My life is full of ups and downs.
Every day my mind likes to thrust a wave of bad memories into the forefront of my thinking from a past life where I wasn’t too good of a person. Some of the things I’ve done or got up to I’m not proud of. But I’m actually glad this happens to me. I know, right? Who would want to be constantly reminded of all the not-so great things they did when they were younger? It’s not what I had planned for myself either when I was envisioning myself as an alcohol-free leader.
But for me this process in my mind is pivotal to the person that I am today. Because it is a constant reminder that I’m not perfect. It’s a reminder for me that occasionally I won’t make the right choices, that sometimes I can be lead down the garden path, and on the odd occasion I’ll do something that goes against my rationale. In short, it means I don’t have all the answers to life. And in a strange masochistic way I am glad this happens to me.
For me, knowing that I don’t have all the answers, that I will make mistakes (and often), and that I’ll often be led by my desires helps me take an introspective approach to my life. It helps me continually improve the way I interact with myself and other people. It helps me better my relationships. I have heard people say that the hardest thing for someone to do is apologize and mean it, and I agree, for some people this is the case, but for me it’s deeper than that. Apologizing to someone means acknowledging you were wrong, and that you will try to be better at whatever the situation is.
That actually takes enormous strength.
See, our brains would rather distract us from anything painful. It’s why you will hear or read of people having complete memory blocks. Because events have been so painful their brains have chosen not to acknowledge that the memory exists. It’s why when something is painful to discuss you will find yourself desperately looking for a relief or a distraction to talk about. Our minds are wired so that emotionally we are fine. And anything that offsets that balance can have us directing our hurt in other ways. It’s so much easier to be angry at someone else than be mad at yourself.
You’re not fooling me though.
It’s why people like Donald Trump rise to power. Politics today is not about forward thinking, progressiveness and solutions. It’s about blame and directing anger. It seems fitting that whilst everyone is angry with each other no-one is sitting at the table and hashing out any solutions, and everything stays the same. Nothing changes. We’re living in terribly hard times and our politicians have grasped the anger of the populous and fed it into blame and victimization. But never the truth.
I also think social media has played a large part in this rising wave of person-centred perfection. A land where everyone insists they are correct about everything without taking the time to further explore the nature of what is being discussed. I blame Facebook for creating echo chambers of people agreeing with each other and patting each other on the back for a job well done whilst not allowing difference of opinion. I see it time and time again. Friends blocking other friends because they disagree with each other. And for me this is quite worrying. Because I understand the nature of diversity. Truly understand it. I’ve went into places where I’ve been the odd one out, just to try and understand the nature of an opinion.
When did people become so fragile to difference of opinion? It makes me feel uncomfortable to be disagreed with but not inconsolable.
And I’m not talking about what Donald Trump coined a “snowflake,” this is a man who can’t accept anything other than his own opinion. For me, fragility of opinion is not determined by the value a person places on another’s life, or wants to see good in the world, for me a snowflake is someone with the inability to accept anyone else’s opinion but their own. And pardon me for using that expression, I hate it. Because I don’t enjoy belittling others at the expense of my own progression. I was once a person that loved to sit in my own echo chamber too. I understand the lack of opportunity in a person’s life to cause such a lack of broadened horizons. I was lucky. I had people that took me under their wing and watched me grow exponentially.
Others are not so lucky.
I was told by a very wise lady once, that when I have a problem with someone, what I should do first is look deep into myself as to why I feel uncomfortable around that person. Mainly because it generally stems from me in some form or another. A basic example would be for a long time in my life I had major problems with people from Pakistan emigrating here. No-other place, just Pakistan. And every time I found out a business was of Pakistan origin I wouldn’t use it again. Once I looked into myself it turns out that I was bullied severely at school by a Pakistani kid, and ultimately, I had tarred them all with the same brush. But that was smashed when I travelled and met diverse cultures and people and realised that everyone everywhere were different. There is no general statement for anyone.
So, you see, feeling horrible, bad, or angry at things isn’t a bad thing. It’s a definite chance to act. It’s a chance to stand up and be counted for the person that you are. We feel bad for a reason. I generally use those moments I feel dreadfully bad to reflect on myself and act accordingly. It’s the forward-thinking way.
Don’t just blame and get angry.
That solves nothing.
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