"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Monday, 15 April 2013

Sticks and Stones and Knives and AR-15s

"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" 

How can you make a big idea small enough to make it worth reading, or hearing? The 15 second sound bite evolved to serve it. Reporting on the events of the day is dumbed down because of it.
Politicians attempting to get air time present solutions that serve the heat of the moment and stand the best chance of getting them re-elected.

         They are out of line. Punish Them.
Heavens sake, it is just a little bullying. Can't the sissy take a little ribbing?


I am a great believer that my inner playful spirit sends me lessons and I am hearing her voice. I'll be ok. I am a survivor. If I'd been destined to self-destruct it would have happened when I was a teen and society was doing its worst to teach me the lesson of self-loathing. The way I dodged that destruction resulted in a life of denial, but that is an old story. 
Today is a post I have been promising myself for a long time. I need to put these ideas down instead of having them ramble around in my head. 
Nobody expects anything I have to say to change anything, least of all me.

Not everyone who is taught to hate themselves goes away quietly to deal with their troubles as I did. Some decide to take others down, spewing hatred in the form of words or weapons even more immediate and deadly. 

We tell our youth they aren't good enough the way they are over and over in every way imaginable and wonder why they aren't happy. We show them violence in all its variations hundreds of times a day and expect them to be kind and gentle.  
We expect them to know better than to internalize all that hatred of self and others. 

                       Hey, we were just kidding around. 
                                  You need to lighten up. 

We stock the homes they live in with guns and knives and platitudes.

We leave them with television, the internet and social media for company for their first dozen years, then wonder how it came to be that someone who is raped becomes fair game for bullies, as though it was their fault.

For years we have been sent lessons with names: 

Not everyone who is damaged takes others with them. 
More names:

It seems to me our future hinges on what we learn and what we as society decide to do.

Do we need more prisons? 
Are there enough good guys with guns or indeed, good guys with knives to stand beside every disenfranchised kid or adult who is desperate enough to kill his tormentors and fellow students before killing themselves? 
Should we use software to 'read' billions of electronic communications and track those that are 'unacceptable' so we can stop killers and rapists and bullies?

We lean on the solutions of expedience and the fifteen second sound bite because nobody is willing to stand and say that once beautiful human beings are doing 'the best they can given the hand they have been dealt." and what is really needed is a revolution in our society that allows beautiful humans to stay beautiful and unique and different. We need to end the bullying that fills our media telling each and every one of us that in some way our uniqueness makes us insufficient and furthermore encourages us to shun those who would attempt to ignore the bully.

We create people who are damaged, then respond to the way of life they have learned so well with variations on "how can anyone act that way?" In full denial, we act as though the bully or rapist or murderer were born with malice. 

                        Kids will be kids

                              My baby would never do something like that.

"Are there no prisons." said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. 
   "Are there no workhouses"
             The bell struck twelve.

A Christmas Carol, Dickens   


  1. Everything you say, Halle, is true and you do make a point. It's a big issue in our civilized world today.

    You say, "We create people who are damaged", and I would say that this is a powerful statement. I do believe that it starts, at least sometimes, with the parents, both of them or the lack thereof. There are far too many broken marriages out there, the result of love lost and the selfish desires of one of both of the parents. Loving parents, who love their children and devote countless hours towards bringing them up to believe in family and love others, generally end up with children who are just that. Many parents take out their own problems on their children. It's sad and it often results in children who grow up just like their parents....and bullies certainly fall into that category.

    As you know, I am all about family, love, and a big believer in marriage. I'll also add that my household has never had a weapon of any kind.

    Calie xx

    1. As you say, it is a big issue.

      We pass along a lot of the culture in our family (it is part of the job), and no real parent would intentionally harm their child, yet there are those who take out their problems as you say.
      I remember a loving grandmother whose troubles spilled over whether she liked it or not, and I also remember a loving grandchild who internalized all those problems as early as the tender age of three.
      The real world holds even greater assaults to our self image. You don't have to be trans to know and experience this. Look at the shelves of self-help books in any bookstore (if you can find a bookstore) to know that we aren't alone.
      I know some parents who refused to have broadcast television in their homes, believing their children need protection from violence and the subtle effects of advertising. My own feeling was I had a duty to educate and try to arm our children against the reality of the outside world.

      I know change is hard.
      It seems to me those who make money from manipulation of public taste need to be turned to the light here. Maybe advertisers and media could use their considerable expertise to encourage uniqueness in our world, just as a beginning of the solution.
      Perhaps politicians might find a better way to get votes in suggesting to families that more resources get allocated to programs for youth of all ages that encourage diversity and teach children that it is in their interest to encourage one another, especially when someone has qualities or skills different from their own.

      Thank you so much for commenting Calie.