What’s wrong with you? Can’t you even……….? Even my dog can do that!
Who has never been nastily chastised in this kind of way? If you say that you haven’t, you probably don’t have the courage to acknowledge it, and thus will not gain anything from reading on…
You will generally find that such a criticism is made by someone who is good at doing something to somebody who is not good at that very same activity. This judgment then automatically becomes an unquestioned generalized categorization – that this person is stupid, inadequate, incapable, irresponsible…..etc. As if this one criterion, eg admin ability, math, academics generally, athletics, etc is a legitimate measure by the criticizer on the criticized on the latter’s overall worthiness.
Such judgments made at an early age, particularly by parents can condemn one to a feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness for life, imprinted in one’s DNA and passed onto the next generation. The Judeic scriptures refer to it as ‘the sins of the fathers passed on to the children’s children..’ Indeed this is the predominant ‘virus’ in our programming which has kept us as a species trapped, powerless and frustrated, a condition which can only be transcended through constant awareness.
Do you still want to divide people into two categories?
If we want to differentiate people into two categories, the most causal and thus useful categorization is not stupid/clever (relative to ability being measured) rich/poor (another, narrower relative measure), good/bad (a judgment), a success/failure (mainly a self judgment). By the time we are through with our monologue I am sure you will agree with me on the most useful way to categorize anyone (assuming we wish to do so, and keeping in mind that this can change from moment to moment), starting with ourselves. Maybe you might be able to beat me to it, but no cheating…
When I am stuck for answers, I often turn to nature to seek inspiration, and invariably find what I seek. That is if I really see and don’t just look. I see the cat. It can climb trees, to a limited extent, but can never freely leap from tree to tree and climb like a monkey. Neither is the monkey as good at hunting small animals (most monkeys are partly omniverous) as the cat. The fish cannot fly at all or breathe air, while the bird cannot live underwater. Does it want to, or try to?
Or does the ant try to mightily uproot trees like an elephant? But look at the tiny ant. Is any being on this planet capable of cooperating with others of its kind to, without any tools create this?
It is taken as a self evident necessity that we should always strive at ‘improving ourselves’ in areas where we ‘fall short’ or not ‘ideal’. Falling short of what? What is ‘ideal’? That the struggling school child should make unreasonable sacrifices to achieve ‘acceptable’ (to whom?) results. What some academics in an ‘ivory academic tower’ imagine to be ‘correct’? What the ‘system’ needs for its labour force? What would these be?
We allow ourselves to be conditioned that we ‘should’ be tidy, efficient, orderly, creative, sensitive, relaxed, energetic, compassionate, tough, competitive (‘in order to survive,’ of course ), relentless, strong willed, compromising….all these contradictory things at once.
And the more we struggle to ‘strengthen our weak points’, the more confused, depressed and lost we become.
There was an exceptional instance of a head boy at a most prestigious school who excelled in everything, academics, cultural and sport activities. Well mannered, respected and loved by all, and chased by all the young ladies. The envy of all. One day he could not take the pressure of being everything to everybody all the time. He jumped off a bridge onto oncoming traffic…
What is the point, at such an emotional cost which makes death a preferable alternative?
On the other hand we are taught to hero worship those who we see as successes – in music, sport, business, politics, healing, whatever. Each and every one of these ‘hero’s’ has succeeded, not because they have tried to become ‘balanced’ and work on their weak points, but to focus on their strong points.
What is not promoted, of course is their ‘weak points’ which proves their humanity and not the ‘ubermensch’ status the public is fooled to believe and envy. That is why they are condemned all their lives to evade paparazzi who revel in exposing such ‘weak spots’.
The world needs us all, the way we are. We all have our unique gifts. A world famous golfer is not necessarily a good marriage counselor, neither was Khalil Gibran much good at golf, marriage counseling, the life of a party or an example of drug free, happy living.
Look at nature, at the world around you. Do as the Native Americans did. If you were an animal, what would you be? A playful monkey, a sharp eyed, decisive eagle, a laborious tireless, teamworking ant, a loving giant gorilla, a small, quick thinking shrew, or fox? To name but a few. All human characteristics are reflected in the animal Kingdom. You will notice these characteristics reflected in your body type, too. So be a better YOU. Competing with another is a disempowering denial of You and a misplacement of energy. Acknowledge your weaknesses (what you are not). And let them go. If you do not respect what you are, your body/mind will inform you by becoming psychologically stressed, depressed and your body physically ill. Health is accepting, loving and ever developing what You Are.
Are you a creative, non conformist, messy person? Are you impulsive? Are you intellectual? Are you quick tempered, or patient? Aloof or compassionate?
Are you ‘frigid’, or a sex maniac? Are you a ‘one mate person’ or not? Whatever you are, accept, love and acknowledge yourself and so be honest with yourself and others, honouring the way you are and the way they are. The world needs you, just the way you are. Accepting, loving and serving what you are is your greatest gift to the Whole of Life.
Or to the service of God (not a religious god made in our cultural ego image, but to the Creative Being that made us in its image)
So, in answering our hypothetical question, what would the two categories of people be?
How about this. The one category considers faithfulness to be true to who they are, strive for it and live it honestly and unashamedly. Incidentally pleasing some. Displeasing others. The other considers faithfulness an act of conforming to externally imposed values and demands, and betrays their own life purpose in frantically and unsuccessfully trying to appease them all.
Love expresses itself in endless ways. Don’t try to mold it according to your beLIEfs.
Let the Magic Happen.
I honour you, as does Life itself. Totally and unconditionally.
It is my wish you honour yourself likewise.