Shame Culture: Divided We Fall

This isn’t a post about Oliver or the special needs life.  It is a post about all people and our shared human experience, something it seems, that we’ve forgotten. 

In the last couple weeks social media platforms have devolved into hostile and judgmental places where a culture of shame is ruling the roost. 

With the protests, the reopening of the economy, the mountains of conflicting information and the release of the Plandemic documentary, has come another massive wave of division in our country.  The concept of ‘dissenting voices’ seems to be a blazing hot topic and I wonder if everyone realizes just how important those voices can be. 

 I think it’s easy, especially in these times, when we are all gripped by fear of the unknown and reacting from a place of protectiveness and survival instincts, to vehemently push away anything outside of our immediate comfort zone.   And with all of the added stress of the pandemic, our comfort zones have become quite small and so, apparently, has our tolerance for other points of view.  

It’s tempting to immediately reject whatever knowledge, truth or complete horse shit is being shared when it does not align with your own paradigm.  It’s much harder to actually listen, without judging, and truly understand what is being said.  

I give a lot of credit to the people who’ve allowed their dissenting voices to be heard throughout this strange and confusing experience we’re all sharing.  Many of these people are the brave ones, not fools, as they are labeled. These voices, even if not always correct, create waves that cause change in old and antiquated systems which need to be dismantled.  

Dissenting voices of the past have been those of wise women who were called witches and burned at the stake, spiritual teachers killed for sharing truth and love, inventors with sustainable technologies labeled as quacks and civil rights activists marked as traitors. Jesus. Galileo. Charles Darwin. Lincoln. Martin Luther King. Ghandi. Rosa Parks. These people seemed crazy in their time but as it turned out, they were not. They were speaking an unfamiliar truth.

We reject what is not comfortable for us.  But sometimes in our comfort, we do great harm by perpetuating systems of corruption and hate.    

Going against the grain of society, making waves and refusing to uphold the status quo is an unpopular way to live.  But it is vitally important to our growth as a species.  Dissenting voices can bring forth much needed healing, but only if they are not silenced before they have a chance to mend the wounds of the world.  

Enter: The Shame Culture alive and well STILL in 2020.  

Shame Culture: noun “A culture in which conformity of behavior is maintained through the individual’s fear of being shamed.”

Recently a friend posted this graphic below on Facebook with the caption, 

“Bc too many of you seem to not realize I am capable of conflicting thoughts… (Although most of those people have already unfriended me truthfully). 🙄 “

This caption speaks volumes about the social confines of a society that’s become so divided and judgmental that we simply shut out the people whose views are different from our own.  We live in a world of illusion, where things are never quite as they seem, and yet, feeling confused and conflicted, I guess is no longer acceptable.  

Oscillating between opposing views is merely a symptom of sane people trying to navigate a totally insane world.  Anyone who attempts to know the truth of our modern times will find layer upon layer of greed, corruption and countless lies.  The deeper you dig, the deeper the dysfunction hides, and eventually, one begins to wonder whether they might have been crazy to suspect anything nefarious at all.  This is called gaslighting.

Gaslighting: Verb “To manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.”  This right here.  This is our American reality.

The graphic above is a very real depiction of the moral and ethical conflicts happening in the minds and hearts of people in these chaotic and uncertain times.  We are living in a nightmare of human unconsciousness and the veil that’s hidden the dysfunction of our world is finally being lifted.  Becoming visible, to many for the first time, are the false constructs used by far too many rulers of our culture: the corporate entities of greed, our government, which they exploit and the media that tells us all what to believe.  Keep the people divided.  Keep the dissenters quiet.  And maintain power.  This is the status quo.  

Unfortunately, though, we the people can’t have an honest conversation about any of this because we can’t stop shaming each other for long enough to let our guard down and listen.  Instead we bicker and divide, brainwashed into the necessity of picking sides and placing endless judgments upon one another. We sling ridiculous labels and generalizations at those who appear different than ourselves.  

 If you are a republican, you don’t care about people and if you’re a democratic you want to destroy the economy.

If you voted for trump you are a misogynistic idiot and if you wanted Bernie, you’re a naive socialist.

If you want to extend quarantine, you don’t care about small businesses and if you want to end it, you want people to die.

If you wear a mask in public you are letting the government control you and if you don’t, you think that COVID is a hoax.

And don’t even begin to think that this only applies to politics and the current crisis.

If you question the safety of vaccines, you are reckless and a fool.  

If you vaccinate your kids, you are blindly following the herd. 

If you homeschool you are religious.

If you are religious, you are conservative.

If you own a gun, you want to kill people.

If you support migrant labor, you don’t care about security or American jobs.

If you are Mexican, you are a criminal.  

If you feel a woman has a right to choose, you like dead babies.

If you take pharmaceuticals, you’ve failed at caring for yourself.

If you practice holistic health, you’re a stupid hippy and don’t believe in science-based medicine.

This list could go on forever.  And while we occupy ourselves, squabbling over these divisive (and false) beliefs, those in power continue with their lies and deceit.  

To know the truth, we must seek the truth.  And seeking the truth requires openness to that which we oppose. Black and White, Dark and Light, Day and Night – they are two sides of the same coin.  Just. Like. Us. We appear different, but we are not.  We Are One. We are humans, sharing the same basic needs for survival.  If COVID has taught us anything, hasn’t it illuminated the need for coming together?  Can we learn to listen, to let go of our preconceived notions of reality and become willing to admit when we are wrong?

Divided we are weak but united we are strong.  

Stop the fighting.  

Stop the bashing.  

Stop the shaming.  

Foster truth. 

Demand truth.    

I believe in the power of love, unity and the awakening of humans every bit as much as I believe in our incredible capacity for hatred, greed and self-destruction.  In this time, when the stakes are so high, I find myself wondering which will prevail.

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