I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

images

Have you caved in on your beliefs due to others you associated with looking upon you for agreement, reassurance, or for some other form of approval when you were in a professional or social situation?  Surrendering your opinions or judgements because of a fear that you will not fit in on what others might believe can alter a majority of minds not yet tempered.

Maybe you choose not to do something because other people were watching and you felt awkward or were embarrassed, such as performing in front of people, like maybe singing or public speaking.  Perhaps you have chosen a particular line of clothing to wear because it is the style that is most popular during the season.  Your concern with how you will look in your new outfit will often dissuade the original choice due to what others may think about them.  Nervousness can cause us to have the same outcome, specifically the doubt in ourselves is a very common occurrence and is heightened when others are watching.  I think that for those who do so in the professional arena, may fear a retribution from their peers or supervisors on a personal and even possibly on a professional level as well.

The thought of not being true to your beliefs due to the judgements of others can be a very strong factor that influences our behavior.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has said …”When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

I remember in my 10th grade English class, we were given an assignment by our staunchly conservative teacher Mrs. Leuth.  She apparently had the reputation of having a very challenging class in the English department, and if it wasn’t an honors English class, it certainly should have been.  Only two people in that class did not have to take the final, and only two people in that class received an A.  One mid-semester morning the assignment to write a critical essay was given to all students in a classroom of under thirty.  I believe we wrote the essay in the classroom that day and handed it in on period end.  The following day we were handed back our graded papers, thinking nothing was to become of it when we all viewed them as usual in the privacy of our seats.  Just another assignment many of us thought.  Little did I know that some of us were selected to read out loud to our classmates the papers we had written the day before.  I call upon this experience because my paper was chosen due to the content that was in it.  Mrs. Leuth told the class prior to my reading that I was not afraid to reveal my thoughts, and for that reason I believe she had selected me to read its excerpts.

I’m really not sure what the assignment details were, but I will never forget that day when I for the first time was called upon to speak publicly in front of my peers about my own conclusions.  My own intellectual processes were to be divulged to all in that class, my own thoughts in the presence of others to be voiced aloud in a room with statistically speaking some very critical recipients.  Sophomores can be brutal.  I do remember as I read to the class my paper discussing a subject that involved imprisonment, and torture.  I believe that I was using a particular frame of reference in the paper, and inclusively writing about the mistreatment one could receive in their captors violent rages.  I distinctly remember a section which spoke about cutting the ears off of their captor when not cooperating with them.  The torture of that person was highlighted in the body of the text and the argument on the crimes of humanity probably consisted of the thesis.

In the tradition of Walt Whitman I nervously yawp’d my paper’s contents to the classroom.  It was my portrayal of Dead Poet’s Society.

A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.”

“Like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold…. From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, It’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.

I’m not sure I was that poetic as depicted in the film, but perhaps recognition for the frankness of personalized content I injected probably gave me the spotlight.

The drive we have to fit in can have some disconcerting effects upon our behavior, and our individuality.  In philosophy the topic of individuality brings us to several authors that have discussed the ethical and moral implications brought upon by the subject of the individual.  You find treatments such as John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism or Ayn Rand’s Objectivism in the historical record.  A treatment from the existentialist’s and the humanist’s are also notably rendered in the mix.

Wikipedia cites that ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest.  It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people do only act in their self-interest.  Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism, which holds merely that it is rational to act in one’s self-interest.

Ethical egoism contrasts with ethical altruism, which holds that moral agents have an obligation to help and serve others.  Egoism and altruism both contrast with ethical utilitarianism, which holds that a moral agent should treat one’s self with no higher regard than one has for others (as egoism does, by elevating self-interests and “the self” to a status not granted to others), but that one also should not (as altruism does) sacrifice one’s own interests to help others’ interests, so long as one’s own interests (i.e. one’s own desires or well-being) are substantially-equivalent to the others’ interests and well-being.  Egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism are all forms of consequentialism, but egoism and altruism contrast with utilitarianism, in that egoism and altruism are both agent-focused forms of consequentialism (i.e. subject-focused or subjective), but utilitarianism is called agent-neutral (i.e. objective and impartial) as it does not treat the subject’s (i.e. the self’s, i.e. the moral “agent’s”) own interests as being more or less important than if the same interests, desires, or well-being were anyone else’s.

Whichever school of thought you may align with, the fact that our decisions become politically charged without true comprehension happens to a majority of us in group situations.  An awareness of why we make decisions that have an impact on us and others just may help us to forge better ones.  A balance of approaches would be recommended by this author.  Being yourself, and remaining true to your beliefs no matter what the situation will often come to aid you when sleeping at night.  If you were still wondering, Yes, I was one of the two who received an A in that English class.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Mark Twain

Friedrich Nietzsche

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
Robert Frost

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

The Illusion of Choice

When the voices of our information come from fewer sources, the competition becomes degraded and the market for information shrinks.  The control over the media sources that we consume is not something to write home about.  In fact it is downright discouraging and dangerous for a free society to even tolerate.  But look around us, we allow our government to have more and more control, we allow our representatives to do what their constituents do not want them to do in the name of fear, or terror, or some other ridiculous reason.  I’m not quite sure just where we are headed, but at the rate we are traveling as a country, I’m thinking that the consequences of our behaviors will end us as the nation we were once known for…..Freedom!  Just where do you get your information from?

