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Shitting ourselves13 self preservation society

Shitting ourselves13 self preservation society

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Published by: api-19757743 on Nov 28, 2009
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03/18/2014

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Traditionsand cultural standards have a major impact on our sensibilities in life. We\u2019re all

dependent on our community from birth and many people are content to go with the flow and fit in; but what if the predominant common way of thinking and standards are just not the reality they feel within? That goes for people of any culture. Rarely do we acknowledge those disparities and anomalies in their social context. This is compounded when a person\u2019s individual choice, or simply their good nature, exposes insecurity or hypocrisy in others, or questions something that they pledge their loyalty to politically or as a matter of faith. But, it\u2019s a quirk of fate where a person ends up being born and the predominant culture they are surrounded by, not a given, so why do we insist that the system of our origin has to be the right one?

We all need identity, true. But what we base that on is an unreality of us. Being brought up and conditioned by our surroundings makes part of what we end up as, but not necessarily the real us, the whole of us. That other part of us we\u2019re usually shocked by or delighted by when we discover it, whether other people celebrate or castigate us for it. We can be a true honest person without finding it, but not the full potential we have inside us. It is this ability to expand and develop that gets tamped down and breeds dissolution and fear, unless it is supported for a pre-determined cause. Even then you run the risk of potential dissidence. We tend, instead, to marginalise people with wider perspectives or even deny our own instincts, if that is the cost of belonging. Again, we chess-board because grey areas can be difficult and painful. You can be equally isolated even when you do belong. Many partners and siblings can attest to this, because even people who love us may not want us to be ourselves. We like to think we\u2019re so accommodating in the west and some view that as degradation instead of maturity. It\u2019s almost a badge of honour to some families, that they\u2019ve hardly seen each other, but will meet every Christmas, to shout and bawl their differences and bitter resentments at each other. It isn\u2019t true unity, as much as clinging onto something that they feel they fundamentally should be able to rely on, an automatic right. If their flesh and blood don\u2019t care, then what have they got?

The best example of this kind of clinging on, within a family, and coming to terms with reality, was in a documentary about three brothers. One had an inner battle with his physiology and later became transgender; another later realised he was gay; and the last one, who was adopted, had part of his brain removed as a child and suffered a constant mental battle with himself and his resulting dependency on medication. The latter decided to search for his birth mother and found her just in time to see her, laid out at her funeral. He discovered he was the grandson of Orson Wells and Rita Hayworth. A fascinating insight into genuine love and a desire to belong and the role family plays in that, despite being tested almost to destruction.

There are many examples too that show the power of love to unite former enemies. That\u2019s all well and good but we need to equally acknowledge and legitimise the fact that for some, none of this works. This is not uncommon and they need a broader sense of belonging within our society, rather than alienation to it. We\u2019ve had to address the issues of prejudice in the UK, but we need to look at the mentality that alienates people in general, as well as the symptoms.

Well, it could be said that this is common and that the views being expressed here are from someone who feels quite happy not to belong and has very little appreciation of the role of family in a person\u2019s life. True, but my happiness is more a necessary construct, than a preference, genuine as it is. What is a person suppose to do, feel, when those natural instincts and feelings have been shredded by those who are supposed to be closest? And what about those whose family have absolutely no interest in them, simply because they have drifted? It is one thing to uphold a fundamental cultural precept, but it is another thing altogether, to inflexibly maintain it as the only acceptable standard. Hence \u201cfor a balanced upbringing all children need a father and a mother.\u201d Do they really? So what does that turn those who didn\u2019t and couldn\u2019t into and what neglect does that highlight in us? How about all those adopted kids and those who were orphaned or evacuated in wartime, or refugees? Look at all those pitiful emaciated babies on Blue Peter, or the state of children\u2019s homes in Rumania and Turkey (the European Union has ignored for years now) and tell me you don\u2019t want a welfare state.

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