‘You cannot solve a problem from the same mind that created it.’ – Albert Einstein
‘The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.’ – Albert Einstein
Do you remember the song from the movie ‘Ghostbusters’? I ain’t afraid of no ghosts’
‘Bustin’ makes me feel good’! Do you prefer to look away than look at the ghosts, at your own ghosts, to the collective ghosts, that were created from within our subconscious?
Do you ever feel afraid to voice your opinion when you know something is wrong? Do you turn away, when something doesn’t concern you, thinking that’s it’s not your problem, even if you know someone might get hurt?
We are all bystanders, some more than others, but it’s never too late to mend ourselves, and see what is.
Saying and seeing the truth in our lives might be the thing that will save us all. Why? Because, when we voice our truth, the one we see around us starts to change, by becoming visible; therefore, the need for a global Revolution the old way, becomes unnecessary.
There is no need to argue, nor to convince anyone, anymore. Things just need to be seen, and change accordingly, once seen.
Last night, as I watched the fourth episode of ‘Man Enough’, a new show on FB about what it means to be a man, it made me reflect on the need for truth within and without ourselves, in all things. Why it is time to remove the mask of roles, we are are all playing in our lives, whether we keep playing a gender, a professional or a parental role.
This episode, about the #metoo phenomenon, viewed through the eyes of men in the entertainment or business industries, opens the discussion in a truthful and vulnerable manner. This episode is about the persisting abuse against women, viewed by men, and the role all men play in allowing this, through passive observation and inaction, by choosing to be a bystander.
All men invited on this episode agreed on one important thing: the bystanders are more guilty than the abusers. Why? Because they make a decision to look away, while they continue calling themselves good guys; because they haven’t done anything wrong to a woman, not directly! A good guy, yet he decides to look away, while the abuse is seen or known.
Whether it is a case of no affirmative consent, cheating, degrading jokes, insisting to be with a woman, sleeping with, or even kissing with a woman who is drunk, the bystander is guilty of not creating the safety space required. When a man is aware a of an abuse and decides to stay loyal to his friends, rather than protecting, he ain’t a good guy no more! By looking away, he becomes an accomplice in the legal sense. The ‘Boy’s Club’ loyalty takes over the notion of respect, the respect of self and others.
Do we want to choose to live in a harsh world, where more laws, more protection, more walls are created and needed, or can we commit to looking at ourselves in the mirror, become accountable, heal ourselves, learn self-love and self-respect, and bring it everywhere we go?
‘Imagine’, as John Lennon sang! It’s never too late for mending our mistakes. We all make mistakes. When you develop a sense of self-respect and self-love, laws become sometimes, almost meaningless, just like nature knows exactly how to find the natural order of things.
I certainly don’t want to dive into blaming nor accusation, but rather to invite all of us, to open our eyes and see what is, what is happening in front of our eyes, everywhere we go, that we allow continuing. Whether the abuse is physical, economic or psychological, saying the truth might save us; it might save us the trouble of going through another violent history chapter, repeating the same old ways of bringing change, the hard way.
All of us have been guilty of being bystanders, even as the abused one, because we kept the silence or accepted the status quo as something normal, acceptable, whoever was taking advantage of us; just because we chose to stay silent, to listen to the strong fear’s voice, we chose to become the bystander of our own lives. How many of us do that on a daily basis? When we go to work and keep ignoring our soul, calling us to live a more purposeful life, running at work and back home, running and being exhausted, feeling empty, every single day! Fear is an illusion, created by the mind; we must not listen to its insisting voice, but rather go past it, beyond the fear, where it looks uncomfortable. That is where change and fulfillment can finally happen.
The more soft yet consistent voices we start hearing, the louder the inner sound starts resonating, the more changes will start flowing, progressively, without the need to force things, bringing change the old way, through force and effort. This should be applied in our life first, and then, everywhere else around us, just like Cat Steven sang in his song Peace Train: ‘We must change ourselves first, then our friends, our family, our community, our city, our country and then, the world.’
It is time for us, to start voicing our own truth, and pay allegiance to the values of the ‘Promised Land’! It is great time open all wounds, even if it hurts. We are deeply scared of the inner demons sleeping within ourselves and reflected back in our outer world. To heal as humans and globally, we must look at what is first, let go of what no longer serves us. Seeing and looking at the abyss we have in front of our eyes, might be the fastest way to rebuild a ‘better’.
All sides need to heal; there are always two sides in all things, right? That’s what we call the law of polarity. These two sides can finally start to complement themselves, when they start to heal, as men and women, as humans as a whole, as yin and yang.
Women do not want, nor need to be protected by men from men, nor do any minority. What if as a man, as a human, you would start looking every day at what is happening in front of your eyes, from a neutral, non-judgemental perspective? What if you would start becoming more aware every day, one step at a time, through observation, and then, through conversation, of how women, humans, minorities are treated, talked to, looked at, just because they were born into a different physical envelope, or environment, or with different ideas than yours?
This mere physical envelope that is different from yours, and that you confuse for its content. It’s time to look past the illusion, the mirage of the physical envelope we were born into. We are all humans, after all, one and the same, and all of us want and deserve to be safe and respected. Let’s start with that!
How would you feel if every day, with every step you take, you would have to be conscious of where you go, at what time of the day, what you are wearing, what opinion you are voicing, how you are saying it, how people are reacting to it? How would you feel if you were stared at, followed, hassled, every single day, how invasive or uncomfortable would that feel to be in that skin, depending on the luck you had or not, to be born in a certain country or region in the world, or even in a specific neighborhood? Why? Social conditioning! It’s happening everywhere, all the time, wherever you go. You can never be totally free in a free country.
