage of a child today. I realize that my moral compass is off.”
“I stole money from my family.”
“I was in a hit and run, but neglected to report it.”
I bet you thought the last three are really tricky because unless you are a total idiot, you don’t broadcast that stuff. And if you did, don’t be surprised if some one calls the cops. Effectively relieving any guilt by assuming the powers that be will address the issue with adequate justice, right? The “Hands-off-don’t-involve-yourself-in-other peoples-affairs-but-DO-get-involved-just-enough-to-feel-self-justified” approach. Very few take a “This-is-my-community-and-I-want-to-be-involved-in-it” attitude, and many that do end up killing people and give that whole wrap a bad name.
We assign cops as our go to guys because we know they are trained for conflict. And we hate conflict. Stranger still, we assign the section of the community which the populace is most in fear of to assert control, sending everything to the battle ground of a “just “court system to deal with the stigmatic issues involving people who have no idea what legal language is. And at the end of the day, either someone has a jail sentence; is released, or if you live in a state that has the death penalty, well, you know the rest.
Now maybe, somewhere, in some anonymous forum confessional, these admissions are happening. But where is it safe to admit failure and willing to accept both help and consequence?
The court parades as such a savior, and yet has very little success with their long-term goals of more than incarceration and whatever capitalistic goals that achieves. Self aware Rehabilitation, isn’t really a modern style of function, quite yet. Self Awareness is still in it’s baby stages it seems.
We talk about the diseases, but we rarely discuss the cause root of how we got there. Then (all of a sudden) when sociopolitical moral issues arise, it’s like they came out of the blue. But the closer we look, the more we realize, even Discontent has a birthday; and quite frankly we are a society that has a hard time with confrontation. We prefer methods of distraction because we don’t know how to handle the brutal honest truth of potential existence. Unless of course it is filtered through the news or major broadcasting network.
Take the current Cosby case. There are over 12 women who accuse this man of indecent activity, being drugged and rape. These allegations go back years, and were ignored. Why? Because we have been fed illusions of one thing, and the news conflicts with what we want to believe. It stresses the brain out to the point it chooses to ignore it all together.
To add insult to injury, it isn’t just the entertainment industry which finds itself unintentionally in the middle of a barrage of transparency.
Take the biggest, wealthiest, and most influential religious institution in the world; The Catholic Church, and it’s mounting allegations of molestation, abuse, and even death that go back… CENTURIES.
Pull your big kid pants on, because this shit is real. How do we actually DEAL with any of it? Thus far the solution has been to pass the buck to someone else. A third party vendor. We assert blame.
If you have any sign causing an intuitive reaction that someone is mistreating another person, especially a child; IT IS YOUR MORAL OBLIGATION to get involved. (Unless of course you have no moral standing, and that is called a sociopath.) You speak on behalf of community (which few people have a concept of in this day and age,) For those who live in fear and oppression do not know what it means to have a voice, much less how to use it. You act because empathy tells you, that if the tables were turned, you would want an advocate that believes that you have some worth or purpose.
We shield ourselves behind the most smiley pictures and phrases we have. We keep up the illusion of 24/7 joy. We want Joy so badly. We want her to fill our hearts in every moment… We don’t enjoy the bombardment of sadness in reality. It causes a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. In our hearts we feel if we just focus on the good stuff this would be an ideal reality.
Instead though, Jealousy and Ambivalence rule. It is hard to see everything we see, everyday though social media and not be on their side. And maybe you tell yourself, you only “like” or “comment” on that which is “good,” “right,” or “just.” And you believe the “New Age” that if you “just focus on the good, the bad will go away.” You may ignore knowing that social media has algorithms and filters. Nonetheless Jealousy wins sometimes, because she is the driving force that causes you to “like” that photo. Because you wish it was you in that picture. Jealousy is sometimes passive aggressive, and likes what she hates because she doesn’t want the retaliation of a snarky comment Other times Ambivalence wins because, if you don’t agree, it is easier to “ignore” or “block” than it is to add some substance to the greater conversation, or maybe, just because you don’t want others to know sometimes you are not agreeable. You may be afraid of being blocked, or ignored. Worse yet, you are probably afraid that you let a piece of yourself out there that is raw and real, you will be rejected and unloved due to it. Ignoring the fact that no one is perfect and there is variety in the world for a reason. Further buying into, and selling the illusion.
