Do Me a Favor, Will Ya?

[Originally published on MySpace on September 3, 2010.]

UPDATE 9-6-10:  Link to cool article about attraction (thank you again, Tommy!)–click here. Oh wait, no…click here!!

Being judged and discriminated against because of one’s appearance I know from personal experience is devastating, especially if you occupy one or the other of two extremes, i.e., Bullfrog or Deity Incarnate.  And mitigation of this phenomenon is NOT entirely amenable to one’s own stance or attitude, or it WOULDN’T be devastating.  It’s a situation in which you are battered over and over and over again, and must continually pick yourself up off the floor, having been knocked down yet AGAIN…it becomes an exhausting endeavor.  It’s like you’re faced with having to personally convince every single individual on the planet (and there’s 6.7 billion of us) that what YOU think and know about who you are, which is that you should be taken seriously as a full human being, takes precedence over what those 6.7 billion other people think.  It’s particularly awkward when you’re up against the “majority rule” mindset:  “Well, lots of people think this, so it must be right.”  Sheesh.

So do me a favor, all 6,699,999,999 of you (as well as me):  Take the time to think.  Take the time to learn, observe, consider.  Do not allow yourself to be trapped into overusing stereotypes.  STOP mistaking the cover for the book.  We are each of us all of a piece.

And all you Bullfrogs and Deity Incarnates?  Take care that you do not become confederate in your own destruction, nor that you visit destruction upon the innocent.

Again, not a one of us has the right to deprive others of their humanity, regardless of the provocation.

“…I find a beauty in all who deign to expose it…”

~Thea

7:29 AM  58 Comments  8 Kudos

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36 Responses to Do Me a Favor, Will Ya?

  1. Thea says:

    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

    SEEMS; YOU WERE RECENTLY AND HARSHLY EXPOSED, TO A DUMB SHIT(S), WHO PROMPTED THIS? I KNOW; IN PUBLIC, PRIVATE, AND YOUR MIND AND SELF-CONFIDENCE (<- IN "SELECT" AREAS, BUT OFTEN, TOO MANY EXTRA, OF THESE, SHOULDN'T FEEL THE BREEZE, BUT CONSTA-BATTERING DOES THIS!), IN VARYING DEGREES AND AMOUNTS, HUMANS SEEM TO GET A REAL ZOOM, OUTTA MAKING OTHERS FEEL LIKE SHIT! BUT, DEAREST THE"A"? THERE ARE MANY OF US, WHO -DO- LOOK FOR THE SOUL, b4 JUDGING! WE ARE -TOO- SILENT, OFTEN, AND WE ARE, ALSO, "TRICKED" BY THIS (I HAVEN'T THE NAME, FOR IT, IF ONE EXISTS, SO BEAR w ME?) PHENOMENON! THE PERSON (I, FOR THIS EXAMPLE, IF YOU WILL?) GETS A MAJORITY OR ENUFF POSITIVE FEEDBACK, MORE THAN NOT, AND I AM OK, AND SHRUG OFF THE STAB WOUNDS? BUT, IF, I DON'T OR, WHEN w AGE/DETERIORATION, I BECOME "NON-STANDARD", THE INCREASE, IN FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY, OF THE SHIT BOMBS PUSHES ME TOWARDS BEING A LESS HAPPY, AND, THEREFORE, "FRIENDLY", HUMAN BEING. AND, THE SELF-FULFILLING PROGENY (OF THE INSULTS) CONTINUES TO MAKE ME, MORE AND MORE VULNERABLE AND MORE AND MORE PAINED AND ANGRY, HUMILIATED, AND THE REST OF THE "GIFTS"! SO, IT BECOMES; I AM, INCREASINGLY, THAT GROUCHY MISANTHROPE, THAT PEOPLE "SEE", RIGHT AWAY?
    -DO- CONTINUE YOUR BRILLIANT EDUCATION, ON THIS! BUT, SOME OF US ARE IN THE CHOIR. WE NEED TO BE FAR MORE PROACTIVE! Bc, SADLY, THE ONES; NEEDING THE "AMENDMENTS" ARE, BY THERE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, LESS LIKELY TO CARE, WHEN THEY SHOULD BE THE MOST?
    HOPE; YOU GET THIS? YOU'RE BRILLIANT, SO YOU WILL. AND, YOU -BETTER- KNOW THIS! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! VERY! I SMILE, ALWAYS, WHEN I AM DOING SOMETHING, LIKE THIS, OR, JUST, HAVE RECALLED; WE ARE SUCH GOOD FRIENDS! I AM -NO- SPECIAL PERSON, IN THIS REGARD! BUT, I HAVE BEEN "EDUCATED" BY OTHERS, EXPERIENCE, REACTIONS OF THOSE; I HAVE SEEN BEAR THIS, ANY COMBO OF THESE, AND OTHER FACTORS?
    I'VE BALKED @ SOME OF YOUR TOPICS, bc THEY INVOLVE SO MUCH TYPING (AND THINKING?), AND TOLD YOU, THIS? ON THIS, GIVE ME A LIL EXTRA TIME, BUT I'D LOVE TO DISCUSS SO MUCH? FOR, ONE, HOW -DO- WE GET THE IGNORANT (NEVER TAUGHT ENUFF ON THIS ASPECT OF BEING A GOOD PERSON, "IGNORANT") TO BEGIN SEEING, THE DAMAGE; THEY CAUSE?
    ILY, THE"A"!