As kids, we learn through imitation or what we call social conditioning, whatever we think or say every day, we learned through imitation. The good news is that this conditioning can be modified, by rewiring our brain for a ‘better and happier’, by simply choosing a different input, through a daily conscious choice. Every day, you choose what you put in your mind, what you become, what you think and do, through what you watch, think, read, say, listen to, who you surround yourself with. You can decide to remain or decide to own who you are, and change from there.
The first step, is to open the conversation by being true to ourselves, to those around us, and the world, by observing and saying the truth as it is, in a neutral way, without the intention of hurting any, but rather, by aiming to bring things back in a more natural balance, of yin and yang, of embracing the duality and polarities present in our world. Without having to argue endlessly, for what is our truth, THE truth.
Rome was not built in one day. Balance cannot, and will not, come back instantly; just as we cannot heal as quickly as would desire, on an individual and global level. Patience is and will be required, great patience and persistence!
We are all humans, making mistakes, failing, learning. Some of us were more fortunate, as to where we were born; some had better chances of succeeding in life, thanks to a strong emotional foundation and inspiring role models.
Others were less lucky, enduring abuse, violence or denial of their original self. As a result, it created imbalances within their hearts and minds. Some became the abusers, some became abused, some lost their power and became homeless or stuck in scarcity; many killed themselves, not able to endure this inner pain, that was ignored by looking away; some became criminal, to find a family of their own, to be loved and accepted, to find some sense of relief, by taking out their pain on others, just as we do, when we throw our anger at someone else.
Some of the most hurt ones might look the happiest, the more successful, according to the world we live in. At the root of all pain, addictions, aggression, lies a dormant inner pain, that cries to be heard and looked at, a call for help, for a hand lent, to be saved of this unbearable inner pain, hidden behind a heavy mask of what we label as ‘success’. At the root of all aggression, there is a strong denial and fear of looking at the wounds, that created this pain.
Rather than asking for more protection, more laws, more walls, more tags, more boxes, more separation, we must create the space needed to heal, individually and globally. And when each of us is well in its self-healing process, we can start having better conversations, where each one is more aware of what is, and where we can start from there.
Will it take time? Yes. Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. Is it idealistic? Yes.
As Steve Jobs stated, ‘Everyone has the sense, that right now, is one of those moments, when we are influencing others.’ Everything we do today, everything we see in the world around us, was imagined by people like you and me, through the power of their minds. Every change on Earth was created by those who decided to raise their hands and say ‘I AM a volunteer’, will you be one? Will you say ‘I AM’?
Americans became who they are, because of their strong belief in the American Dream. That anything can be achieved through great persistence, courage, and strength. Isn’t this what the American dream is about? Let’s ignite this flame again, this dream is already here, if only, you would allow yourself to heal, ‘through the sound of silence’ as Simon & Garfunkel sang, and see.
In this fourth ‘Man Enough’ episode, one the guests invited to the table was a cheater in the past. He mended himself after experiencing great pain, pain that shed a light, on the ‘why’ he became who he was. ‘The dots can only be connected by looking backward’, as Steve Jobs stated.
Our pain can become our greatest ally, if only we are ready to allow ourselves, to learn how to use it wisely, how to transcend the negative, to transform it into a greater strength, than we ever thought possible.
All the great American success stories were made of pain, transformed into resilience, inner strength, and courage. Isn’t this the reason you admire the greatest thinkers, actors, businessman and women, inventors, revolutionaries, scientists of our era?
That hero you are looking for is already within you. Whatever you like and see in others, is already within you. You just need to remove the veil in front of your eyes, and be ready to do the work, to get rid of the negative social conditioning, learned through imitation, social conditioning.
We have more knowledge than ever, more of everything we need, except violence – based on global statistics from International Organizations, and a recent Harvard study, that confirmed this observation.
It’s more than time to get the tough job done! To see and hear what is! Isn’t that what Americans are good at? Getting the tough job done! Do you remember how New York was built with bare hands, courage, and sweat, how much courage it took to build the Empire State Building? Have we become too comfortable in our pain, selflessness, and inaction, that we forgot that change requires effort and courage?
Let’s start over from scratch, and rethink all that is. Let’s acknowledge what is not working, without judgment. Let’s observe for a while, what keeps going into loops over and over. The same way you would proceed if your business was failing. You would step back, observe without judgment, and reassess accordingly, making sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes that brought you there.
What does that mean for you, for me, for all of us? Taking time to step back, to see what is now, what was in the past, what were the lessons of each period of history, what knowledge of yesterday is potentially useful yet unused, what new knowledge contradicting our current beliefs, could be of service to a ‘better’ us, how can we stop separating all and everybody, and start integrating: the knowledge, the lessons with the awareness, the polarities that make this world whole.
To reach that objective, we must first learn to slow down! Going faster is making us lose focus, making our brains less effective, less powerful, making us unable to see and hear what is, and what knowledge from the past, we could integrate with today’s lessons and current knowledge; how we could integrate all generations into creating this big puzzle! We cannot see yet, that all that we are looking for, is already here if only we would stop for a minute, listen and see?
You are the creator of your own life! We are creators of our world! Will, you say I AM? #iam
‘Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. – Mohammed Ali