We live in a time where it is funny or fun to make fun of others and attack or give negative stereotypes without understanding and with a trendy mean spiritedness.
Yet the PC police are out in full force, and attacks on those they disagree with made in the name of being fair and respectful of others.
We live in a time when information is instant and judgment even faster.
This is the most difficult time for students, and on a broader scale for all of us in society. The pressure is on, stress levels high and anxiety through the roof.
Remember you are not alone and that while you may be graded you are not being judged to the core of your being or worth. No one can do that but yourself, and is it worth it? Move forward. Build confidence. Trust in who you are and what you can do. Build on what you have and work toward who you wish to become.
Aptitudes differ but all have value, as long as those with an aptitude do not use it to belittle others. I will use my own failings as an example, however each of you can and are invited to come up with your own list and post it.
I am an actor, a voice artists and student of others. Listening skills and tollerance should come with these, but in far too many the tendency to judge, attack or jump to conclusions dominates who have the potential to be much more than they are. Ego and a need to feel superior keeps them from their full potential as mirrors to life, portayers of others, entertainers and artists.
I am a professional writer and a communication professor. Due to many things, including the education track system that existed when I was very young, my mind racing ahead of others, and my ear hearing with a Chicago accent, my spelling skills are not perfect. Computers help but not as much as people think, because they make assumptions and if you let them will auto-correct to the wrong word or meaning. In addition, I write as we speak. In other words I believe language is fluid, changing and can reflect the reality of its now, not strict guidelines. All of these lead some to lower their view of me based on what to them seems second nature.
Some people learn other languages with little difficulty. I have tried hard on Spanish and German, with only limited success in reading and writing and next to none in being able to speak the languages.
To a computer programmer the things to do if your computer is not doing what you expect or need it to seem intrinsic, second nature and easy. The rest of us they may seem difficult if not impossible. What is one man’s logic or ‘you should know that” moment is another’s impassable wall. The Mac vs. PC argument centers on how use you are to the extra steps, language of and limitations of a PC, or how you may or may not feel superior for having one operating system versus another. It is a feeling of being better than others, using what you can turn into their faults or limitations (whether or not these really are limitations).
I was the kid who was not picked for teams because for a reason I do not care to reveal I was less coordinated and an only child, so less socialized than the other children. Coaches belittled me and lowered my self-esteem as a motivation example for others. To those who had natural talents or were praise instead of belittled, understanding those of us on the other side of the physical fitness universe is impossible and belittling us is often second nature.
Why do we continue to judge others as lesser than ourselves? Poor people with little opportunity, whether they are in a war zone and wearing head wraps of one type or another, have different skin tone or eyes, or simply play in the dust and dirt, are seen as less intelligent, as ignorant or as unable to help themselves. Why? Because we judge others in relation to ourselves and all too often to make us feel superior.
I know my limitations and my strengths. I teach college and coach children, in acting and communication. I have been a youth minister, choir director, theater and film director, and will always be an actor, performer, artist and friend.
I am a prolific writer, teacher and at times a leader.
I earned awards by turning out product as a journalist quickly and accurately, in factual content and observation. I never won a spelling bee or baseball game. I do not slave over words; they come as easily as walking. But there are those who attack me for my spelling, my limited dress (a function of finances and being raised by depression era parent and grandparents), my weight (hypothyroid and a non-athletic lifestyle for the reasons indicated earlier).
Why not dress right? Why not take the time to spell check (I do, but if I did it to the point of perfection I would be less of a teacher, and far from current in my writings)? How can you be so “overweight” when it is easy to lose weight (again is it easy if you were of the same physiology and background as I am)?
I am not moaning or complaining about life, although it could be seen that way if you choose to see yourself as superior to me. I am pointing on how we judge to make ourselves feel better than others, or we dwell on our own shortcomings to give us an excuse for not going for the brass reign.
Everyone who reads this has strengths, weaknesses, handicaps of some sort and silver spoons in other ways.
Accept others for their strengths.
Use each other in mutually beneficial ways, in the spirit of friendship and shared goals, instead of finding ways to criticize, attack or make yourself feel artificially superior.
There but for the will of God go I.
And one more thing. Feel pride in what you can do without feeling superior. This missive took fifteen minutes to pen, proof and post.
Of course there are mistakes. But the thoughts are out there and there is much more to do in life than blog or post on blogs.
The important thing is the thoughts are out there for you to read and if you choose to, respond.
First posted 11-17-2009