In Your Language

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Betrayed by silence

This post was inspired by this TED talk: Violence against women—it's a men's issue: Jackson Katz

What hurts more- being abused, or not being protected from the abuse?

You know- I think it is in part by the fact that it is so hard to go head to head with an abuser with all the here-say; but to have a bystander - a loved one, a friend - just say nothing to corroborate said wrongdoings. It just seems like a stab in the back. I can hear it in the back of my mind "You knew this whole time and didn't say anything?! Why didn't you protect me?!"

And the most preposterous part of failing to act (as that bystander, I mean loved one and friend) is that two against one is a hands down victory. How much discomfort are you going to experience by doing the right thing and advocating for someone else? How do you validate this inaction? How do you feel a divided loyalty between one person who is acting anti-social versus one that is pro-social (acting on social contract theory, morals, ethics, good faith)?

To me, (I even mentioned to a loved one last night) I'll be d--ned if I don't stick up for the people who are the underdog, disadvantaged, unable to advocate for themselves. I will not hesitate to make a scene and dare I say- I will make sure it feels uncomfortable. I am not "all bark and no bite." I walk the walk- sometimes to my own detriment. But so be it.

There should be a feeling of uneasiness in a person for not doing the right thing. If you don't, if they don't, they might want to consider where this anti-social mentality came from. It is in these little slips of our moral standards that pave the way to larger acts of violence against human kind. If you see X, Y, or Z it's probably because the person was abused in some way.

From not saying anything to encourage a receiver of abuse (I hate the word victim) to obstructing a person's ability to speak the truth; that is to de-humanize the person. That is the first step that it took for Hilter, Mao, Mussolini to validate killing all of those people of worth and purpose in God's eyes. Teach that deaf person how to sign, how to write, how to speak. The moment you are okay with someone not talking, you might want to think about if you consider them to be on the human level or that of a domestic dog.

To the core, it is a violent form of censorship. It's not just showing dominance, it is stealing the authority to de-valuing a person. I'd rather confuse people with conflicting evidence than let the truth go unspoken. It is up to the upstanding people to cipher what is the truth and what is a lie. It's time to get our hands dirty and give these people a voice, an identity and hopefully a better future.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The liar in you...

Don't put your guard down for others... but what about for yourself?

The most defensive person in the room will still believe anything that they say to themselves unchallenged. What if you are telling yourself lies? What if you don't like the truth? Are you your own worst enemy? Are you a vessel for the Enemy himself?

Exaggerations are rarely true and yet we have a penchant for putting others on the pedestal of superlatives and ourselves on the chopping blocks of the bleakest descriptors. There is a huge attribution error if we truly want to label ourselves as the worst... I mean, of 7 billion people in the world.

Who benefits from the lies? We do not benefit at all, even the positive exaggerations. They make us rest on our laurels and stifle our motivation to do better. Other lies serve to stop us in our tracks; to stop trying; stop caring. Taken to the extreme, I dare say that the lies that discourage us reduce us to rocks. Lots of weight, solid, formidable; we would be in resting inertia unless acted on. Do we really want to be acted on? Passive?

Maybe we can say "I need a break from this." " I'm not in my optimum form right now." Things that allow us to step back- but not to give up. I mean, I agree; we shouldn't do the same thing over and over (to frustration) and expect different results. In a sense we MUST step back and re-calibrate.

I encourage you to reduce those lies to a particle of truth and toss the rest away. Okay, TODAY... this attempt... making cookies was botched. But I'm not a failure at cookie making (specifically) because I plan on doing it successfully in the future. I'm not a bad cookie maker because of one botched attempt. I am not done getting better at baking; this is an ongoing process for me.

Or, let's calculate our costs. I will study less for this test (in favor for a B) so that I can spend that extra time with my kids and being an A grade mother... at least for this one hour. We put ourselves in a pickle; cherry picking the details of every situation to suit how we feel. But, how about we suspend how we feel until we take stock of all of the details? Feelings lie. Feelings give momentum to negative thoughts, to negative words and still, negative actions. Feelings give us the illusion of a lack of choice. In the throws of passion, we throw our ability to exercise choice into the wind.

Let's say we blow it... And I promise you- I will, and you will too. It's healthy, reasonable and safe to say "I'm not done learning to DO life better." "He's not done learning to do life BETTER." "God is not done working on me." "God is doing an invisible work on him... God is not done working on him."

We can lay down our defenses when we know that ultimately: God is in control. Knowing that, we can align with the truths: "This moment is growing me, teaching me and humbling me." God doesn't want me to be perfect- that's His job. God wants me to work on being obedient to him and loving. No exaggerations... that is the whole truth.

Here I am Again

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