    B&B Tommy

    RtD

    I DIDN'T PROOF PER USUAL. BE WARNED? HAAA

    Posted by
    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on September 3, 2010 – Friday – 10:08 AM

    • Thea says:

      “shrug off the stab wounds” Hahahaha! You know, the thing that bugs me is that folks are willing to deal such things to begin with. So you actually get a twofer: one owie is the wound itself, and the other owie is that someone thought to deal it to you, which tends to be what makes the first owie a real stinger, stinker, and sticker. One way to help “shrug” this off is, as piratas mentioned, compassion for the wound wielder. Another is as you have mentioned, which is to be surrounded by a community of individuals who do not (usually) indulge in such behavior, if only by comparison, so that you at least have some kind of “competing” narrative (process) in place. A third helpful item is to be critical of the surrounding general social milieu, and to open your mouth about it in some fashion or other, as well as listen to what others are saying (and I don’t just mean coffee shop conversation, but every sort of symbolic communication, direct or indirect, from that I just mentioned to art, music, advertising media, film, political action groups, social activist groups, etc.), as well as non-verbal action (which can also be concrete at the same time that it is symbolic).

      It helps, too, of course, if you are possessed of some sort of positive narrative process or moral system of your own to begin with. One that includes the idea that self is important and must be preserved, as well as the idea that community is just as necessary as self–and that these two need not necessarily be in competition, rather, the two might collaborate in the health and well being of each other. How does one do this? Damned good question. I’d suggest that this may be the eventual and ongoing product of the things mentioned above. If you wanna argue chickens and eggs, I point out that we each have a choice about what to think, believe, do–we make choices all the time. Just gotta start doing it on purpose to a purpose that is less inimical.

      So far as humanity goes, and the context in which we exist, within certain gross parameters (the borders of which may be moving targets as our knowledge and understanding grows) the landscape of possibility is virtually infinite.

      This is of course not the full discussion. Just a few bullet points to further it along…

      Posted by Thea on September 8, 2010 – Wednesday – 9:39 AM

    • Thea says:

      “HOW -DO- WE GET THE IGNORANT (NEVER TAUGHT ENUFF ON THIS ASPECT OF BEING A GOOD PERSON, “IGNORANT”) TO BEGIN SEEING, THE DAMAGE; THEY CAUSE?”

      That’s a REALLY GOOD QUESTION!! (and yes, I AM shouting) Anyone?

      Posted by Thea on September 3, 2010 – Friday – 1:00 PM

      • Thea says:

        piratas de dios ~ NEW Layout ~ Songs:

        you have to begin to see their hatred as directly proportional to their own feelings of insecurity…

        once, for thee days i asked god… “How can anything overcome one blind will set on destroying the planet?”
        after 3 days i heard an answer: “How about One Will that can see?”
        i feel as though many of the 8 billion are climbing that mountain to reach One Will – peace –
        but there are others who have a need to create lesser beings, so they can feel superior to them!
        let them have their delusions of grandeur, while we do the serious work of rebuilding common ground ~

        much love to you Thea, and my dragon friend TommyGee ~
        ==Larry

        Posted by piratas de dios ~ NEW Layout ~ Songs on September 3, 2010 – Friday – 1:48 PM

        • Thea says:

          Compassion and forgiveness. Absolutely. Not so much as literally offer the other cheek, which is (one way) to buy into being a victim; rather, address the underlying processes, whether within the individual or in a more general, societal sense.

          “If you can at least remember that each of us is human, perhaps you can employ a little mercy and at least refrain from punishing others for not being who you think they should be.” This includes not only others, but yourself, I might add.

