It was a conversation that left a lasting impression.
Years ago, I was talking to a friend whose daughter was in university. I knew her daughter, was bright and talented. I was surprised to hear she was struggling. My friend told her, ‘You feel too much. You’re overly sensitive…’ In other words, you don’t have a problem—you are the problem.
I felt this was wrong on so many counts.
First, I don’t want to live in a world where human emotions are squashed and disregarded. This ideology has led to many problems we face today. Teaching others not to feel; not to care; to look out for only themselves, fostering the ‘dog eat dog world morality’ is why we are politically, economically, and socially in a very depressing state of affairs. It is precisely why we have depression and too much anxiety. It is why we have so many enemies throughout the world. It is why we have so much starvation. It is why our economy is failing.
Because: we don’t care. We are preoccupied with us, me; self. We don’t give a damn about collateral damage; the starving children; those living in refugee camps—because they live in far-off countries. Our media doesn’t inform us. Those in our own country are hidden, jailed, or die in the streets.
We’ve been taught to be numb. We are the living dead. The truth is: We’ve been tricked and toyed with. We let others take control of our lives. We let go of the reins. We trusted in our leaders. We believed half-wittingly that they were doing the right thing for our ‘best interest.’ Did they? Is what they do what we really want?
Just look at our film making industry for the past two decades. Look at what our youth have been taught. Our viciousness can’t get any worse. We are toxic.
The continual quest to be number one as a nation in terms of wealth has subliminally taught us to do the same. What do we use our national wealth for? Or our personal wealth? If wealth is not used for the betterment of our human condition, wouldn’t it be better to be less wealthy, or at least, not so powerful as to be so damaging to others? We have to admit we are no longer looked up to as a humanitarian country. Just look at our film making industry for the past two decades. Look at what our youth have been taught. Our viciousness can’t get any worse. We are toxic. I understand the need to defend ourselves, but that is not where our wealth as a nation is used. It’s no longer about defense. It’s about invasion and taking down leaders in foreign far off countries we never even knew. Before we deny our part, let’s take an honest look at the chronological order of matter.
We blame the millennials for being self-centered. Indeed the ‘Me’ generation is sickening. However, we need a little introspection. Why did they become this way? What were they learning from our teaching by our actions as parents? We taught them to only care about themselves. We work and barely have a family/home life. The media is slanted and corrupt. It lies while inflating our egos. The millennials really believe they are ‘great’ when in fact they are lacking in all human characteristics. They have little compassion and no spiritual enlightenment. This problem wasn’t created over-night. The ‘Me’ generation has been flourishing since the ’80s when being young urban and professional was deemed as everything. If you owned a BMW before you were twenty it was a sign you had your life together. You were ‘successful.’
The millennials believe ‘success’ is a number. It is how much wealth you have. It’s how many businesses you’ve started up. It’s how many cars you own. Is this true?
As it turned out, my friend’s daughter, the university student, discovered after intensive medical review and testing that she was/is dyslexic. She sees letters, numbers, and symbols, backwards. That explained a lot. It had nothing to do with her ‘feeling too much.’ She obtained her degree, but her achievement had more to do with her sense that something wasn’t right, she knew she was having difficulty with things, others weren’t.
You see, the information or advice we give, can do harm. It can be a detriment to society.
We don’t need less feeling. We need more. We need to admit we are social creatures. We need to admit we need one another. We are connected, and we are connected to the earth, ocean, mountains, and air we breathe. We need to teach our children, to feel, rather than be numb and self-absorbed.
The modern-day therapies, that teach people to feel less; to turn off their feelings, rather than focus on Why they are feeling them… will only help people momentarily.
We are in the age of narcissism dealing with cold calculating people and a cold social environment. We want ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ but what we really need is love and care from those around us but we don’t trust each other. We fear our neighbors. We need to take back our humanity. We need to get out of our heads, and reach out and take back our nation.
Modern psychology needs to rewrite Freud’s promotion that our feelings of ‘guilt’ are a by-product of religion or social norms imposed upon us. Guilt is a gift. It tells us when we are doing something that is going to hurt us. Teaching someone to: ‘Cancel cancel’ … when they feel badly about something, is teaching them to escape rather than deal with something that needs dealing with. Let’s teach them to discover why they are feeling what they are. Avoidance, is not dealing with something. Granted, there are times we must leave ‘emotions’ at the door, when taking an exam for example. We also need to lead our lives in alignment with our values.
What do we value?
Until COVID came, we didn’t value home life enough or our role as husband and wife, as parents, as citizens. There is something terribly wrong with our society when we place more esteem for the female CEO than a wife and mother who tirelessly serves her family’s needs; without pay, without vacation. We commit a great injustice to our humanity and our society is in failure mode. The mother (family) is the cornerstone of society.
Finally, let me say: social distancing is unnatural and is a danger to our humanity. It is not okay to live or die alone. It is not okay to only text and talk via telephone. We need to be touched, and hugged. We need to cry with one another. We need to hold one another’s hands. We need to be cared for. We need to CARE. We need to feel again.