Finding the commonalities between us seemed to work best. We spent so much time in this life observing and speaking upon differences. That in itself was not problematic, differences are indeed to be celebrated as each serves a unique purpose. When differences were used to fuel division, this is when the problems began to arise. I wished we were able to conceptualize this as a society and see beyond – so many of the issues plaguing us were truly more psychological and emotional ones collectively.
The collective psyche had been ill for quite some time which philosophers, poets, mystics and artists had remarked upon for ages, though as society grew more and more ill it lost appreciation for these much needed roles. Philosophy and self reflection were seen as laughable or impossible pursuits. Critical thinking was relegated to the realm of science where someone else did it for you. Art and mysticism were no longer valued but thought of as pursuits for fools. Femininity was sexualized or seen as weakness. Uniqueness was squashed through indoctrination, guilt, shame, and manipulation. Opposing viewpoints to the status quo or most commonly accepted social narrative were bullied while individuals suffered personal attack.
Gone were the intellectual ages where people gathered to discuss different ideas. The collective psyche was far too fragile for that. Instead we resorted to surrounding ourselves only with those that thought and felt like us. This way, we could be in an echo chamber of our own bias. Comfortable, secure, ignorant, delusional.
Simultaneously we wondered why mental illness and suicide rates were rising. Why racism wasn’t being eradicated. Why seemingly archaic traditions beliefs and behaviors were alive and well. Yet – we avoided most ways to challenge and affect these narratives. Instead opting to blame, shame, pick sides, and continue avoiding personal responsibility for the world we were a part of, and our effect on the collective society.
I often wondered, how many others ever thought of their effect on the world?