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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 660: An Ocean of Voices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw2kR9l24C8&list=UUsT0YIqwnpJCM-mx7-gSA4Q

When you put someone in a box, when you define them as being one way or another, very often they will bend to your opinion and see themselves in that same way. When you tell someone who they are, they are more likely to continue being that way than to change. When you tell people who they are - they are likely to believe you without question. Sometimes they might pretend to rebel against your label of them, but will still see themselves that way deep inside themselves. There are very few people who have the drive to not be defined by other people and to really create themselves.

This can be applied in more than one context. In relationships, we tend to hold onto an idea of our partner, of who they are, what they usually say, what they usually do. Maybe they have a bad habit that they want to stop, something like being forgetful, as long as you keep seeing your partner as 'a forgetful person', you are enslaving them to that definition. Sure, every now and then someone has the will to change the habit regardless of what anyone else says, but that is rare.

As in the video, we can see this phenomenon happening in our society as well, most notably within the poorest and most unfortunate members of society. There are so many labels that are given to the underprivileged - 'underprivileged' being just one. In so many parts of the world the poor receive no support from their communities or governments, it is as if the world is telling them that they are worthless, they have no value. Is it any surprise that so many people then live their lives with that mentality? Is it so surprising that so many people remain most likely deliberately ignorant to potentially life threatening behaviours (like practicing safe sex)?

When the public schools provided for poor families are understaffed, underfunded and lacking in many basic amenities - what message does that convey to the children attending those schools? Maybe that only children from wealthy families are worth the money and effort of providing a decent education?

How would you live if your future prospects only went as far as working behind a till? How would you feel if you knew that you would never have the opportunity to live the life you want? How much would your world view change if you were in that position? How much would your self worth change if you were in that position? Remember to see this not from your personal base of experiences, but from the point of view of the person who is in that position and has been in that position for their entire life.

In many places there are people and organisations trying to make changes in different ways. Sarah Perez McAdoo describes what can happen if these people and organisations come together to work towards the same goals, following the same guidelines - so much more is possible when we stand together as one. Imagine now even further, if we were to stand together, not in fragmented groups of individual issues, but in one group, a community of people all together working to achieve one goal with the understanding that all other goals are part of this one primary goal. Imagine if every person were to support one holistic solution that would address all the issues we face in this life - this would be the ocean of people to bring true change.

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