Concentrating on myself
Engaging in anything other than my own life at the moment kind of sucks right now. I don’t feel listened to. Not by many people anyway. I think it’s fair to say that no-one listens or really takes in what I have to say. And I get it, you know? Everyone has things to be doing and jobs to be getting on with, and with the rise of social media, we’re all perfectly wrapped up in our own little worlds. I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops that we need to focus on ourselves more, but I feel the internet and the world around us places an unhealthy centric perspective on ourselves.
Ask yourself, when was the last time YOU messaged someone purely to ask how their life was? Because you’re generally interested. And that can be message, text, phone or in person. When was the last time you went out your way to talk to someone about something other that your own focus. I used to get angry at that. I was (am) a person that believes a friendship is a two way thing, and the focus should be on my life just as it is my friends. And I’d often feel sidelined over other people’s issues. It used to have me stewing at night, on ocassion. Luckily I finally learned to flow with the current, and, if I wanted to stay in people’s lives I was just going to have to sacrifice my ego for a while and put myself out there. If that meant always being the first one to connect, then so be it. No sense crying over spilt milk.
And because of this it’s brought me onto a new wave of thinking. Now that I’ve learned to essentially ‘go with the flow’ of life events, this in itself brings up it’s own set of hard challenges. Especially when I’m talking about Politics, religion, dating & relationships, life, and so on. I realised long ago that people are hard to change, because I went through that exact same myself, and, I’m still rapidly changing, so rather than try and change people I’ve been trying to listen to what they have to say on events and ideas. Yet the offer is rarely reciprocated, people seem to really like listening to themselves speak, but disregard anything the other person has to say on the topic unless it fits in with their own narrative.
I’m slowly but surely learning that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and I’m really trying to push back on that idea. I’m trying to listen more, and evolve more, help more, understand more. For me, understanding the other side of the argument, any argument, is the best way to finding a workable solution.
Internet and the Information age
I feel the Internet has essentially destroyed healthy free speech. Free speech exists, yes, but people are more and more surrounding themselves with others that agree with them rather than surrounding themselves with a healthy mix of friends that can have a sensible debate over differing topics. What happens when you shut down differing opinions and swarm yourself with others that agree with you? Well, it becomes all the more harder to hear an opposing viewpoint because your mind isn’t used to people disagreeing with you, it’s hard enough as it is! It comes as a bitter shock, rather than a healthy understanding that my viewpoint isn’t the only one in the world.
It’s why I sit in Politics groups that some people, if they sat in them themselves, would ask for them to be nuked off the Internet. It’s why I sit in hardcore Atheist / Religion debate groups, and it’s why I sit in life groups that tend to question the deeper meaning of life. I’m big on understanding, I want to understand the world, humanity, the Earth and so on. But right now I see many, many people closed off to the notion of anything different to their own viewpoint, and that sucks. It’s bad for humanity, it’s unhealthy from a person centric viewpoint, and it divides us rather than unites us.
Can we learn to listen properly?
Quite hard to hear this, isn’t it? I’ve seen some people HUGE on unity, and togetherness, yet lack the basic capability of listening to someone with a different view. Unity and togetherness isn’t uniting each other on ‘my terms’ it’s finding a healthy balance so that we can all work together. My last boss taught me that, just by watching what she did. It frustrated me at first, how some other staff members would be allowed to act out and get away with it, but me, I’d never do that. But what I didn’t realise is that she was creating a happy balance, that everyone could work together in their own optimal environment. The members acting out, well, that was just them being themselves. And me? Being quiet and getting on with it? That was me just being myself. If we were all working together perfectly to achieve a common goal, there’s no issue, right?
Right. And that should be the same for everything.
Some people need to be reflected to
Don’t get me wrong though. There’s some people that absolutely need to hear their own views reflected back to them, and there’s some people that need the safe haven of friends with uniting views. If you take me 15 years ago, I would have definitely not coped well sitting in any of the groups I am in now, contemplating life. There are survivors and disabled amongst us who need that extra care and attention. I’m no mean bastard!
But for me and most others, it’s time to start listening. It’s time to shed this ‘I am the centre of the universe’ bullshit, and walk out into the unknown. Take a foot out there and understand what’s going on elsewhere, what others are saying from all levels of society. Understanding that there are other needs out there that are completely unrelated to yours. I’ve often been shocked and surprised by some of the background reasons to other people’s quite toxic perceptions of life, and left very embarrassed by my judgements.
I’ve stoped judging. Started listening. You should too 🙂