One of the biggest problems we face today, in various activities in life — from family life, to work circles, to environmental issues, to lack of responsibility over how we care about each other — it’s the two fold “It’s not me” and “You do you”. These two statemements have permeated society like a virus.
We all have responsibility over our existence and how we affect others, regardless if we believe in determinism and that everything happens for a reason. If women didn’t think we could vote, nothing would had ever change in that regard. So were the men, people, involved in the Feminist movements, then and now, who believe one person’s problem is everyone’s problem, one’s oppression is everyone’s oppression.
Second, the “you do you” mentality has spread across the globe with a vengeance. My belief is that it comes from an increase in need for privacy and demand for individual action. So the intention might be good, but the result is catastrophic. Increasingly so, we have people ever more isolated, with less humane principles, with less manners and respect over each other’s opinions, less educated, with a lesser ability to live in community, with less respect for one another.
The “it’s not me” ideology comes from the idea that we are solidily ourselves without the other, and that is a blantant lie we tell ourselves. We could all study anthropology and understand the importance of connecting with the other. The other is different, yet just as valid. The other has a different approach to life, yet their existence is enough for them to earn human rights. They might have differing opinions, but they still deserve respect. And so do we.
This protection we put in ourselves against the bridges we can build in dialogue, compassion and respect, are nothing more than a protective mechanism to ensure we don’t really take responsibility over our lives and the course we’re heading. How do we attribute responsibility over our lives to another agency? How do we accept this control over our lives and then blame each other?
Environmentally speaking, it’s easier to blame the other than to attribute responsibility where it lays. We’ve all been manipulated into blaming each other and getting stuck in opinionating about political agendas, that we’ve forgotten how to rise above it and demand real action about real problems. Worse, we criticize those who do demand action, and those who take action. It will never be good enough to live in this society, from across the spectrums, we are being isolated and demanded perfection, without retribution and reciprocation. And here I am, asking you to be more complacent about the need to reach out to the other. Can you please, just be perfect?
So… The “It’s not me” ideal, takes away our fair share of responsibility. And the “You do you” mentality, divides us from community and action towards common ground. They both only serve those who wish to see us be the fall-out for the big corporations filling their pockets, for power over lives to continue to go unpunished and unregulated.
Women, children and the under-priviledged continue to be the most affected by this issue. Isolating abuse victims is a very well known abuser’s tactic to not allow the victim to speak up. Can we see how we are being abused on a 7 billion people scale? Being pushed into overconsumptions by the media, into buying products of slavery over lack of other options, into opinions that aren’t even our own, into lack of opportunity to study or work in good and humane conditions, and a myriad of other issues that plague humanity. Is this common ground enough?
On a lighter note, there has never been less war than it we have now. There is more food and even more ability to live longer lives, but the system that gives us this, also destroys us. Yet, “it’s not me, it’s them, so you do you and leave me alone”.
How do we go about to change this? We need to reach out. We need to branch out. We need to admit that we’re wrong sometimes. We need to validate our lives not by our opinions over it, but by who we are inside. Taking a deep look and asking the questions “What am I doing? Who am I being? How am I living? Where can I improve?”. These are not hard questions to ask one self, and my proposal is to try and answer them without blaming your government, or your bosses, or your family. It’s hard. Don’t worry, we do not need to be perfect to answer these questions, we just need to be true to ourselves. There isn’t a need to share them on social media, you can even burn them afterwards if you’re too embarassed to admit you answered them. We don’t need to share everything, we don’t need to let go of our privacy and values, we just need to think for ourselves for a minute.
Do you believe that it’s not you? and that we should all be isolated when dealing with ourselves? Or do you believe there is a deeper issue here, that we are more connected and in community than we even care to admit?