          In so doing, we may find that space is created within individuals and within society to allow for change–breathing room for more and yet more of the lunatic fringe–which is always us anyway, isn’t it? And that space isn’t JUST space: it is grace.

          Posted by Thea on September 6, 2010 – Monday – 7:41 PM

        • Thea says:

          ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

          TY, PIRATE, AND IFLY! AND, THE”A”? IT IS THESE VERY ONES; LARRY DESCRIBES AS NEEDING TO COMPENSATE, FOR THEIR INADEQUACIES, BUT THE PAIN; THEY INFLICT, w THEIR UNSCHOOLED ACTIONS, NEEDS TO BE ATTENDED TO, AND, MINIMALLY, LESSENED? I HAVE FAILED w BRILLIANT FOLKS, SO I CLAIM NO EXPERTISE! BUT, I THINK, OF THOSE WHO DO TURN THAT OTHER CHEEK, AND I HAVE, ON TOO FEW, OCCASIONS SEEN IT WORK. BUT, BEING HUMAN, I TEND TO ALLOW MY ANGER TO CONTROL MY ACTIONS, TOO OFTEN, AND REGRETTING IT, LATER, IS NO ANSWER! WHAT TO DO, INDEED? PRETTY FRKKN SAD STATE, WHEN CONSIDERED, IN A CALM MANNER…

          Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on September 3, 2010 – Friday – 3:18 PM

  2. Thea says:

    Denese:

    Ah. “Oppressed by the figures of beauty.” Again. And/or those who think it means something. Do we humans never learn?

    Not so far, huh?

    Posted by Denese on September 3, 2010 – Friday – 6:56 PM

  3. Thea says:

    Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³:

    Not judging one by its cover would be great, but unfortunately our brains and our ancestors brains and if you believe in evolution your ancestors monkey and lizard brains are trained to look for keys that are typically good indicators for procreation, for example in women wide hips, and men, I suppose thats having a penis and not being a big sissy.
    Although in the world we live in today those wide hips are no longer as important, but some still enjoy them, look at Kim Kardashian, a lot of men find her very attractive for the same reasons we did 300 years ago, anyways I digress, our brains are still triggered by what we like to see in a mate, so rather than pick for mating purposes, the world of medicine has mostly fixed those problems, we pick a mate for more selfish reasons, and it would be nice if we said those reasons were intelligence, but unfortunately mostly will still make snap decisions as to who we like and dislike based on various points on the body, and the rest is discarded as part of the deal, often including the intelligence part.
    In the end it may be that these decisions are very wrong and the national divorce rate could be an indicator that our little human modified lizard brain is no longer working in our best interest.

    Posted by Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³ on September 4, 2010 – Saturday – 3:48 PM

    • Thea says:

      I agree. We’re all kinda stuck (at the moment) between a rock and a hard place, i.e., raw instinct (the borders of which are by no means stable, much less proven) and social filters (thank you, you-know-who-you-are). Yet, and especially considering the scope of all human endeavor that canNOT be ascribed to “instinct,” it seems to me that a cry of “I just can’t help myself” is pretty damned weak these days, as you hinted. It is obvious we humans can help ourselves, or we wouldn’t be human–we’d be lizards. Or monkeys. Too, the idea that attraction is limited to such things as the shape of the hips, facial structure, etc., holds no water: if this were true, people who do not possess such charms would never have reproduced successfully throughout history, and narrow hipped bullfrogs would have been bred out of the human race long since. So there must be more to being human than popularized versions of an evolutionary theory that by definition pretty much deprives humans of their humanity by ignoring our ability to create meaning and all that this implies about “reality.”

      I recently read an article (thank you, Tommy) that talked about attraction based on pheromones that indicated compatible immune systems. This seems plausible for what it’s worth, but you’ll observe this would still not exclude sweeping great chunks of human diversity on the basis of appearance.

      Too, we have a modern problem that contributes to, and to a large extent created the current definition of, physical stereotypes of perfection (or the lack thereof): The Marketing Juggernaut. This is a socio-psychological dynamic that seeks to instill a sense of the pointlessness of being critical of the world around us. To me, this is a MUCH more insidious and urgent problem than mere instinct.

      In addition, it is equally obvious that even when you DO get someone “physically perfect,” quite often the poor person is required to fend off bullfrogs, et al, by the score, since there is a lot of nonsense attached to what it means to be beautiful, even as said same is attached to what it means to croak for one’s supper.

