It’s probably easier for some people to live in a world of black and white, of absolutes, where no allowance is made for variances; where some people are grouped into one category, and hardly if ever are they allowed to be seen in another light. Sometimes it’s given a name, that name is discrimination.
Discrimination against minorities or religions are two well known examples. Discrimination against women is often talked about along with an unseen “glass ceiling” that many women in the corporate world especially still speak of. A “glass ceiling” is an invisible limit put on some women who work in the corporate field, where they are restricted from achieving a higher status in their career. It is generally agreed upon that discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated, and yet, we as a society are shifting towards a discrimination that is widely accepted, and is used for the basis of humour which is in poor taste. This discrimination can be found in stand-up comedy to commercial products geared toward this view. What is this discrimination that is allowed to flourish today, and even often encouraged? It is discrimination against men.
I know dear reader, you have heard the slurs. How all men are evil or dogs or players. How they can’t be trusted and how they should just be used for their money and not valued as a person. I have personally heard countless women say the most offensive things about men and laugh. I have often confronted women in defense of men, and been met with distain and quizzical looks, as my standing up for men in general was not acceptable. Have you seen the knife holder that is in the shape of a man? Each knife that fits into it impales the male figure. One site called it the “all men are bastards” knife block. I just don’t think that is funny. If the tables were reversed and the product was in the shape of a woman being impaled by knives, the public outcry would have have no doubt resulted in the product no longer being manufactured, but since it’s a guy being stabbed, that’s okay. Right??
Look, not all men are devils, and not all women are angels. The sexual gender of a person does not speak for what kind of person they are. Just as skin colour, height, weight or profession does not speak for who a person is. I don’t think enough women even begin to think about how hard it is for men in this world. Men are judged all the time; for their looks, the amount of money in their bank account, their sexual prowess and for their social skills. How they are never supposed to be shy or intimidated to talk to a woman.
There are so many women that lament that men never ask them out, or that they always have terrible dates. Sometimes they talk about this guy that they know who they want to date but he never does ask her out. Sometimes, they talk about how some guy at an event was looking at her but he never made any moves. Hey ladies! Have you ever asked a man out? Have you ever walked across a crowded room to ask a man if he would like a drink? How about ever asking a man to dance? Try to imagine for a second how scary that must be? To find the nerve to put yourself out there knowing that you might get shot down in 2 seconds by a woman who thinks that all men are scum and how dare you talk to her?! How many men have gone through that humiliating experience and begin to question even wanting to date! Who needs that constant rejection all the time? Who wants to put themselves out there all the time and constantly encountering women who question their manhood, their intentions, quiz them about their social status or financial status?
While I am on the topic of dating, I want to say that yes, dear reader in case you are wondering, when I was dating, I did ask men out. When I went to a club, I did ask a man to dance or did offer to buy him a drink. When I went on dates, I never expected a man to pay for me every time. I always offered to pay for myself. Sometimes the man would insist on paying, and sometimes we split the bill. When I was dating my husband, we worked out a back and forth paying system, where he would pay one time, and I the next.
Okay but what about the players you ask? What about them? Yes male players exist, but so do women players. If you don’t want to be with a player ladies, then use your common sense and intuition to guide you, and stick to your predetermined set of life rules you have created for yourself regarding what you will and will not accept in your life. If you don’t have any interest in being with a player and you know for a fact that he is a player, then don’t talk to him, and don’t date him! Don’t feed into his flattery or games, just walk away. If you are unhappy with a player, but refuse to break up with him, then don’t turn around and say that all men are evil. There are so many nice, decent and good men, that are overlooked and ignored, but if all you respond to are men who treat you badly, then YOU are the problem.
How does he treat you? How does she treat you? That is the question that needs to be asked. Forget about making generalizations about people. Forget about lumping men into the evil category and women into the angels who are perfect and make no mistakes and gee, where is my knight to save me and cater to me! Ugh!! I am soooo sick of the princess mentality that some women have. You are dealing with a PERSON. If you don’t like that person then move on but don’t lump them into a category of hate and loathing and discrimination.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
This made me weep. I was one of those children who was bullied in school. Let us stop teaching hate.
Some people call it a bubble or a box; I often call it a wall. I have written about the walls we build around ourselves, but what about the walls we try to build around our children? Generally speaking most parents love their children and only want the best for them, but sometimes in wanting the best for them, they inadvertently start building a wall around them.
What is the foundation of this wall? It’s made up of all of a parents past hurts, pains and mistakes, and anything and everything that either hurt, scared, or damaged them in some way. They so desperately don’t want their child or children to experience any of that so they try to block them in. While it is done with the best intentions, it is often a subconscious effort, something they do without thinking.
