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Lack of Understanding and Acceptance in This World

Val isn't playing life coach by sharing some useful ideas gathered over 7 decades of life experience and hundreds of books on human nature.

From the personal level up to groups, societies and the whole global community -- nobody seems to "get it".

From the personal level up to groups, societies and the whole global community -- nobody seems to "get it".

As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment, and curiosity over fear.

-- Tracee Ellis Ross

Nobody Is "Getting It"

Despite the fact that our western culture is well known for a free self-expressiveness -- unlike certain theocratic societies -- a closer empathetic look may reveal this strange truth about a predominant feelings of not being understood by those folks close to our life.

Just for a few little illustrations, there we have folks using profanities in almost every sentence, as if trying to sound more convincing, while doubting that their messages are getting across.

Then, as we are talking on our cell phone, we make those ridiculous hand gestures as if that person on the other side will "get it" better that way.

Well, we obviously have a huge communication problems since it seems so complicated to "get it", or to be understood.

We also write poetry spilling all our sentiment into every verse in a hope someone may discover the depth of our soul. And all those screaming songs of the modern musical varieties very much sound like a desperate cry for understanding.

The list could go on, also involving those more subtle ways of people doubting about their being understood by others.

It could be viewed as a prelude to a deep and nagging personal and collective feeling of separation and a verdict of a basic loneliness.

So we created something like "common sense", which is an illusion in a pursuit of understanding the reasoning of each other -- since everyone is using the template of logicalness in their own way. What is logical to me, may be a nonsensical reasoning to you, and the whole world seems to have their own ways of juggling with some "common" concepts.

Indeed, take the concepts like "god", "freedom", "justice", "factual reality", "love", "beauty"...practically anything at all, and you can't but face this variety of people's processing those words.

So, when someone says "god", we pretend that we are "on the same page", while actually having a completely different intimate relationship with that word. On a larger scale, as we know it, we even decided to give that universal consciousness a totally different significance.

If we only knew those magic words that would remove something as simple as the so called "generation gap", which is just as prevalent these days as it used to be in those more conservative times.

Nobody seems to understand anybody there, and behind many a slammed door is that feeling of not being understood.

Next, we may witness couples who both seem to go through some labor pains to find that secret language which works so well in those paperback love novels. Instead, I see them often playing that marital diplomacy to be on the same page, even though neither knows what the hell the other is talking about -- and why.

What if all true understanding should start with trying to understand ourselves

What if all true understanding should start with trying to understand ourselves

Acceptance is a whole different kind of maturity. It's a gift of freedom to self and to others.

-- Chinonye J. Chidolue

How About Trying to Understand Ourselves Instead?

From a mystic down to an armchair philosopher -- every thinking human has been talking about "self-exploring" -- while even a teenager may be heard as saying how they are "trying to find themselves".

Then it would logically follow that -- if we understand ourselves so poorly, how could we understand others? And how would others' understanding our intimate reality help us if we, ourselves, are having such a hard time to identify with who we really are?

So we need shrinks to step in and solve the mysteries of our feeling pissed all the time in a whole wide repertoire of human misery. We trust that someone armed with "knowledge" will somehow squeeze all the complexity of our inner dynamics into their pet theories and find that magic solution for us.

Well, the rate of success of those professionals is terribly discouraging, but we still pay for their kids' education -- simply because they are posing as that much needed surrogate for a non-empathetic parent or lover or spouse.

We just need a shoulder to cry on, while trusting that we can freely spill that uncried well of tears without worry that all friends and enemies will hear about the embarrassing details.

Little do we know that it doesn't take a shrink to guide us out of our emotional maze, but just a good dose of self-honesty, coupled with a newborn sense of responsibility for creation of our intimate world.

Now, let's get to the meat of the issue, how about it?

Wouldn't you agree with me that this "lack of understanding" is actually something of a normal outcome of our enormous individual differences? And somewhere around the bottom line of it -- isn't all that secret outcry a symptom of our rather mediocre effort to understand ourselves?

