Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh the humanity!

I was reading on my social networking sites about a friend who is in a bind, and a fellow community member reminded them that the tribe always provides.

I think the years of self-providing parents and the long history of being a social outcast taught me at a young age that I shouldn't depend on the tribe, and a part of me has become really prejudicial towards other people whom keep the tribe as a viable fall-back plan.

Somewhere along the line, I realize my viewpoint is a little too far to one side, and that I do myself a dis-service both not personally having faith in my own tribe, but also having that attitude towards others as well.

I think yet another part of that I've seen too many people take advantage of the system.  People who really don't make a great enough effort to do for themselves, and end up apparently depending on the tribe regularly.  That alone pushes me even harder to do my damndest to cover my own bases and to build in acceptable failures for when even all that effort doesn't pan out.  And all that based on the impression of things I see in others that may not necessarily be reality at all.

With all that resting on my shoulders, I should be a nervous wreck about the unknown and the possibility of instability that is part of life.  And yet, a part of me LOVES having my plans tested.  It is almost like a science experiment to me, and I get giddy when I have to put a plan in motion because of some oh-shit moment that cropped up.  I get all analytical, and mentally take notes on how to improve the process, and  revel in the things I did well and feel a sense of pride that even if I didn't manage to cover every base, inevitably, I covered a lot, and even though an oops is still an oops, it's not a HOLY CRAP.

Another piece of that puzzle comes from the fact that I accept the understanding that by nature I am not a unconditionally compassionate person.  I have standards and expectations, and people who do not meet them are not afforded the emotional response that perhaps they should be.   I don't always know how to reconcile that.  Again, I see a lot of people who really seem to need a good swift kick in the pants rather than some warm fuzzies or acknowledgement.  I question things in the sense that if I can power through much worse, how is it that "you" are floundering over so much less?  Why are "you" so resistant to biting into your own problem and instead seem so willing to let others take over?  Where is the sense of pride?  Where is the drive to succeed?  Why is it that I see these things as failures of character rather than just responses to stress?

I was recently accused of eschewing emotion when it comes to these things, and I realized I wasn't in a position to truly and fully counter that statement.  I just couldn't.

I've come to recognize that a part of that is a response to aspects of my childhood, but that my continuing dismissal of emotion is more of a habit now than any active response.  A habit I'm not sure how to break.

I find it exceedingly difficult to look past those prejudices and see the humanity of people.  To find the balance and to really respond in a constructive and accepting manner.

I mean at this point, I have at least learned to keep my mouth shut most of the time.  But that's not really changing anything beyond the fact that I'm just not always out with my opinion.  I guess on some level, it's a step in the right direction, but it really doesn't solve the problem.

So somewhere along the line, my continued goal is to spend more time letting people in.  Letting in the idea that I really have no idea what I'm thinking or that I even vaguely have a reasonable idea of what someone else is going through, and that accordingly, I'm in no position to judge or to withhold basic human emotions based on this perceived knowledge I think I have.

Rough goal for me.  Definitely have my work cut out for me.

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