What is popular in the news, each arm of the entertainment industry, social media, and the majority of for-profit industries cannot possibly account for each of us as individuals. Political policy doesn’t account for every person. Advertising is not accounting for each one of us.
When the mind’s purpose is driven towards uncapped profit…the human experience can easily be overlooked, objectification tapped into, and perfectionism sought after. I think of it like a musician. What if an artist could create the most beautiful pieces of music, but only when patiently working within a seven year time-frame? Let’s say they release their first body of work and they now have millions of fans. At this point, a music production company picks them up and they force the musician to put out an album every 2 years…and, told to ensure it will be popular.
The music industry tends to capitalize on popular platforms, forces specifically trendy sounds and rhythms, and sets quick turnarounds with the purpose to mass produce. Most of the popularized hits on the radio are not even art anymore. “You are going to pay me HOW MUCH to exploit my beauty/art/idea? Ugh. Fine. Give me the money, run me dry, and get out of here.”
Media tries to box us in. That is clear. But, if we want to embrace who we truly are and who we passionately want to become, then we will notice that we cannot just walk away from ideals created by massive industries. We need to also stand up for our unique individuality within our peer groups who tend to create pressure and social tension to fit a certain mold.
We tend to be so bought into the idea of being cool, or popular, or trendy, or fitting the marketed image of beauty…that we create divisions in our own friend groups, schools, neighborhoods, and online platforms. In our society, it is cool to make fun of people who aren’t the status quo. What if their family can’t afford to buy them that trendy outfit though? Well, then they are made fun of even more for being poor. What if they are in a wheelchair? Well, then they are dismissed by so many as if they were not as equal of a human.
We create the divisions that are plaguing our society.
And, it really just does not match up with reality, because not everyone looks the same…not everyone thinks or feels the same…not everyone comes from the same cultural background…not everyone is born into the same amount of wealth…not everyone has the same human body to work with…not everyone has the same vantage point. But, we still tend to act as though we should all think, feel, act, and be the same.
Divide to Conquer…or, just by Accident:
There are many examples of how we feed the divide between each other. It could be as simple as labeling someone, which is not only unrealistic, but it also concludes their growth as a human being. I also see division happening so clearly when we tell someone what they should be doing.
[Person A] will tell [Person B] that they should have a better morning routine to be more financially successful. But, what if in order to feed their kids, [Person B] needs to work a job from 7am-3pm and then a second job from 5-10pm every day. [Person A] may be able to wake up at 4am, meditate, work out, and set clear purposes for their day…but [Person A] went to bed at 9pm and they do not have to worry about a family outside of themselves.
Even if I am a professional and I am licensed to give professional advice to people (let’s say I am a doctor, for instance), then I would still need to be highly trained in empathy to give beneficial advice. I need to find out their background, lifestyle, and how their identities surround their context. Once I do that (and hopefully even more empathetic listening), then…it is possible for me to give them some professional advice that will actually help their specific predicament.
We are not the Status Quo:
When we try to appeal to the masses or create a message, idea, or product for everyone…we tend not to leave room for reality…we tend to cast out so many individuals…we tend to create a divide.
It would create a healthy and resilient economy and government if we truly were a collection of accepted, acknowledged, unique, and individual voices communicating together. It would create strength and resiliency in our mental health, physical health, and relationships if we walked towards differences and human connection instead of dividing each other. Our actions seem to match reality more when we embrace our imperfect and unique selves…and, when our communities are seen, treated, and respected as a collection of individuals.
If we didn’t divide out of fear, I can’t imagine there would be massive wars, alarming rates of global depression and anxiety, sex trafficking, and really any of the immense consequences that come when we objectify people, living beings, and nature. Nonetheless, we would still have many problems. Nothing is perfect. But, we would be able to work together on those problems and see those problems from multiple perspectives instead of just the white, heterosexual, able, cisgender male’s typically found in business and government board rooms today.