“What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.” – Sigmund Freud
While I’m not a big fan of Freud, I think he may have been on to something here. Today we give children medications to calm them down and make them tiny sleepy minded zombies and are constantly shushing them when their wonderful little minds race and they want to share their uncontainable but fun thoughts with us or worse yet they are told by adults to shut-up or stop asking so many questions. Maybe it’s a conspiracy by some adults to bring their children’s intelligence down to the level of the adults.
Personally I’ve always thought we should encourage children to think on their own and not be afraid to ask questions. Maybe that way they can grow up to be above average adults. 🙂
OK. So I admit it. I’ve read several books on meditation and listened to some lectures on religions like Buddhism and Jainism. That feat alone required me letting go of my inner-self’s close-mindedness and infatuation with criticizing just about everything I came in contact with – even if I did so mostly with just my own internal monologue. I carefully chose those religions because let’s face it, not many of the common religion’s members would sweep bugs out of the way to keep from stepping on them. But in this blog post, I’m only using them as an example of how far some will go to be truly respectful of others and of life itself. Now that I’ve said that, I’ll admit that I haven’t reached that level yet and probably never will but I have been on a journey to be more open minded and respectful of other people’s beliefs even when I don’t share their beliefs.
What made me think of this topic tonight is while reading other people’s blogs sites and their posts to other sites is I realized I wasn’t viewing them with my normal critical lens. Apparently, I had after all made some progress on the journey of letting go of criticism. So I stopped to reflect for a moment and realized I was seeing things in the posts that I hadn’t noticed before. It’s almost like i could see them more clearly and analyze them with a much clearer lens. I saw people trying to fit in anyway they knew how. I saw people taking chances with their writing. I no longer saw the figurative blemishes with their ideas and writing the same way. I wasn’t blind to the blemishes but I was indifferent to them and somehow I saw new meaning in their writing and understanding who they may be and what they were trying to accomplish. Although, that may in itself sound like criticism, I feel that internally something truly changed and like I had a newfound power to better understand others writing and motives.
I couldn’t think of the right two words to replace Fight or Flight but sometimes you have to be a satificer rather than a maximizer or if you’re a maximizer and you know it check out the book, Paradox of Choice, oh and clap your hands while you’re at it. And don’t confuse satificing with sassifying and whatever you do don’t look up Clarence Carter’s song Strokin’ unless you’re at peace with the obscene world that is our reality. But I digress…
Let me attempt to reel you back in for the serious discussion I had in mind when I picked out the title. A false dichotomy is when you oversimplify something down to just just two choices when in reality there are more so I’ll start off by apologizing for that. Life can be depressing and it can make us want to hide or find a large rock to crawl under or out of convenience or laziness for most of that really means a soft blanket, maybe with a faded tiger on it or a pattern that you probably saw on an episode of Three’s Company.
What got me to thinking about this topic wasn’t just how nice it must be sometimes to think about escaping reality whether that means hiding under a blanket, or getting lost in a good book, or just having a ((Insert favorite tv show or movie series here)) marathon but with how many parallels the idea has. Some people choose “hiding” when it comes to playing music, writing, socializing, playing games, or with just living life itself. Sure it’s easy to read or hear that one needs to stop and smell the roses but actually following through with that is another thing entirely.
I’m not going to pretend to know what the ultimate answer is which I figure is different for nearly everyone but sometimes just knowing how to frame the problem is a step towards solving it.
So if you are hiding from what you enjoy such as socializing, playing music, or writing figure out if it’s because you are afraid of being let down, criticized or afraid that you’re not good enough. After convincing your inner-self to be nice and accepting the outcome no matter what is the way to go, then understand that you can’t control others but just be happy that when you got the opportunity to dance that you danced and you don’t have to look back with regrets.
And finally what I think is really important is being true to yourself which in this case means don’t kid yourself about whether your are hiding or trusting. Trust in this case means trust yourself and if you have a problem with hiding from things you love then admit it. And spend every day and opportunity to better understand and trust yourself so that hopefully one day you can stop hiding and live your life to the fullest and in the process enrich other people’s lives and make the world a better place. A tall order no doubt but totally worth it. 🙂