Why not consider that at least as a possibility, before some self-honesty may kick in with some evidence through a good self-inventory of our model of reacting to the world and our place in it.

Maybe this collective consciousness naturally generated this illusion of "everyone having to be on the same emotional page with everyone else."

Are others really obligated to read our minds; or it would be just fine if we met somewhere half-way to create a constructive chemistry of mutuality that would satisfy the definition of our relationship?

We live worlds apart from others, so why not let everyone live their own?

We live worlds apart from others, so why not let everyone live their own?

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

-- Carl Jung

What if They Don't Want to Be Like Us?

Maybe the best way to approach this issue of lack of understanding would be to remind ourselves about the enormous existing lack of respect for others' individual, social, ethnical, racial, and religious differences.

Even medicine is clumping us all into their mechanistic and reductionist model of understanding of what is really a biological individuality, where a medicine for one may be a poison for another.

Indeed, we tend to judge everyone by our own parameters of "normalcy". But then, we are coming to an insane point of it, as we don't really want others to be more like us -- for then we would have no one to be pissed about.

I'm not kidding here. Our amygdala, that part of our lower brain with a site of our survival instinct -- is so hyperactive that we literally "need" the constant outside proofs for our feeling unsafe in this world, so anyone will do as a threat.

Just look at our foreign politics which insists on new and new "enemies" where none would exist outside of that paranoia. Or look at our civilian guns with constant "readiness" for some foreign or domestic oppressor to fight.

We are basically full of hypocritical crap, as we apparently want the world to be more like us, but we don't want that ever to happen, because then we would have no one to criticize.

It's somewhat like the medico-pharmaceutical establishment, which "works hard" to keep the world healthy -- while secretly not wanting us healthy, because then their services would become obsolete.

The crucial realization in all that would be that others don't want to be like us, they want to be who they are.

Not without a dash of satire am I reminded about my many friends who rejected my helpful insight into their emotional problems -- not because they failed to "hit the bulls eye of diagnosing", but because they didn't even want to change in the first place.

All in all, "understanding" is quite a crazy theme within the so called "human condition". For if we understood ourselves better, we wouldn't be playing these hypocritical games of crying for it -- but secretly not wanting anyone to see through all the unsightly details of our inner problematics.

For example, it's no secret that clients in psychotherapy are very selective about what they may reveal about themselves. It's like they are quite content to call their spouse a "misunderstanding bitch", to call their boss an "incompetent idiot", and so on -- while keeping secret their own contributions to their life's mess.

Could "acceptance" be that magic word to help resolving this need for being understood?

Could little children give us a hint about the need to accept our individual differences?

Could little children give us a hint about the need to accept our individual differences?

My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in reverse proportion to my expectations.

-- Michael J. Fox

Epilog or -- Understanding Equals Allowing

Every time I undertake writing one of these, possibly out-of-box topics, I am well aware that so many, if not the majority of those reading it, have a totally different view on the subject.

That's why I always say how my writing has the main purpose of expressing my own views, without a need to appease anyone's intellectual taste. Then if someone's views happen to match mine to some degree -- good, if not -- good again.

Accepting others' individualities gives me an extended sense of freedom to live and express my own, without a normative attitude. In psychology, that attitude is sometimes called "identity trap" -- when people expect others to live up to their standards, or they live up to theirs'.

The sooner we understand that other people have a right to be who they are, the sooner we may expect more harmonious coexistence on this planet to be manifested.

For, the very way we experience ourselves is so different from the way others see us with their own mental tools of processing reality. We may use the same words, but they slip into different contexts of understanding, so all we can do is allow our differences to find some common and constructive balance.

How many times have we heard expressions like: "Am I speaking Chinese to you?" (Sorry Chinese folks for the metaphor).

It's this allowing our differences to be free which provides some fair platform for understanding. Without it, we are just bound to keep having anything from divorces to wars.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Val Karas

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