“TO BE YOURSELF IN A WORLD THAT IS CONSTANTLY TRYING TO MAKE YOU SOMETHING ELSE IS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT” – Ralph Wardo Emerson
I have been thinking a lot about the media lately and how it impacts our daily lives. Media influences in many ways our vision of self, society and relationships. Sometimes it’s so subtle it’s barely perceptible and other times it is so in your face you just can’t help but realize what it is trying to make you think, how it wants you to see the world. Media tells us what we need to look like to be sexy, how we need to act to be smart. News channels spend 90% of their time giving us horrific information from all over the world. NEGATIVITY !
The media nourishes this negativity we all have in us. It generates more fear when there is more than enough to go around for generations to come… But, the media is only a reflection of ourselves and society at large. We are the media. Media is not run on its own, its run by people just like us, we make it what it is.
I guess I’m secretly hoping we can embrace ALL of what makes us Human without creating more barriers and more reasons for us to separate ourselves from other fellow Humans.
We have a set of values and ideas on what life should be and the things we should do in order to live a fulfilled life : Have a nice car, be a nice person, earn more money, meditate, love, have a beautiful family, have the best job, change the world etc… If we pause and think for a minute. Are those values and ideas really ours? Is the vision of the world we hold so closely to our hearts really true to us?
How can we truthfully identify which thoughts are ours and those belonging to our parents, teachers, lovers, friends? It’s not an easy task to be our own person and find our own path in this world where everything points to following in the footsteps even when they don’t suit us. The first step of the process is taking the time to identify what really MAKES us who we are and what was handed over to us by others consciously or unconsciously. A silly example could be : Your parents are absolute fans of FC Barcelona soccer team and have brought you up in that culture. As a grown person you’re an absolute fan of the team. So, are you a fan because you actually really like how they play football, the feelings that go through your body during a match, etc…Or do you love them because you were brought up to? This simple example goes for all the things in our life.
I don’t believe we NEED to question everything all the time because I personally think it’s part of the Human experience to share cultural and community values and views. However, if something doesn’t feel aligned or in tune with what we feel is truly us and is creating unhappiness, stress, anxiety, depression, unworthiness, etc…, then we should take the time to question things. Embarking on that journey is freeing and positive but the journey itself is hard and full of setbacks. It can leave us feeling lonely, alienated, different, weird, rejected…Especially when we have what people call “realizations”. Suddenly what we held true for so many years just falls apart. It’s scary and challenging and I for one, can totally understand why some people don’t choose that path. But eventually we learn to love the discoveries and ourselves more (after we’ve accepted all the things we don’t like…). And then we find our tribe….
Even as I write these words down am I not entirely sure of what values and ideas are truly mine and which ones I’ve accepted to make my own. I guess what really matters in the end is being happy with ourselves and being true. Some things have been handed down to me and I accept them because I feel connected to them..Others I’ve come to realize make me unhappy and leave me feeling unworthy. Those are the ones I’m working on.
Not letting the media or any other type of societal norms and projections cage us into seeing the world through other eyes than our own is difficult but I think it’s possible to a certain extent…
So I ask the question : IS OUR VISION OF THE WORLD REALLY OURS?
Photo credit : Lils Sab