Sometime we 'see' things...akin to a flash of enlightenment. Sudden Insight. We see 'through' what is happening 'out there'... During those times we become almost shockingly aware of what we have been creating in the world of the mass consciousness. During those rare moments we have possess true clarity. All too soon we withdraw our clarity.
Think about the word "mainstream" ...and imagine a powerful river of water. Let's call it Mainstream River... See it as a waterway upon which we navigate through each day of our lives...in all things we do.
At the onset of our imaginary journey ...as best we can --let's refuse to label anything Right or Wrong...Let's just LOOK and consider. Let's also be willing to say "I tend to do this, too...not just others."
So often the decisions we've made have gone through this filter we'll call "Acceptable to Others Filter." Let's not lay too many weaknesses at the feet of the obvious People Pleasers, but look at the subtleties -- upon ourselves and our own lives. You and me. If you are convinced this could NOT possibly be you...just pretend. It won't hurt that much. Honest.
Actually, one might find the 'pretending part' far easier than trying NOT to immediately attach the labels of Right or Wrong....
We were taught to please even before we could walk or talk! Be a good baby, good tot, children, teen, youth, adult, middle aged and then old person...which usually meant: don't make waves as we ride upon that Mainstream River and we'll all get along just fine.
The people who instilled in us ideas of what is Right or Wrong meant well...it was for 'our own good'...However, even the well-meaning ones had their own agendas (as WE do now -- towards our own children, friends, 'others', etc) in mind . If "we did what we were told" it would mean more all around comfort general tranquility for THEM. Generally, 'Make me proud of you' -- translated, means: If would just live your life to please ME. Simply be obedient to the current Laws of the Mainstream commandments and then _I_ can be happy and trouble free, too. I am not saying we/or they don't genuinely love and care for us/others...but there is always...always...some pay off in it for someone else. (Now remember...no labeling Good or Bad)
Thing is: none of us were originally wired to just "go along with everything and keep the peace"... although we don't have to look far to see many people still playing that game. Why do they? Most likely because they still want sooo much to be admired and accepted by others. Fear of getting off The Big Acceptable Boat on Mainstream River and paddling one's own canoe might cause SO much upheaval for other people-- which in turn affects them. You and me. It becomes a sort of vicious circle type of a trap.
Undoubtedly, all of us, at one time or another, heard a person proclaim: "I don't give a damn what ANYbody else thinks!....I say and do exactly as I please!"... Oh really? Too often the volume and emotion emitted with their proclamation is in direct proportion to their need to convince themselves.
Because of the way most of us have been raised -- not only to please others, but perhaps even more significantly -- led to believe all power and knowledge we need to have a 'good' life is _outside_ of us. This includes all those authority figures that "knew better than we did,' Consequently, we learned not to trust our own Inner Guidance, Feelings, and Emotions. Instead, we grasped and clung to what 'they' said -- accepting -- then -believing- it to be THE only truth.
The result of all this, made it very difficult (if not impossible) for us, at times ...to allow others to have their opinions! -- especially when it flew in direct opposition to what WE believe is Right or Truth. After all, not everybody can be Right...Right? Somebody HAS to be Wrong! After all, that's what religion (especially) taught us..
We thrive on the 'fools gold type of safety' wanting to believe "I am right" --but paradoxically needing others to agree. If we don't rock the Mainstream boat and play it safe, it makes it 'easier' all the way around for everybody. Or does it? We mistakenly think if we play it safe and are never challenged by others...that must mean we are "Right." Or does it? Eventually (hopefuylly) we wake up to the point where we can't deny to ourselves that we have been too often compromising what our own Inner Self is telling us. Then we feel awful, weak or cowardly --knowing we are repeatedly letting ourselves down...all for the sake of staying aboard that Ship of Fools on Mainstream River....and listening to everybody else -- but not our own Inner Voice. The religionists have it especially hard because they have been taught to never trust your 'own voice'...which is most likely the voice of Satan.... makes you wonder how the human race has survived this far.
Somewhere along the line, we have failed to consistantly accept that we have this right to believe as we choose-- and that we will recover even if ALL others disagree with us! As Shakespeare said: "Above all else, to thine own self be true, and surely as night follows the day, thou then canst not be false to any man." ... or to oneself.
I hope I'm not sounding like I'm accusing us of being pansies and wussies and agreeing with everything everybody says...I'm not. But, truthfully, I think we all need a little honing in the area of speaking what we really believe (especially in those delicate area that Political Correctness says to avoid)...and simply take a chance with the reactions of others and let the chips fall where they may. I'm not advocating cramming our ideas and beliefs down others throats and threatening them if they don't agree with us...heh! ...but learning to talk with quiet and respectful confidence and not be so worried about keeping the peace which usually means one is afraid to rock that Mainstream Boat!
There are times, however, when no truer statement was ever uttered then "Silence is Golden." Sometimes it takes as much courage to be still as it does to speak our own minds. This is truly an 'art form.'
I wrote this article because I DO sincerely believe "the times they are a'changin' " and I think it will be of crucial importance to know what to say, when and how to say it, and when to just keep under the radar....and still 'always be true to ourselves.'
I believe there is a beautiful horizon shining in our future. I also believe we may go through some pretty rough challenges. High time for us to call on Faith and Trust ... and Trust the Process of Life... because it IS good...we only need to believe it, find the best in The Now...and know All Is Well. The sooner we accept that we ARE self-empowered human beings, the better it will be. And remember...Paddle Your Own Canoe!