Estimates of consolidation over the last several decades has decreased down to the control of 6 major sources.  That’s consolidated from 50 companies back in 1983.

NOTE: This infographic is from last year and is missing some key transactions. GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn’t own AOL, so Huffington Post isn’t affiliated with them.

But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates “the illusion of choice,” Frugal Dad says. While some big sites, like Digg and Reddit aren’t owned by any of the corporations, Time Warner owns news sites read by millions of Americans every year.

https://i0.wp.com/static2.businessinsider.com/image/4fd9ee1e6bb3f7af5700000a/media-infographic.jpg

This infographic created by Jason at Frugal Dad shows that almost all media comes from the same six sources.

A Fish Out of Water

fishoutofwater Annette Blattman


 

Without alienation, there can be no politics.”

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) 1915-, American Dramatist


 

Have you ever felt at times like a fish out of water? A feeling that you somehow did not belong to what you were in observance of. Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? On occasion we have been in the company of others that we did not really know very well, and have felt out-of-place, or discomforted by the environment we were surrounded by. What is even more discomforting is being with friends and feeling like you did not belong to this group of people who you have already known for some time when you happen to be at some function. What is most appalling is the extraordinary circumstances that hurt us most when we have these feelings and thoughts about our own family.

Alienation is an awful feeling that leads us to question our own sense of values. A feeling that divides us on emotional levels from people that we have known for some time and can be a very strange experience to us. In some cases there are situations that effect our families and that we may have had the unpleasant experience to contend with. Having family members become estranged from other family members due to the communication dynamic in those families is also known as parental alienation, and is an extremely painful event.

Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. The parent that the child aligns with – the aligned parent – may engage in alienating behaviors, by undermining the other parent: these behaviors may be conscious and deliberate or alternatively may reflect a lack of awareness on the effect of their actions on their children. Direct alienating behaviors occur when one parent actively undermines the other parent, such as making derogatory remarks about the other parent or telling the child that the other parent is responsible for the separation or the cause of financial difficulties. Indirect alienation behaviors occur when one parent fails to support access or contact with the other parent, or tacitly accepts the child’s negative behavior and comments towards the other parent.

stop-pas-parental-alienation-syndrome

Whichever the case may be, some underlying concepts thread their way through some of these cases including: levels of awareness, anger and hatred, distrust or mistrust, lack of moral concern, ego-centrism, feelings of disconnection, ad infinitum.

Many of us have experienced these feelings and our dissociation from particular groups that we tend not to have any affinity with. I remember at times when I was younger, not quite certain about my beliefs, when I would still feel unsure about some of the gatherings I was privy to. The internal voice that spoke for me would still alert my conscious thoughts and feelings if any discontinuity of behavior would engage the assembly. As the years have passed, some people may tend to identify with their agitations and thereby hold onto stained memories of the confrontations. This may develop over a time and eventually lead them to have little candor over their reflections of past events. In many cases the sour grapes that take up their minds attention become the dominant profiles of their attitudes. Cases such as these tend to develop into the misanthropes of the world.

The losses or emotional disconnection we sustain as adults sometimes effect us on deeper levels we are not completely conscious of. Our awareness may be hindered, as we try to protect our emotional states by distraction, entertainment, confusion, or some other way we tend to cope with these situations. The result still leaves us as someone who is on the outside looking in. We still feel a disconnect with others who may respond differently or have a different sets of values.

— Misanthropy in the pond of humanity —

Misanthropy has been ascribed to a number of writers of satire, such as William S. Gilbert (“I hate my fellow-man”). Jonathan Swift is widely believed to be misanthropic (see A Tale of a Tub and, most especially, Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels).

Molière’s character Alceste in Le Misanthrope (1666) states:

My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds. “

We humans like to think we are in control and determine where events in our lives are going. There are many choices we make that seem to make a big difference. Most of the time we take credit for the great thing we manifest. Although we do affect reality, our impact at times is much less than we imagine and at other times, it is greater than we imagine. However, most of us never stop to look at why that is the case. In reality, it all depends on the energy of the situation.

What is little understood is how often we ride the current of the energy that is manifesting. It’s like being in a rowboat carried along by a swift river current and not by the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness of our rowing. The world we experience is much like a Galileo Thermometer such that the environment conditions change, we move naturally according to the energy changes and not by choice. What we fail to realize is that we are energy consciousness and we move into or out of a situation depending on how well our energy matches the situation at hand.