My son is now almost 4 years old. An energetic, full of life, happy boy whom I affectionately call “Monkey Boy” for his love of daredevil moves and climbing everything and anything in sight! I love him beyond words, and every day since he has taken his first tentative steps I have had to work hard to try to not put a wall around him. I like to think that I am doing a good job of letting him be himself, but some days, I am sure I am not succeeding so well. No one is perfect; everyone is a work in progress. The most important thing to remember is that you acknowledge the negative thoughts or behaviour as in comes up in you and you make a conscious effort to modify it or eliminate it so that you don’t pass it on unnecessarily to your child or children. I feel the need to add to this topic the statement: please use common sense. Obviously, protecting your child or children from any truly dangerous situation/s is essential, so in that case, DO listen to you instincts and the voice you have inside that is screaming at you to intervene. In that case, it is warranted.
Having said that, I would like to move on to relay an example of breaking the cycle from my own life. My example is taking my son to the park to play. I remember with a smile my sons first tentative forays at the park, his little feet stumbling with awkward steps, my grip on him strong to help him walk, and having to hoist him up to the slide, holding him as he slid down. This past year he really began to able to climb the playground structures with ease. Brave as he always is, he decided that he was ready for the side of the park meant for children ages 5 and up. At first, I stood right near him, ready to catch him if he fell, all the while holding my breath, while smiling and telling him he could do it! Every part of me screamed to not let him do it, but I knew that wasn’t coming from me really. That was a bit of wall from my own family, my own restrictive childhood, which was plagued with constant words of caution from my own mother about how I could not possibly manage to do the things I wanted to do. So armed with that knowledge, and mustering all the resolve I could, I stood by and let him climb on his own. Gosh that was hard! Did he fall or slip? Yes he did, but I was there to grab him and encourage him to try again. So he did, and now of course, he is “Monkey Boy” because his foundation doesn’t have that fear of climbing tall structures or tackling high slides. I did not pass a limiting belief onto him. Now, with every chance I get where I can reinforce a positive belief to him regarding climbing, or heights or just taking a chance, I do.
It’s easier to build a wall than to tear one down, but that is one of our responsibilities as parents. We have to make an effort to not pass along negative limiting beliefs to our children. They don’t need our walls; they don’t need our flawed foundations. They need love and support and positive guidance to build their own secure foundation. Not to build a wall, but to build a strong support, a stabilizing base for their life, so that no matter what happens to them, they know they have a foundation that will support them. Whatever stage you are at with your wall, whether it’s in pieces around you, or whether it is still tall and strong, don’t extend it to your child or children. You can’t control every aspect of their life, nor should you want to. They are not you; they are not your partner. They are their own unique individual. You don’t have to change them, or squish them to fit behind your wall. Try to step into their world, communicate with them, really listen to them, and love them for the wonderful person they are.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
The dreaded Valentines Day. February 14th looms like a dark shadow on many a calendar. What am I talking about you ask? It’s the day of love! It’s traditionally viewed as a day of hearts and chocolates and fancy dinners with your sweetie. It’s the day many women expect to be showered with gifts of jewels and bouquets of roses while being romanced. Oh what a lovely image…..for her! What about the poor guys? The men in these women’s lives who get to sweat over card choices and overpriced flowers, debating the merits of each bouquet whilst not even having a clue what the individual flowers are.
Are we having fun yet? What about all the single people? What a great day for them! Let’s have a day that reminds them of just how single they are. Oh yeah, fun times. Hey let’s face it, not every couple loves the day either. I personally can’t stand the commercialism of it. Why you may ask? I don’t like Valentines Day not because I am not romantic or don’t like presents. I don’t like the day because it is so false, and it is a day, which gives a handful of people with an already closed heart, the means to justify being unromantic, unkind, ungenerous or inconsiderate the rest of the year. Things are nice. Everyone likes nice things. Jewels that sparkle, sweet chocolates and beautiful flowers are always a joy to behold, but what if, just IMAGINE that those things didn’t exist? Then what? How do you show your love for another without having stuff?
So what do I mean by using Valentines Day to your advantage if I hate it so much? What I mean is to take all the best parts of the day, like kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and acts of love, and make an effort to practice them all year long. This works whether you are single, or a couple- married or not. Treating people with kindness, compassion and understanding can be done very simply without any elaborate costs. Simple acts that show you care, are the easiest way to make another person feel appreciated and loved. Maybe it’s making the morning coffee, washing dishes, walking the dog, letting someone sleep in. At the office you don’t have to love your co-workers, but how about practicing compassion and tolerance? I know that it is not always easy, and goodness knows some people can push your buttons and make you want to scream! I get that, believe me I do. Even if all you can manage is to walk away instead of yelling at your annoying co-worker, then that is a great start. If you are single, you can practice with family, friends, and co-workers. You can practice on strangers, and maybe, meet someone special along the way too.
