Tuesday, September 30, 2014, I live within a society and a culture that touts a belief in free speech. Unless one “complains.” Then out come the big guns of mass social pressure to shame into silence any individual within that society who issues forth words that speak honestly of that person’s reality in the world.
Basically the pressure is to shut up. Just shut up. Shut up about what hurts. Shut up about what’s wrong in your personal life let alone what might be wrong in anyone else’s life. Nobody wants to listen to “a complainer.” After all, wasn’t my psychotically mentally ill insanely abusive Boston-raised mother correct? “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.”
Who wants to be alone? Left all alone?
Maybe if we were not members of a mammalian social species alone wouldn’t matter to us. But we ARE a social species. We are supposed to be designed with empathetic compassion — with an altruistic response-ability — built into us. We are supposed to CARE. And we cannot care if we cannot speak our own truth and listen to others speak their’s.
What spurs others to take appropriate compassionate social action if they would rather silence any concerns that there are genuine troubles that greatly affect and very often terribly hurt people? (Not to mention the earth itself and much of natural life upon and within in it.) There is great prejudice in this culture against those who DARE to complain. About anything. Ever.
“Never complain” leaves a wide open field for rampant ignorance to flourish with its accompanying deterioration in the quality of life for the masses. Where there are complaints there are problems. It is very easy (and convenient) for the enfranchised to negate and diminish the importance and the reality of “complaints” made by the powerless, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the suffering.
As an example, the simple perusal of statistics provided within the yearly Incentti Report Cards provided by the United Nations on the quality of life for children in the world’s richest nations clearly shows the huge and growing disparity between conditions of life for the haves versus the have-nots in America. Are we shamed or embarrassed or remotely motivated to FIX this disgusting and morally WRONG condition within our nation? Do we care that the adults in our disenfranchised children’s lives are disenfranchised as well?
Evidently not. Not remotely. All we evidently want is for those who suffer to SHUT UP! After all, America WANTS to remain at the bottom of the heap just above Romania in caring for our children (or for anyone else?). Everyone knows, after all, that if you are suffering in America it’s your own damn fault.
These are dangerous grounds, folks. Dangerous waters. We are polluting our “thought pool” every time we judge rather than honor, respect, care about and compassionately listen to those among us who are in pain. I don’t care WHAT kind of complaint another person makes within my range of notice. If someone is suffering enough to say so, ESPECIALLY given the courage it takes to stand up against the insane pressure in this culture to SHUT UP if you happen to notice something wrong, I owe it to everyone to LISTEN.
Listen with an open mind and an open heart. How are we ever going to solve our social problems and concerns if we refuse to accept that they even exist?
I will not bow to damaging social pressure or control. I want to be a better person than that. I have suffered. I had no voice. I didn’t even have words for what happened to me. I could not even THINK about it.
I will never allow myself to be lulled or forced into mental oblivion again. If someone suffers I want to know about it the best that I can. Listening may well be all I have to offer, but at least I care enough to offer that.
I would rather be a part of our nation’s wisdom than a part of its ignorance. What we ignore — hurts us all.
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