I know enough about politics, but my passion has never been on the collective over the individual. There are many with a passion for the social realms, but the fascination for me has always been at the micro level, the interior.
With the social media age and declining birth rates due to birth control, there is more time for existential crises and despair, more ways to compare and distract from the priorities or problems at hand. Social media’s repercussions aren’t as apparent as the benefits. Social media feels good and is a part of culture, whether it agrees with you or not. One could argue it connects people, but it also encourages antisocial behavior and the other three Cluster B personality disorders, so it would be hard to say it’s improved quality of connection completely.
Celebrities and musicians are largely self-centered. To say that we shouldn’t be so easily influenced doesn’t do much. It ignores biology and psychology; humans are social, and to be social is to get along, to mirror, to be in the know, and to be agreeable. “Who we surround ourselves with affect us.”
Most humans are solipsistic, but certainly popular people tend to encourage self-love and focusing on the self the most. Extremes are always attractive as countermeasures. Deficient childhoods ask for self-indulgence. The collective looks to individuals. Those with measurable talent like musicians are less likely to be self-centered, statistically, than a reality TV star, for instance. So perhaps the lesson is that, if we get outside ourselves in passion and having standards, we can find ourselves, and benefit others.
Fear and Naivete:
We shouldn’t blame people, because there is no point. You can’t project values onto others. Compassion is great to live by, until you start expecting it of others: Other people are in their own narratives, with their own priorities and personality. Blaming poor or rich people, Baby Boomers or millennials, parents or abusers for problems — there could be truth to all arguments, but I want change and effectiveness more than accuracy. Focusing on blame or revenge or replaying hurtful memories, does not help us on the individual level. What we focus on, we start to resemble. So we can’t stare too long.
The problem with blame is that we are unable to see the other person as a separate protagonist, a person with their own reasons and lessons taught. Maybe no man is his antagonist, but his mind could be. There is no compassion in blame. “Don’t attribute to malice what you could to ignorance.” If there is benefit of doubt that could be given reasonably, we choose it.
Love is a choice. If we can no longer love without anguish, put those things away, bury what has passed with dignity.
Many counterculture people blame culture and the leaders can seem antagonistic. While it is their right to be so, we have to ask ourselves if we’re feeling good from living by sustainable things, or if we are taking pleasure where we can. Aggression and feeling self-righteous feels good, but are these things we want to exemplify and further? Focusing on only the end, the externalities, and not the means, which make up most of life, is too much of a sacrifice to make.
A New Normal:
I’m the last person for extremism, the last person against what is inevitable. Convenience feels good, and that there are enough pros to justify a few cons. I would rather consider improvements. If you have had a childhood of aggression or neglect, then you need to create a new normal; we learned young to follow only ourselves, and it has a cost to others. A true revolution is in thinking broadly. The lack of consideration is what hurts others, the detachment from values. So consideration and courage are the revolution.
Humans feel by:
attention, feelings of superiority, self-righteousness
confrontation, proving themselves
aggression, passive and overt, control: greed of money or affection
self-indulgence (shopping, music, browsing, work, anything in excess)
sugar, saturated fats
impulsivity, risky acts
Here are other ways to feel good (improving dopamine):
Vitamin D and magnesium, sunshine, nature
having some order to environment
meditation, focusing on the good
giving freely – through creativity, time, money
food: green leafy vegetables, beans, avocado, beets, bananas, apples, watermelon (green smoothies and taco bowls incorporate many of these)