Saturday, April 11, 2015

How Did We Get Here? An Introspective Post

We don't usually do this. We generally fill the blog with reviews and although we are always honest and we also post our personal goals, we leave our inner thoughts out most of the time. However, it's time for introspection.

I have made a ton of mistakes in my life, and I know Crafty would say the same. Everyone does. I don't think perfectionism is something reasonable to strive for, and honestly, it's often the things we screw up that improve us. I'm far from perfect and I try not to judge other people's choices because the context of someone's decisions is not always evident. When you hear a story or an argument, you usually only get one side so it's very easy to say, "I can't believe he/she/they did that," but maybe you would do the same if you had the full story.

As a person, I can be snarky and sarcastic, but I try not to be mean. And there is a difference. Do I get angry at the wrong people at times? Sure. I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. I admit them, too. I also try to apologize when I do.

Recently I had a conversation with someone I know well and we were talking about the world in general. I don't remember what the key point was, but we started talking about people and the anger in people. There's a lot of it. Between internet posts and comments, reviews on major sites, the media, and of course, daily violence, you start to wonder what happened. When and how did we get here? Why do we hate so profoundly?

If you're hoping this post will provide you with solutions, I regret to say it doesn't. I don't know the answers to that. I am just one person and I am someone with a tiny blog few people read. I'm a pretty quiet person as well. I don't interact with people much, mainly because when I do, I find myself sad and discouraged for days. My social media interaction on the blog is limited to reviews. Crafty is a lot more outgoing and she talks to people, because I'm bad at it. I don't understand people. I have said this before and it remains true.

The main discussion in my conversation I referenced is that we, as human beings, seem to have forgotten what's at the heart of things: people. We interact with people, but treat them like objects. We treat companies we buy from like faceless corporations (and many act that way), and they treat us like walking credit cards. We read a news story about anything and choose a side, defining the people in the story as issues rather than people. For example, the whole cake in Indiana thing. "Christian bakers won't serve gay couple." But let's look at that not as Christian vs. gay. Let's strip away the labels and the poster children for whatever cause we decided to champion this week and find the humanity there. Rewrite the story headline. "Couple finds each other after years apart, but their happy reunion is shadowed over by feeling ostracized by local company." "Woman holds true to her ethics despite social pressure and financial reason to give in and act against her values." Rewrite it even more - and revise it: "People from different backgrounds have a conversation and find that they have a lot more common ground than they thought previously."

Just as we are not happy to be defined by our mistakes or flaws, we should not embrace definitions that make us feel good, either. By hiding behind definitions, we become an object. We are no longer people. It's not our job to lie to make people feel good, but it's also not that hard to start seeing people as people again. There's a balance and we could all use a bit more humanity.

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