I don’t think I’m the only one who is fed up with all the negative news, criticism toward each other in the media and social media, and hypocritical voices from everywhere. I periodically create a period when I distance myself from the all kinds of media in general as I feel like my brain gets overloaded with all the opinions from all kinds of directions.
Recently, I read an essay titled, “I’m yellow, white, and a little bit blue,” written by Mikako Brady, who wrote about the social issues in British society from her middle-school-aged son’s point of view. In that essay, she describes a bullying incident at her son’s school where a boy who often makes racist comments ends up getting bullied by the entire classmates. When that happened, she says, her son made the following comment: “People do like to punish others…” I couldn’t agree more with what this boy said.
Yes, we do like to get the upper hand and “lecture” others. It is possibly human nature to do so as we naturally try to educate younger people once we get old. Partly, it is necessary as a human because we will extinguish if we don’t teach our offsprings how to survive.
In terms of psychological perspective, however, this approach does not always work. To make matters worse, it often brings about worse situations. Why? That’s because people do not like to listen to others. We do love to lecture others but do not like to be lectured. This is not a bad thing as it is only natural. So what should we do?
Here are a few ideas you could try. 1. Listen (even if you don’t want to) 2. Observe 3. Find out and hold your ideas. 1. Listening to others is not the same as surrendering. It may make it easier to listen to others if you know it is OK to listen to others without agreeing with them. 2. Observing what people are trying to do – which is different from listening to the ideas or reading the contents. Observing is to find out what s/he is trying to do by projecting the particular idea. Is s/he trying to get accepted, be admired, or simply trying to educate others? Observe to find out what that person’s purpose is. 3. Finally, you will find your own idea and hold on to it. If you think it is challenging to do so, stay away from social media a little bit.
Going back to the episode from the book, “I’m yellow, white, and a little bit blue,” I felt that the boy’s comment summarized what was going on: the crowd was becoming the bullies – the very own thing that they were going against at first. This is a scary phenomenon that happens all the time. As a final note, I’d like to emphasize that you cannot “fix” the world just by sharing your ideas or punishing someone. I wish things worked so simply, but it does not. There are often serious and complicated issues hidden behind people’s negative behaviors.