Do you Mean what I Mean?

Do you ever wonder, what is the meaning of life?? Well you aren’t alone. Rates of depression are staggering in the US and especially problematic among women and teens, with 17 million total cases of depression annually. You can bet your prozac that these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg , of a under diagnosed and heavily stigmatized illness.

Brene Brown, has one of the best Tedtalks on the subject and offers a unique explanation for the rates of depression and related problems in the US. She has been blazing the path towards soulful discovery with her blog, books and features in countless media publications. 

I absolutely love what RSA shorts did to a piece of her talk on empathy. It is cute, easy to understand and who doesn’t like watching animals act like humans??

I just finishes a book on the subject, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl.  With almost 5 stars, on Amazon, I had high hopes for this book. After I realized that it was about the holocaust, I thought the book was being sardonic with the title, “Man’s Search for Meaning” and I was about to put myself through torture. I wasn’t wrong in thinking this book will break your heart, but it also has such incredible depth and will  changes your life. It doesn’t find meaning in detachment or apathy, like some of the translated Eastern Literature; it finds meaning in blood, sweat and tears.

According to Frankl, meaning comes from: purposeful work, courage in the face of difficulties and love. 

viktorfrankl1

I LOVE the way he talks about love

Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.

 

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*i think*

So I have been developing this little theory in my head and I haven’t quite sifted it all out but I am going to write about it, regardless. Now I feel like I am going to begin oversimplifying and making general statements that aren’t entirely fair for me to make but for the sake of the formation of this idea, I am pretending that I know nothing about the generalizations and stereotypical thinking I might potentially embark upon. Instead I am going to try to get to the source of this idea.

ok

So I am a white girl and I don’t know what it is to be black. I have no idea. I don’t know what it is like to live in the ghetto or the real struggles of black communities but I can draw from the things that I do know and the world conveyed to me through those that, perhaps, do know. I just got done reading Malcom X and A people’s history of the United States these books hold within them the stories of struggles and challenges and the reality of society in that time. Within the civil rights movements there was a very solid clash between the theories of the nation of Islam and Martin Luther King. I am sure that some would argue that at the core what both groups wanted was very similar but their ideas about the nature of reality was very different. The result was clashes in ideology and what resulted was conflict. And as Malcom X was moving towards a concept of social responsibility that unified himself and made the conversation less about the differences between the factious group but about the unification within the culture, he was murdered.
Now, we make a jump but just a little hop, women. Women have made tremendous stride within society in every way, institutionally, educational, politically and socially. Their roles have changed dramatically and the expectations that society has placed upon them has a new added complexity that is still tethered to the ties of the past. It seems within this added complexity, women haven’t been able to truly rectify the clashing social factors and the result is conflict internally and externally. When I hear women speak about other women, typically this is easily observed in workplace dynamics, there is talk of gossip, cattiness, bitchiness….Most argue that this is a product of man’s classification of women and another example of discrimination (aka a way to keep women in their place) but it doesn’t hold up if you really look at the situation. Maybe, I am examining something that feminist theorist know, I don’t know, I tried to research this topic but I found nothing pertaining to women, workplace dynamics or power that was in anyway relevant. Maybe this is some know idea but whatever, here is what I think-

That the clashes that exist between women are a product of society in the way that women have been cradled in a world that supports their inferiority but also ushers them to succeed in the parameters established by society. As women gain power and the conflicts that arise with other women are due to feelings of inferiority within the structure. Quite simply, they don’t understand their power. So the action described as catty, bitchy or whatever it is, is a reflection of insecurity not superiority. And I think the problem is that women have silently agreed to adhere to the current structures in society, and at the same time those structures don’t support them so as they move within them everything thing that society has told them subliminally or outright that they are, they believe. It seems that their is a deep prevalent inferiority complex among women-I am sure if you look at the sex of who is shelling out $100’s of dollars to go to conferences to have some man tell them how to be better looking, more confident and succeed, it would be women. Or the prevalence of face lifts, surgeries and boob jobs (mom!). It seems to me that women are scared to show their vulnerability and their weaknesses because they have been placed in the awkward position of attempting to thrive in a society that still objectifies them. Similar, in some cases to the struggles within black communities, I can’t speak, as much about this but it seems that if people really understood their power and didn’t look to society to validate them then the room for conflict decreases and the room for true power and success, expands.