Tag Archives: patience

Valen-ME Day

14 Feb

It is no secret I think Valentine’s Day is a bullshit holiday. I correct myself, it should not even qualify as a holiday. It is simply another way for big business to drum up sheep to spend money. In case you are unaware, the reality behind the “holiday” is a bloody mess (see here if you don’t know what I am talking about).

I don’t often celebrate, significant other or no, because I don’t want to feed the corporate machine more than I already do. I would much rather show my love in 365 little ways than one big way once a year. That being said, it occurred to me this year that perhaps there is someone in my life the day could remind me deserves a little affection…myself.

Self care has been a big focus for me the last six months or so, and I suck at it. It is ten times easier to overwork my body, tear myself down, and ignore the needs of my heart then to spend time putting energy into showing myself the love, patience, and encouragement I pour out to others. In this, I know I am not alone. Many of us are so much better at practicing empathy and tolerance with others and so bad at treating ourselves with that same level of respect. We are our own biggest critics acting as judge, jury, and executioner for the smallest of charges.

This Valentine’s Day I am going to show myself the love I withhold all year. I am going to put energy into what makes ME happy and give myself permission to be selfish. Maybe I will buy myself flowers and chocolates, maybe I will spend the day ignoring my phone and taking a bath, maybe I will leave town and go on a day trip all by myself wherever I want. Who knows! The point is I can use this day for me and give he most important person in my life some attention and consideration. I can give myself the gift of accepting me for me.

The Masses

7 Oct

I was going to post something else today, something more personally relevant about recent events in my life. However, this thought process seemed more communally relevant.

If any of you are huge internet nerds like myself you may be aware of the sexual abuse cacophony happening on YouTube. That community is up in arms around the actions of a handful of it’s members, and rightly so. There are some wonderful discussions around consent and a person’s right to not be put in a situation where their voice is not taken into account. It is a much needed discussion and I hope that it remains uplifting and useful.

What haunts my brain space today is the power of the communal mentality and how easy it is to be pulled into that righteous anger and act out without taking the time to make sure the people you are acting out against have truly committed the crimes we are hanging them for. Especially around such a not black-and-white issue, despite what many of us want to believe.

I am not saying consent is not every person’s right. What I am saying is that it is not always easily communicated. In a perfect world a discussion would be had by both parties, soberly, before engaging in any physical acts. How many of us have ever been in a situation that has not happened? I would venture all of us (who have engaged in those behaviors). I have probably been on both sides of the consent coin. The drunk girl at the party who sincerely regretted having slept with that person I only sort of wanted to touch me in the ways I let them, and that sexually audacious person who tried talking someone into bed with me (disclaimer: no I am not a predator).

While I could go on forever about that, again not what I want to address here. My focus is more around how we as a community react to injustice, or the perception of injustice. An event happens, it is legitimated, we get angry on the behalf of the victims and rise up to overthrow the perpetrator and stand against their actions. As the situation progresses, it is discovered the injustice was not committed by one individual, but several. Stories come of the woodwork, some true, some not, and the community’s rage grows and they begin lashing out at every name that is brought before them. It is called the mob mentality where we become part of something and continue to perpetuate the actions of the group without really analyzing if what we are supporting is truth or propaganda. It is in our nature, it is who we are as humans for many reasons.

My challenge is that if we are going to condemn someone, we do it with thoughtful intent and substantiation.

I only recently started to really look into where this YouTube uprising was coming from. I am not in a position to support or condemn any individual, but I will say there are some cases that are pretty clear and evidence based, where there are others that are less obvious. Specifically, and again I am not putting my feet on one side of the line or the other, I was watching this morning the most recent videos from Alex Day who I had for a long time been an avid admirer. He made a video in an effort to explain himself and formally say he, despite his many mistakes, did not see himself as the monster the community has made him into. I browsed the comments briefly and saw a lot of people saying he should never make videos again, remove himself from this medium that he had been such a participant in and basically disappear.

They want to take away his voice. To me, this seems, regardless of whether he is guilty or not, a harsh and unjust reaction. In my mind, everyone has a right to speak, to defend themselves, to be heard. Perhaps others may not want to listen, and that is their right as well, but they can shut their ears. It is not an individual’s right to take the voice of someone else simply because they don’t like what that person is saying.

I don’t know where my allegiances will fall when is all is said and done, but regardless of who I support and who I don’t, I will always look to my personal belief in basic human rights. I will look at others with the compassion and patience that I strive to have at the core of my own humanity. I will listen and observe and move forward based on my own understanding, not the passionate outrage of the masses.

I can only hope others can find it in themselves to do the same.