What about strangers? Absolutely. Some examples: The person standing behind you in line at the grocery store who has 1-2 items and you have 20, let them go ahead of you. The homeless man you see on the street. I know, you don’t like to give money to “them” – How about buying that person a hot coffee on a cold day. The tired parent who comes onto the bus carrying bags and ushering their small child forward. Hey that kid can walk, all bets are off on getting a seat for them right? If you are physically able to, how about offering that exhausted parent your seat instead? Another option is to volunteer at an organization that needs help. Whether it is for a clause close to your heart, or to help out a local group.
Valentines Day is symbolized by a heart. Why not open yours and rediscover all that you have to offer others, and maybe by doing so, you will find all that positive energy brings good things back to you.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
We live in a society where we are bombarded with information, images and the written word daily. In all this information we are told repeatedly how we should feel and think. What products we should own and how our bodies should look. We have the option to text instead of talk. We can watch hundreds of channels on television and stream music from around the world. Modern social media, electronic devices and the internet connect us all in ways that was that never possible before, and yet, with that has come negative consequences.
Information is wonderful, yes, and as a society we are more informed and have the ability to connect with more people on a level not possible before, and yet, where are we as a society? We are a society becoming consumed by our technology and media output to the point where we are becoming a world of people who often do not interact with each other on a personal level.
Social media pressures and a push for consumerism is not a new thing. An example of this is how In the 1950s great efforts were made by many sources including social pressure and the media at the time to encourage woman to desire a life of domestic bliss. The men were home from WWII and they needed their jobs back, so women were pressured to want that white picket fence home and gleaming new appliances that the domestic life offered. Men were told that they were the breadwinners and akin to gods. They should expect to return home and find their wife happy and pretty, dinner hot and ready for them, and their children obedient and quiet.
In our modern day world we like to think that we are beyond those times of subservience and social pressures. We have more freedom that we have ever had in history to have and obtain the type of life we really desire to have, and yet how far have we really come? Have we not been brainwashed in a new way? Why interact with people on a personal level when you can text them instead? Gosh you don’t even have to break up in person anymore! Just send that email or text and you are as free as a bird!
The news now regularly has reports of persons suffering injuries and accidents because they are too busy texting on their electronic devices while they were walking or driving. We are a world where seeing someone talking to themselves is now considered so normal it is ignored! I can’t tell you how many times I have given someone wearing one of those phones that connect to your ear a wide berth because I thought they were unstable! Of course I felt really silly when they turned around and I saw the device. A modern day faux pas that I am sure would be in the pages of her latest book on etiquette if Emily Post was still alive.
Aldous Huxley wrote about a world ruled by consumerism, a people who were literally brainwashed into wanting to always having something new, where technology ruled them all. In his novel Brave New World he described a world addicted to a drug called Soma, which allowed its users to feel happiness and peace all the time, as they tuned out to the reality around them. I am not saying that technology and social media is wrong. I am not saying that the internet is wrong. I love the net! I love searching for information about new topics and learning new things. I love being able to chat with friends around the world and connect with people. Heck, being able to call my husband on his cell phone and tell him to pick up milk while he is out is very convenient! What is important to remember with technology is that it is a tool. A tool is meant to be something that is used to assist you in order to make tasks easier, and save time. A tool is not supposed to take over your life.
True social interaction seems to be slipping away. I have seen pictures on the internet of people in a club all looking at their phones and not even acknowledging each other. That is unbelievable to me. I want to shake them all and shout at them to “Stop looking at your phone and start looking at each other!” As a society we have a responsibly to contribute to it in a constructive positive manner, not just for our self but for others as well. We need to start to really listen to each other. Listening to music is great but not if you can’t hear the world around you, or the car about to hit you! Take your ear buds out of your ears so you can hear the people and what is around you. When a tragedy or accident happens, put down your recording device and help if you can! Recently a water pipe burst in Montreal at the McGill campus downtown. Quickly the videos and images surfaced of the sudden surge of water filling the street. I watched a video of one person trying to cross the street and getting pulled off her feet and swept down the road by the water. On the video there was a confused male voice asking “Hey, where is she going? Should we like, help her or something?” Seriously? How that was even a question that needed to be asked? Was it because on some level, before she fell, that young woman was not seen as a person? Was she only something to film for interest to post on the web? That is only one example of how desensitized we have become as a society. Brainwashed not by people but by the very devices we created to assist us.
Let us as humans in this wondrous world of the 21st century, work to find a balance in life. So many of us have become drones to the technology of convenience. Let us try to remember that people are what really matters, not things. Technology is a tool that is meant to assist us, not rule our lives and keep us in a bubble of ignorance. Remember that behind every text is a person. In every video you watch of a tragedy, there are real lives involved. Know that your car is a marvelous feat of technology, but it is not impervious, and neither are you when you are in it.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com