      Posted by Thea on September 4, 2010 – Saturday – 8:45 PM

      • Thea says:

        Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³:

        but you must remember ones taste in the opposite sex is not the same for each person, some do like the tall dark and handsome, or blondes with big boobs type thing, I prefer shorter women, tall isn’t bad, breast size doenst matter, but a lady that can eat instead of nibbling like a mouse is something that I like, the next person probably prefers something completely different, that allows the differences from hair color, eye color to still exist. With time it would be possible for almost all people in the world to be brown hair and brown eyed, and people in general are getting taller in the US, in time people may be tall with brown hair and brown eyes. Only recently has the world been open for international travel, exposing cultures to different features.

        Posted by Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³ on September 6, 2010 – Monday – 10:43 AM

  4. Thea says:

    M. TERESA CLAYTON:

    One of the gifts of the internet is that we don’t really “see” each other. However, this is also a curse. While I have no choice but to see a person through their art or their writes, it is a wonderful thing to be able to see them face to face. And, more than seeing… to touch them.

    My discovery is in forming a love for a person through the expressions of their craft and their shared thoughts and THEN seeing them. It’s amazing how much deeper and more satisfying the love becomes as a result. Appearance is no longer a distraction. It is a revelation.

    Thank you SKYPE.

    Posted by M. TERESA CLAYTON on September 4, 2010 – Saturday – 5:49 PM

  5. Thea says:

    Jeffrey Onehorse:

    I do lots of judging. There’s judging the distance between my tires and the curb. There’s the willingness of people to use their brain. There’s the tedious measuring of folks words versus their actions. There’s measuring of my own words–the truth I discern versus the truth I discern others are capable of digesting. The first maxim of my “judging” is that judgment and sentencing are distinct tasks. Passing verdict depends in judgment–astute, discerning, honest, testable judgment. Sentencing, the other half of a judges job, is nothing more and nothing less than the examination of the extenuating circumstances which are omni-present to ascertain the wisdom and degree of mercy that the ascension paths of all involved behoove.

    Neither leniency nor vengeance, despite the opinion of the parties involved, constitute mercy…BUT, we are not really discussing “Judgment” as a form of justice here are we?

    Sooo, there is a dispute, ergo a paradox…one so repleat with assumptions and presumptions and misconceptions and double standards and trigger sensitivities and callous indifference and brutal honesty beside the most delicate lies that it is hard to even discern the dispute that must be untangled. So I will do what I do, confuse in the hopes of elucidation. (Think of solving rubics cube if it helps.)

    Let me begin by peeling off the first cloak of displacement–obsession. The folks who avoid mirrors in the interest of protecting themselves from the unnecessary and clearly unhealthy onslaught of their own conditioned-in feelings (and reflections of others feelings) about modern interpretations “attractiveness”, for example, find themselves, despite their best efforts, continually obsessed with the same aspects of popularized acceptable form as those who spend their lives obsessed with body management, modification, cosmetication, trappings and other packaging.

    Next, let me assert there is a distinction between choices we make exhibited in our behavior and our decisions regarding our beliefs. Perhaps we are as foolish as the pantheon of Zeus when Prometheus forced them to eat ambrosia because he tricked them with a pile of bones and gristle camouflaged with choice cuts? Hmm, problem is that without the shrewd ploy (which any child with a father or uncle who teased as incessantly as Zeus should have easily seen through) the choice that was being bad was still choice cuts versus the trimmings. The prejudice is in there…and it is not entirely a lie…I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of species who would delight in the pile of discarded parts…Humans have both sensible and ridiculous reasons for the choices we make, whether collectively or individually.

    Now, having reduced the quagmire a little in it’s acreage, there’s no point in pointing fingers at people’s obsessions with minor or inappropriate focuses, because we all have them–NO mediocrity of expression or lengthy excusative rhetoric does not erase our bias, merely the ability of others to pin us down. Following on, because we can believe or want to believe, or feign to believe a thing does not in any way mean that we will act on it…hence, intentions good, bad or indifferent are barely worth the time to launch a discussion let alone the obligatory eternity ot would take to run it its course.

    Next, Beauty, or attractiveness, or appeal howsoever labeled (more room for built in insidious prejudice) IS going to be defined, and no matter how it happens someone will be Thea’s pet bullfrog at the end of someone’s short stick. I find mean people extremely UGLY!