On Friendship

friendship

The mutual bond that binds us to our friends are common traits, interests, proximity, and other factors that we value. When our values are appraised, these values sometimes shift in importance and hierarchy, and thus our friendships may see a turn in our observance of them. A skill that may take us some time to learn and refine is finding friends that are of quality. People we have befriended in the past may no longer be our friends today, due to a myriad of rationale’s. Whether it be distance or discontent that separate us, friendships are an essential part in our lives, our social networks, and in our society.

A life without friendships would not be worth living. The need for connection with others sustains a critical prerogative in our existence. It has been said that when you rise in life, your friends know who you are. When you fall, you know who are your friends.

The spectrum of friendship is defined endlessly in all sources of media, but they primarily speak about the conditions of friendship, and the benefits or disadvantages of the kind of friendships that exit. The union of friends is one thing, the effect of that union on others is also another discussion. When the study of friendship is conducted, the subject seldom includes the interrelations and the social implications.

It seems to reason that childhood friends if chosen wisely have a better chance in minimizing their growing pains and maximizing the shared values of their relationship, because when we learn more about ourselves and have a deeper insight into the subtleties of our condition we begin to experiment and employ these learned social understandings into our relationships, and thus in the process we may re-evaluate what was once a shared attribute. A friendship based on the childhood activity of baseball is a different experience than the adult friendship based on a shared appreciation of the game, or one that’s focus is on the competitive component. A childhood experience of playmates tends to have less to do with the imposition of morality and more to do with simply just the fun that is shared. The older one gets, the more one is susceptible to the civic socialization outside of the home. The ideas of the larger social groups absorb into psyche’s of the children.

An unawareness of our ego’s desires or an analysis from the vantage of the self may lead us to make questionable difficulties for our friends. Many teenagers and adults alike often dispense and tolerate an impetuous potpourri of both an emotional and intellectual ethos. In the process of maturation, a child becomes and transforms their nature, their personification often reflects the stages observed in chronological age expectancies. Ego, politics of social hierarchy, collecting social inventories, status driven desires, materialism, and vanity often enter into these developmental years of adolescence and young adults, and sometimes in childhood itself that distort our social relationships.

I can confer that for every stage of human development, there are many life lessons that can be learned in the relationships that we develop. It is true that for most of us, our behavior will change to some degree depending on who is with us, the location of where we are, and the number of how many people are around us. Obviously the scope of these social opportunities are dependent on: our values, the quality of the relationship, the frequency of our encounters, and the skill of negotiating conflicts and agreements in these relationships. Some may learn from these opportunities, and some may not when we consider our personal relationships. We have most certainly had the allure of entertaining many of them ourselves and quite frankly many of us continue to be captive in bellicose and contentious positions.

I am continually amazed by the accounts of my peers and elders. Some profoundly inspire me, as others leave a dark rift in their impression upon me. It frequently takes our friends to remind us when we need to pull back from our misdeeds. What I find interesting is that some friends will backup their friends when they know their friend is making a mistake in a decision they have acted upon. This is most disturbing when others are the nexus of this action exhibiting negative consequences to them. Sometimes we justify our actions, but we are fallible and often make mistakes. In criminal law they are called accomplices or accessories to the crime committed. The friendships we establish lead us to events that introduce us into situations that we may not have normally been introduced into. This can provide us with a trove of personal treasures or it can lead us to audacious situations. Our choices can free us from any former bond we share. If the value we place on a friendship’s loyalty supersedes our value on other principles, then we risk the degradation of these other values. A true friend would not risk the collateral damage of a bad idea or decision, they would advise them.

The qualities I value in friendship are…

Loyalty – Loyalty is a quality that everyone looks for in a friend. A loyal friend will stick with you no matter what the situation is and you can always count on them being on your side. Unfortunately this may have negative consequences depending on the moral ramifications of the deeds being done. Loyalty can depend greatly on the underlying values of the person, and their execution of them in everyday life.

Intelligence – Being a good friend involves being aware of your needs and recognizing your values, and when a person is ignorant and uncaring, it is hard to consider them as a friend. Empathy may be a better word which includes the following.

Sensitivity – Sensitive people make good friends because they often see life on their own terms which allows them to understand the thoughts and feeling of others.

Humor – Life is better when approached with a good sense of humor and people who are happy and outgoing are a lot more fun to be around than someone who is depressed, moody and sees the empty half of the glass all the time.

Honesty – Honesty may be the most important quality for friendship as it is difficult to befriend anyone who tells you lies and can’t be trusted. If you can trust someone to do the right thing in all situations and they are not tempted by temporary gain, it’s a good bet they will make a lasting friend.

Listening – If someone just doesn’t “hear” what you’re saying when you confide in them, they won’t make a very good friend. Communication is a two-way street and being a good listener is one half of the equation.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Supportive – A good friend will be supportive of you and your goals, and they will act accordingly. A true friend will help you become the person you want to be and know how to help you handle problems.

Generosity – A good friend is openly generous in personality and character. They will be generous with both their time and their money, and they won’t hesitate to help you when needed.

Albert Camus

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Albert Camus
William Shakespeare

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”
William Shakespeare
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.”
Henry David Thoreau