Emotions are such a complex aspect of who we are as human beings. They drive us to do some extraordinary things as well as lead us to quite shameful and regrettable behavior. It really does depend on the circumstance, however there are just some acts of depravity that when we’re exposed to, we can’t help but respond with in the most aggressive and possibly dangerous ways.
Murder, rape, assault, bullying, and sexual manipulation are just a few of the examples that come to mind when I think of behavioral acts that are extremely difficult to respond to without letting emotions influence how I may react towards a situation. Its for these reasons that experience plays a huge part in how we perceive the world around us. To keep it short and simple, there’s just no predicting how you’d react to a particular situation or circumstance until you’ve actually been able to experience it first hand.
You can’t attempt to empathize and relate to a victim of a heinous crime just like you can’t pretend to be inside the head of a soldier in war combat or an officer of the law who’s had to put themselves in more dangerous, possibly life-threatening situations than you could ever imagine. There’s more to being an officer of the law or civil servant than what you see on TV, like the psychological effects of the training, job & differentiating that mindset from that of every day, civilian life.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can’t pretend to know what its like growing up of a different ethnicity, nationality, culture or religion. Therefore, to think you can relate to what its like being raised in that environment with that struggle if you yourself have never experienced anything comparable is ignorant and reckless. We have a huge barrier between the relatability and understanding of one another in the ‘United States of America’ and an extraordinarily un-addressed problem that has led things to get to where they are today.
Beyond that, there is a widespread amount of ignorance of the ramifications of historical impact and how our current system was set up in order to allow for the injustices that continue to occur today. Its quite frightening when you use social media as often as I do and see the overwhelming amount of people who just don’t “get it” or know any better because they’ve never studied in depth or analyzed events in our own history that still have effects on the areas they’ve occurred to this day.
As the first week of July in 2016 comes to an end, there’s definitely no argument that it has been an extremely emotional and tumultuous several days. Regardless of how you feel about what’s happening right now in America, if not all over the world, its highly doubtful you don’t feel strongly about something as that’s part of what makes us human, our feelings.
We have to be aware of those feelings and where they come from. There’s a reason why thousands if not millions of individuals can all watch the same ‘real-life’ video clip of a person having their life taken away and all feel completely different about what they just witnessed, even if it is after the fact and through a camera lens. Whether its how & where they were raised, an experience or experiences they’ve had, or just fears that were implanted in them from various elements with no education on subjects of certain sociological circumstance, there is always an explanation. Even if its suppressed within the layers of the unconscious mind, its still there somewhere to be found.
Racism just like sexism is a programmed state of mind that stems from both taught and learned behavior that has been fine-tuned and redefined over the course of centuries, if not a millennia. The causes of it are far too vast and complicated to dive into in this entry, but maybe in a later entry I can touch on it. Trust me, I’ve spent hours studying the subject and I’m still barely scratching the surface of it. Remember, racism has been taught and practiced in some form in virtually all cultures since before 1000 BC. What we experience today is the result of an endless spiderweb spread all over the planet over the course of numerous civilizations and historical timelines.
Where we get our information is a strong and powerful source that influences us in ways that are hard to comprehend if you’ve never deeply studied psychology and sociology. But, all it takes is common sense to really observe where somebody gets the bulk of the their information. Television is still a dominant force in many people’s lives, although the internet gives us the most resources and outlets to connect us to that information, its still only as powerful as the users who utilize it every day. Unfortunately, America’s education system over the past several decades has left many people virtually illiterate and unable to derive fiction from fantasy which is also exactly what the television has successfully done in the past 60+ years. So, we’ve only been able to really capitalize on uses of the internet for basic, rudimentary daily tasks. Hopefully that will one day change.
For the most part, its the TV that has used entertainment and advertising to push an agenda to dictate social norms and behaviors. Its lead us to trends in fashion and music, and allowed pop culture to rule our every day lives. It also tells us what to care about and who to vote for. So why wouldn’t it also aid into steering how we feel through carefully crafted dialogue and dramatization? The more I study about the television industry and Hollywood the more I can assure you, we wouldn’t know what was real or fake if we spent years researching it at the most prestigious institutions on earth. There’s just so much that has never been shared with the public or even published to really be certain of what to believe when regards to how we’ve been manipulated by the magic of media. But one again, that issue will also have to be addressed in a later entry. What I can say is I don’t watch it because I don’t trust it, but I do see how strongly it affects those around me, which from my observation hasn’t been in a very conducive or positive light.
I didn’t write this editorial to convince you of anything or influence how you feel about a particular issue. I’m simply viewing the world around me, paying close attention to the events that people seem to be focused on, and sharing what I’ve learned in my time doing endless research in order to understand why we are the way we are and why we do the things we do.
I can tell you that fear plays the biggest role in behavioral construction. Humans have behaved in such ways over time to make them fear everything about the outside world, especially the westernized culture over the past 100 years. When people make an assessment or judgment on an individual they’ve just seen reported on the media from a few sentences printed and a couple badly commentated photos, they’re doing so out of a preconceived disposition that comes from either emotion or logic. Someone’s emotional history and experiences will heavily influence how deep they go into their contrived assumption. That’s what I see happening, especially on social media, every single day. We’re painting pictures in our head and creating narratives with little or nor information or factual evidence with corresponding detail, which is actively conditioning us while we influence one another.
This is a huge problem occurring right now on a scale of epidemic proportions. I see it grow more and more every day especially with the youth being so malleable and impressionable as they are. If we don’t start re-thinking how we discuss and address issues, we’ll create illusive dangers in every socio-cultural category, creating a world that isn’t safe for anyone. I hope it never get to that, but hope only goes so far without awareness and action. Its those actions you have control over every single day in every situation you’re in. So use that beautiful mind of yours… And don’t let it go to waste.