    I need a breather here, and so does anyone masochistic enough to read this…so my equestrologue will have to continue in another installment…

    Posted by Jeffrey Onehorse on September 4, 2010 – Saturday – 9:01 PM

    • Thea says:

      ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

      YA KNOW; I THINK THAT I HAVE -NEVER- SAID, THIS TO YOU, PONYUNO? IFLY! YOU’RE COOLER THAN ANTARCTICA; DURING AN ICE STORM!

      Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on September 10, 2010 – Friday – 5:08 PM

    • Thea says:

      Still, re your last paragraph but one, definitions that are a tad less acritical might lead to finding bullfrogs who actually deserve to be on the end of that stick on the end of that stick–granted this is a mere moral opinion from a specific perspective. Too, definition defined in terms of process might add a degree of flexibility to the ongoing battle between choosing (creating) a path that leads to oblivion, or choosing (creating) a path that leads to ascension–oh wait!! AnOTHER moral opinion! Aargh!! Okay, so pick a side. Just…there will always be consequences

      I’m going to ignore the mirror/obsession thing for now. *snicker*

      And don’t leave us hangin’, dude!! What else?

      Posted by Thea on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 6:47 PM

  6. Thea says:

    Cathy:

    Who pissed you off? Tell me and I will bitch slap them.

    Posted by Cathy on September 4, 2010 – Saturday – 10:43 PM

    • Thea says:

      Thanks for the offer. Hope you gotta good night’s sleep and break out the Bag Balm for your soon to be chapped hands, because there are multiple repeat offenders! But this blog was provoked by something that happened to a friend, and yes, the body is well hidden, no worries. LOL!

      Posted by Thea on September 5, 2010 – Sunday – 8:33 AM

      • Thea says:

        ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

        TIME HAS BEEN SO SHORT, BUT COOLER WEATHER WILL DECREASE ICE CREAM SALES, AND INCREASE MY TIME, PROPORTIONATELY, TO THE ABILITY, TO MANAGE OUR HOUSEHOLD’S BUDGET. BUT, STILL, MY MAIN HOPE IS; WE NOODLE, HOW TO SPIN THIS BULLSHIT, FROM OTHER HUMANS, SO IT DECREASES, w WHATEVER TOOLS OR PATHS; WE CAN EMPLOY? “TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, WELL…”

        Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on September 5, 2010 – Sunday – 10:20 AM

  7. Thea says:

    Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥:

    I support the view that humans are instinctively, innately attracted to persons who hold particular physical attributes as well as scents, (pheromones). We are subconsciously and consciously drawn to certain persons. (All the proof I need of this is the reaction that comes from standing next to my husband and breathing in deeply). I also feel that appealing or desirable characteristics vary. We won’t all be drawn to the exact same look or scent, we won’t all have the same opinion of what defines beautiful/handsome.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, based upon how you view it, this variance won’t be individualistic to the point there’s only one person attracted to a particular physical attribute or scent. We know very well there is competition among species for partners. Sexual attraction can’t be overlooked or dismissed in regard to preferences for dating, mating or determining beauty.

    With that said, I also feel humans have the ability to look past the exterior in order to appreciate and acknowledge what’s held within. We’ve evolved and progressed to the point we can do this, right? Ummm…yeah, right…

    Every “thing”, (all creation), holds beauty. Why some can acknowledge and appreciate this beauty and others can’t can prove frustrating and perplexing, not to mention emotionally and/or mentally painful/damaging to those “deemed” lacking.

    How do we accomplish the task of getting past the outer covering in order to promote or encourage perception (judgment) of others based on attributes other than society determined “appealing” physical beauty or lack there of? The outer shell?
    Probably one person at a time…starting with me (self).

    I must admit, this is something I don’t believe will be accomplished during my lifetime if ever. Humans have permitted manipulative forces/sources to negatively impact or influence the view of beauty. So much so that many simply don’t realize their view is skewed and their abilities limited in regard to detecting and appreciating actual or true beauty or genuinely appealing attributes within persons. We all have our blind spots, we each succumb to prejudices to some degree whether we admit to it or not. Simply being aware of this proclivity doesn’t eliminate it.

    When we accede to judging or discriminating based upon physical features, we become the hindered or handicapped ones. There is a lack which impedes the ability to appreciate, enjoy and savor genuine beauty. All the wonderful, unique and diverse attributes and characteristics which combine to make the whole person are missed out on.

    How sad to be limited to that degree, to miss out on so much…beauty!!!

    Can we honestly claim to love all if we fall to see the beauty in all? Just a thought?