So as the interconnected reality we attempt to live in meshes further into the cyber world, we construct a design that allows us to do just that. Create and perpetuate an illusion. A place where every picture is funny, beautiful, or adorable ( at whatever end of the spectrum of perception you may be). And we continue to hide behind status updates that are smart, provocative and sometimes depressingly honest. Honest but somehow, not real and almost empty.
People think they know everything about whomever because they watch every tid-bit that is posted… but have those same voyeurs read every note in the notebook of the mind they are observing? Or do they just read whatever they are tagged in online? Narcissism is the blindness that keeps us from seeing the truth between the lines and pictures.
Despite your worries or cares, blessings or achievements, YOUR world revolves around YOU… and likewise; even if you have children, your self-absorbed question costumed in humbleness and care is “how will I feed MY children.”
We envelop the world in our concerns, and unless you have been following the thread, you may just look like a complainer.
For instance, I have left a hearty online trail of my angst, but I don’t think too many people read it. It is “depressing” and it has nothing to do with you….No tags. Does it make my struggle less real to me? Does it just come across as complaining to you? Did you offer to help? Did I deny you or shoot you down? Did you just think, “typical musing from her.” ? Did you pray for me , or send word of consolation? Does it even matter?
SURPRISE! All of this does have something to do with you.
Do you ever feel pain or discontent? Do you fail? Do you make mistakes you hope to never repeat? If you can see it for yourself and feel something, you have Self Awareness, and you should be honored for it. If you get these things then you may know what I am talking about. You may realized you never admitted certain things to yourself, your own struggle with it. Which means you probably haven’t admitted it to anyone else, and you may really be struggling with some internal moral battles, and feeling despondent and completely alone. Your self-awareness has been nagging that something is off, and you have chosen to not face the issue full on, and maybe even have fallen victim to yourself.
I don’t think one can truly harness that illusive Joy, without first confronting and tackling the dark part that continues to pull their view from the light that is purposeful absolution. And that means to face the struggle and tackle it head on; not to just complain or ignore.
Personally, I only remember moments where I was happier than others. Few of them were consecutive. I have never had a phenomenal month of Joy. Nor do I think a life with out dark dips is a potential reality in this world. We learn through our mistakes and misgivings. We evolve through experiences of both success and defeat. We pay the price of consequence in all our actions.
My whole life has been a struggle with the dark side. Trace my writing back to its beginnings of child like journals and thoughts too big for the child writing in the journal. It isn’t easy. Especially to be transparent, confrontational and advocating righteousness; however, it is what we all deeply want and need.
I face my own mistakes daily, and yet something I think about often is a time when I was 16. Walking down the side passages of the mall to go to the restroom, and on my way out a man, his wife and three-year old daughter were walking toward me. The small girl was dragging her coat on the floor; the mother had a black eye, the father towered above them. He started yelling at the small girl to pick her coat up off the floor, and before she could respond the father picked the girl up by the front of her shirt and slammed her into the brick wall. Screaming in her face, shaking her against the unforgiving hardness that stood behind her tiny body. Scared shitless…Mother backing away, looking away; doing nothing.
I continued to walk by and act appropriately like I was taught.
“Do not stare. And most importantly DO NOT involve yourself in other Peoples affairs.”
At the core of my soul, I feel more guilty and wrong for doing nothing in that moment than I feel about any misguided intentional misdeed I myself accomplished in the 16 years previous and the 18 years after that one moment. My only excuse was fear because God knows I was born confrontational, and I have no guilt about that. Fear can no longer be used as an excuse to those who know fear is an illusion. I wish I knew then, what I know now, and I hope that Momma and girl are safe and alive. I have never admitted to having a regret, and that would be it.
That said, the only solution I have is this; Transparency and Accountability. Be honest with yourself and all you deal with. Call each other out. Use your intuition. Get into other Peoples business. Be raw.
Ask for help when you need it, accept it if it is offered. Participate in your community and do not be offended when they involve themselves with you. Be social in real life, not just in the cyber world.
Honor pain and struggle, give it a voice and find it a solution. Band together as people who have all experienced the most basic of human emotions, and use them to strengthen the good in the world; use them to balance the scales of injustice and harm that goes on senselessly everyday.
Love each other the way you want to be loved; finally set an example of human behavior that can not be ignored. No one is perfect, and if we can agree on that it should be easy helping one another through the struggle that it is to be human.
Simply put,educated and empower one another to be accountable and transparent. Deal with each other in state of love, in equity and consequence.