Showing posts from August, 2017

Why the Resistance Will Not Be Substantial

We sit around our televisions, smart phones, tablets, and whatever other screens at our disposal, and we word mounted discord, but there is no physical action taken aside from the flapping of lips and the shaking of fists.

We share posts on social media that voice our opinion, either in our own words or by proxy; we hashtag the latest buzz term that best represents our feelings, and we consider this taking action.

We gather with our friends who share our same beliefs, and we talk of the resistance.

The resistance will not be substantial because it would require us to actually act.

A grassroots movement is springing up throughout this nation. People are meeting and forming protests to declare their existence. No doubt these protests will gather large numbers of people for various reasons: to appease their conscience by feeling as though they are doing their part, to be seen, to rubberneck, to agitate and incite, to have something to post on their Instagram wall...but too few will be th…

On Political Division

Political division is creating rifts between family and friends alike - which is what is wanted. What's that old saying? United we stand, divided...

There's another old saying which carries the weight of truth: "I know the fight is on the way, when the sides have been chosen."

Don't pick a political side. Picking a side is what is wanted. Yes, formulate an opinion based on the facts. Yes, agree or disagree with the policies. Sure, form a protest against a policy. But stop short of picking a political side.

When a side is chosen, it automatically encourages us to blindly follow said side. Like the fevered football fan will excuse away their team's blunders as the fault of the opposing team, so too will those who blindly support a political side.

When a side is chosen, it automatically encourages us to be against the other side. Like the avid fan of one football team will automatically disdain anything related to the rival, choosing a political side will ensure…

On Building Trust

Trust is not something that should be instantaneous in relationships. It is something that should be built on the back of supporting evidence.

Going back a century or two (and even further), there were certain situations where trust was instantaneous. For example, individuals could seek the aid of a doctor or police officer and immediately trust that they had their best interests at heart based on the nature of their profession. Now, doctors have us sign waivers which, through legal jargon, basically say, "I am not responsible if my actions injure you, but you are responsible to pay me regardless." Now, we constantly question the corruptibility of the police force which serve us. We cannot even rely on these professions for instantaneous trust - we must observe their behavior and take necessary steps to protect ourselves (gauging whether their treatment is effective or knowledge is competent; placing our hands on the steering wheel and being compliant during a routine traffi…

The Inner Critic

In the dead of the night or in the heat of the moment, when we feel exhausted and overwhelmed, that is often when our inner critic is the harshest. Suddenly our situation appears hopeless, and we feel at a loss as to how to proceed. Our issues seem insurmountable. This is when the terms 'always' or 'never' get tossed around. We begin to feel an urge to run away - or - the ultimate escape rushes to the forefront of our mind, often unsummoned.

Minutes, hours, days pass and we resume what we consider 'normalcy'. We wonder why things seemed so bad. However, it is not that our problems have been resolved, but rather that we have temporarily succeeded in sweeping them under the rug. It is not that we have solved anything, but rather that we've reached a point where we can temporarily escape facing them. The issues will return. The critic in our mind will eventually resurrect with the sole purpose of reminding us exactly how inept we perceive ourselves to be.


On Using Social Media as a Passive Aggressive Attempt to Communicate

We must be honest. Social media is not a way to keep in touch with our family and friends, as we often claim, but rather a way of promoting our identity, comparing ourselves to others, and of not feeling alone. Social media is not something that we partake in for others; we do it for ourselves.

We live in an age where face-to-face friendship is waning, and we substitute close intimate friendship for an audience of 300+ social media 'friends'. This is a reflection on our discomfort of being vulnerable - on our inability to open up and expose our core to others. This is due to fear - a fear of rejection, a fear of abandonment, a fear of intimacy - or simply because we have not ever experienced depth. This is all normal, as in, it is a common occurrence.

We use social media as a way to communicate to the world via our 300+ 'friends'. This can be a one way of sharing ourselves. However, there is a difference between posting Ugh! I went to the DMV today and saw this fellow …

On Empathy

Empathy is not something that comes natural, but rather is something one has to learn.

Being self-centered, selfish, or narcissistic is natural to humans - empathy, not so much.

When humans were primitive beings, survival dictated that we look out for ourselves above and beyond the pack. Modern humans aren't as concerned with physical day-to-day survival. We are no longer primitive in our need to hunt or gather food in the wild, while fending off ravenous beasts. However, we remain emotionally primitive - fighting for daily mental survival, fending off what we perceive as ravenous threats to the survival of our internal identity.

Therefore, humans do not so much lack empathy due to any immediate physical need of survival, but rather because of our mental struggle with emotional survival.

What, exactly, is empathy? It is experiencing the emotions, thoughts, circumstances of another as though they were our own without forming any critical judgments.

Why, exactly, is empathy importan…