    Love and blessings…

    Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on September 5, 2010 – Sunday – 4:38 PM

    • Thea says:

      So…when did it occur to you that the way appearance is defined in our culture, and the way it tends to operate from concept (or premise) to action, might be a little off? No, I’m really asking…

      Posted by Thea on September 6, 2010 – Monday – 7:06 PM

      • Thea says:

        Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥:

        Let me tell you first when it didn’t occur to me:

        It didn’t occur to me when I was not included in playground activities by that very special group of children finding myself the sole companion of a little girl with a rather ghastly, large purplish birthmark on her face.

        It didn’t occur to me when no one would make room for me in their bus seat, when I was pushed into the floor for trying to sit on the edge of a seat, when I was spit on/at, nor when I was ridiculed and taunted relentlessly.

        It didn’t occur to me when I was called a particular name, due to carrying a gift given to me by my parents, that to this day I can barely speak aloud for the shame and humiliation it causes me.

        It didn’t occur to me when defending a timid, introverted, stringy haired, diminutive classmate as she was being tormented near to torture in the lunchroom.

        It didn’t occur to me when my mother told people, “Debbie’s our human garbage disposal, she’ll eat anything.”

        It didn’t occur to me when my step grandmother told my mother that I was always going to have a weight problem but my older sister would always be size “perfect“.

        It didn’t occur to me when a “friend” informed me a guy I had a crippling crush on told her he wouldn’t mind dating me except I had such a big butt. (It’s difficult to write that).

        It didn’t occur to me when the few friends I thought I had decided to “black ball” me during our junior year making each day of school a nightmare to the point of contemplating suicide except that one newly acquired friend determined I was her best friend. (Amazing the difference one person can make).

        It didn’t occur to me when I succumbed to anorexia dropping from 156 pounds at the age of 17 to 82 pounds in a matter of a few months.

        It still didn’t occur to me when I could no longer get out of bed on my own, when my body was consuming itself to remain alive and my brain could no longer function properly.

        So many more instances or examples of when it didn’t occur to me.

        Why would one question societal views of attractiveness, appeal, appearance or worth, that have been ingrained within them from birth by way of family, friends, media, etc?

        We are indoctrinated from our first breath to accept particular ideas or concepts unless we have parents, guardians or authority figures who have become aware of these deceptions, the harm they cause and refuse to promote the continuation of them.

        One is inclined to view self as the problem, as being defective, not society or culture.

        When a mind is exposed to only one vantage point, it tends to cling to that concept or perception…often there is not even the realization of any alternate ones?

        I rarely had a problem seeing beauty or appeal in others, only myself. There has always been a loveliness in regard to people, a quality that draws and touches hearts. There has been the exception to be sure but that eats at me when I realize I’ve made an exception, have failed to see loveliness or attribute and am displaying bias or prejudice. Normally this is due to ugliness of behavior/heart not physical appearance.

        I didn’t ascribe cruel treatment of others to cultural perceptions of beauty or lack there of, for many years, it just seemed that people were mean to weaker members of society or those who lacked, not necessarily an issue of appearance. Cruelty actually has multiple contributing factors.

        It began to occur to me the problem might be more social than individual when I received my first round of counseling. I eventually rejected that idea, (although it had taken root), returning to the self abusive endeavors and attempts at “fitting in” or “meeting the criteria”, becoming a person that others found pleasing.

        After a deeply life altering experience and a couple more sessions of counseling which were beneficial but failed to provide the results hoped for it truly occurred to me. I came to the full realization that “the way appearance is defined in our culture, and the way it tends to operate from concept (or premise) to action, might be a little off”. I was about 39 years old.

        Again, with awareness and understanding comes insight, improvement and determination to instigate progress but not necessarily eradication of the problem.

        Sorry for the length…I really don’t have an easy time with brevity, (not a word from you J, not a single word! 😉 ).

        🙂

        Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 12:10 PM

        • Thea says:

          jcmmanuel:

          Did I read the word ‘brevity’ here, Deborah?? 😉

          Posted by jcmmanuel on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 2:10 PM

          • Thea says:

            You follow orders well, J, as you were instructed to provide not one word. *pat pat* Good job.

            *snicker*

            Posted by Thea on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 3:26 PM

          • Thea says:

            Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥:

            You did read the word but I’ve failed to apply it consistently 😀

            Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 3:06 PM

            • Thea says:

              jcmmanuel:

              But, besides the jesting, you posted 2 great comments here, Deb. I just re-read them, it’s great stuff. Straight from the experienced heart.

              Posted by jcmmanuel on September 18, 2010 – Saturday – 6:37 AM

            • Thea says:

              Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥

              J, all jesting aside. This topic always tends to hit a nerve with me, for obvious reasons. The implication that physical attributes or supposed lack there of somehow influences each of us in one way or another, (which I’m sure is the case for most), often to the point of discrimination or judgment, makes me tremble with upset and frustration.

              I’m simply sickened that our society can’t find a way to focus on that which is truly important, there are many issues more worthy of attention than the grades given for red carpet fashion and perceived “beauty”.

              Good heavens what will it take for us to address issues of humanity that are in dire need of being attended to?

              The effect that societal and personal expectations has had upon my life and countless others is overwhelming to the point of disgusting. Anyone up for a body count?

              There are real people with feelings, desires and needs under these genetically determined physical characteristics, why is this so hard to understand?

              I feel biting this morning…sorry.

              Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on September 18, 2010 – Saturday – 8:37 AM

              • Thea says:

                jcmmanuel:

                I totally agree with you. This is where even scientists can make me angry – and of course, this is also where some atheists sometimes can get me angry because they have this focus on science which reminds me of chasing ‘gadgets’. You have those children dying in Africa but we want the latest iPod model in our pockets. In science, of course, many things are more useful than we are aware of (Drosophila IS important, sorry Sarah Palin but you were wrong on that one;) – yet, we do realize that 50 years SETI is spending billions of dollars to find extraterrestrials out there, we could have spent that money for people on our own planet who can’t even buy the medicine to survive. This makes me sad too, and in a way, it is Love (with a capital) that can make people see it, and take a break from gadget-chasing, for the sake of making this planet a more lovable place. There’s nothing wrong with desiring exactly that.

                Posted by jcmmanuel on September 20, 2010 – Monday – 2:36 PM

                • Thea says:

                  Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥

                  “…Drosophila IS important…”

                  As much as there are particular insects and various other creations that I wonder “why?” over, (especially when they’ve found my body to crawl upon), I’ve no doubt God created them with an intended purpose. Just what the mosquitoes’ purpose is eludes me, same with poison ivy, wasps, hornets…etc…but we should respect them as creation, (and as creatures that have the ability to inflict pain or irritation).

                  “…it is Love (with a capital) that can make people see it, and take a break from gadget-chasing, for the sake of making this planet a more lovable place. There’s nothing wrong with desiring exactly that.”

                  What’s to add, except hearty agreement.

                  I’m more and more disinclined to validate that which is offensive, demeaning, destructive and ignorant by providing attention to it, (moaning, groaning, griping and harping over the injustices), as people tend to become “deaf” or immune to it after a time.

                  It may be that focusing on the positives and actively working to implement change for the better even if it‘s small scale…

                  (Thea wrote: “ Talk to others. Take a class. Write an editorial or blog. Talk to friends. Make a new friend. Visit an old enemy (don’t get silly about it, though). Volunteer. Make contact with others, not only of like mind, but of opposing mind if you can. Jeez, sometimes it’s as simple as being kind in the grocery store (or in traffic–now THERE’S a challenge!!). Sometimes, depending on who you are, it can be a big thing, like starting an organization or foundation. Whatever you chose, it will count…just don’t keep it to yourself.”),

                  is the better choice. To be proactive rather than reactive.

                  Putting our desires into action even on a small scale is better than simply “pissing and moaning”.

                  Love to you and all participating…

                  Posted by Deborah ~ ♥ “Erekamka Na Adonai” ♥ on September 20, 2010 – Monday – 5:08 PM

              • Thea says:

                No, there are no quick fixes when what is needed is learning. And when dealing with a dynamic cultural process, it takes a long, LONG time for the echoes to die out, and for the questions to stop asking themselves…starting with the self is an excellent entry point. After all, where else are you going to begin and have enough belief/faith to be convincing to yourself, never mind others, so that real change can take place? Just, and in this I speak generally, don’t stop there. Don’t stop with “self.” You won’t be able to sustain it all by yourself. Talk to others. Counselors, as in your case specifically, if you’re lucky enough to run across one that “gets it.” Take a class. Write an editorial or blog. Talk to friends. Make a new friend. Visit an old enemy (don’t get silly about it, though). Volunteer. Make contact with others, not only of like mind, but of opposing mind if you can. Jeez, sometimes it’s as simple as being kind in the grocery store (or in traffic–now THERE’S a challenge!!). Sometimes, depending on who you are, it can be a big thing, like starting an organization or foundation. Whatever you chose, it will count…just don’t keep it to yourself.

                Posted by Thea on September 7, 2010 – Tuesday – 1:54 PM

  8. Thea says:

    jcmmanuel:

    It took me some time to get to a substantial reaction. Maybe because this goes so deep. I mean, being judged because of your appearance is not the only issue. Being judged because of a mistake you made is another example. Have you been in the situation where someone totally altered his/her perception of you, based on a mistake you made? And how it feels to become a ‘monster’ – (or just a non-friend for that matter – what’s in a name) because of this mistake? How does it feel to be not deserving friendship? The general point underneath all this is, I think, about our sense of identity, or self-respect.

    Of course, we do not know our own depths – our own identity has its dark shadows (or, as J1H put it so equestrianeously in his comment, we all have our bias and obsessions). But then, there’s something like self-awareness to the point that we usually know better who we are than others do. We may of course refuse to admit something that someone observed in us – but that is a different thing, and in fact it adds evidence to the presupposition that we know ourselves all too well. Being in denial is not the same thing as being unaware of what we deny. So it may then boil down to a debate “who knows me best”? This debate will always be a lost case for the outsider, who, at some point, must always be aware of the danger to mistake “the cover for the book” indeed. Sure: someone’s opinion about me could of course be right – I may have deluded myself. But this opinion CANNOT be right if I face the problem as I should, and “find no evidence in myself” – or maybe I find some evidence, but it isn’t that bad as this person thought it was.

    And this whole dynamic, delicate as it may be, has to be brought within some boundaries, the boundaries of trust, or the willingness to trust. Opinion about someone should never be definitive (deterministic), there must be a dynamic to it, driven by a willingness (maybe we could call that “free will”) to find truth in people, and a willingness to find beauty in it (ref. the reference to the subject of attraction).

    I’ve had the experience that someone’s beauty was not just a pretty surprise but also somehow disturbed my mind, because I liked her a lot before I saw a (recent) picture of her. It made me feel like… being faced with lesser motives for liking her. Or maybe: more easy ways to like her. I sort of refused to walk that road.

    The fact of the matter is: when it comes to a meeting of minds, the mind is a huge labyrinth, and human life is stuffing all kinds of things in there, all of them having some meaning. You wander through someone’s labyrinth and find out lots of stuff that has meaning to both of you, but in different ways. Different, but also related. Similar enough to connect, different enough to be interesting. But those differences may easily be taken as incompatibilities, while in reality they offer us an opportunity to become more compatible people.

    Even ‘ordinary’ friendships often require a level of trust that does not come just naturally – it comes humanly (some would say that’s the same thing – usually from an ‘evolution’ point of view, and you know what I think about evolution theory: I believe every word of it but it’s boring if people exploit it as if it would be sociology). Only humans can – almost rationally, so to speak – exploit their capacity to trust, to give, to wait, to respect, to forgive, to believe. It is also, by all means, ‘rational’ to believe that the other knows him- or herself better than I can do, as a third party. This is what you call “taking the other seriously as a full human being”. I dare to posit that a true rationality excludes hubris, in human relations.

    Sting & Chris Botti, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You:

    PS. The 8.2 billion was a nice hat trick. Counting bunnies?

    Posted by jcmmanuel on September 18, 2010 – Saturday – 4:39 AM

    • Thea says:

      Actually, I think I was counting multiple personalities. So, some folks got counted more than once. Ahem. (cf Herman Hesse) *snicker*

      “Even ‘ordinary’ friendships often require a level of trust that does not come just naturally – it comes humanly (some would say that’s the same thing – usually from an ‘evolution’ point of view, and you know what I think about evolution theory: I believe every word of it but it’s boring if people exploit it as if it would be sociology). “

      “naturally” vs “humanly” Good distinction. Not that there isn’t a close relationship here, but it seems to me human beings kinda sit on the fence between a simple material existence and something (much) more. I read a story once that said something interesting, which I’ll quote here: “There is a responsibility that is inherent in the possession of a mind.” Food for thought, eh? Especially the part about “responsibility.” Trying to rest on the laurels of nature ain’t gonna save anybody–you gotta make an effort, and you will, whether or not you deny your own volition, nor the influence of the volition of others. To my thinking, this being the case, it’s a good idea to be aware of and responsible for what you think and do, because otherwise you’re just a train wreck waiting to happen, and you’re gonna mess up not only yourself, but other people as well. Using “cookie cutter” methods to judge people? All you’ll end up with is, again, a mess. Not something to be proud of.

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