Putting on the Adult hat for a moment, I find I resonate with the words in the Escape Adulthood article (https://escapeadulthood.com/blog/2020-06-07/america-is-angry.html) and appreciate the Yoda-ish flavor of the chain reaction of fear (“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” –Yoda). Politics and the media has seemed to thrive on fear to motivate change…and not always for the betterment of people. Fear-generating and power-seeking sway too many people to behave in ways that are not uplifting or respectful of others. Add a dose of slanted, thrill-seeking media (vs the old Dragnet phrase “Just the facts, ma’am”), search engine filter bubbles (https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles), and social media taunts and snarky comments, and we are ripe to be pushed into chaos and mob-thought, letting our confirmation biases run rampant.
Fear is a survival trait but angry people say unthoughtful things and once out they are near impossible to retract. Angry people are disrespectful of other people…their lives, their cares, their concerns. “Hurt people hurt people.” – Jason Kotecki
And it saddens me.
We, as humans, seem to have a need to categorize things. To put things in little cubby holes so we can try and make sense of this world. And so, even when not trying to do so, we stereotype people by race, color, religion, culture, community, career, appearance, nationality, and on and on.
It is why I try to create a “library” of talks and videos (see below) to help move through the fuss and gain some semblance of clarity and understanding.
It is why I do random acts of kindness.
It is why I do the best I can to acknowledge my anger then seek out why I am really angry (root cause) because sometimes the anger is a reaction to something totally unrelated.
Sometimes the anger is because I set my expectations so high and they were not met.
Sometimes it’s due to “this is how I expected things to go” and they didn’t (your example of a pity party).
So here’s a partial list of videos and a short reason why I have kept it.
- We sometimes do not talk with another person enough and make unfounded assumptions – as Carl Richards aptly put it in his graphic: https://behaviorgap.com/wp-content/uploads/other-peoples-burdens.jpg
- We need to understand how we stereotype people – Joe Tye put together a video “What’s in a Hat?” that shows how easy it is to pigeonhole a group of people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7eFiecAY5c
- We need to realize that others are having troubles as well – Cleveland Clinic video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8
- We need some civility in talking with each other – as demonstrated by Pass It On billboards and video messages: https://www.passiton.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/121-timeout
- We need to get uncomfortable (a personal daily battle) – grainy version of Francis Chan Balance Beam: https://vimeo.com/9776406
- We need to remain childlike and enjoy each other – as Stephen Jepson has talked about: https://neverleavetheplayground.com (and of course, http://escapeadulthood.com)
- We need to be grateful for each day – we are only given so many…http://365grateful.com
- We need to embrace our limitations and seek ways to move forward – Phil Hansen TED “Embrace the Shake”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZTho_o_is
- We need to embrace kindness – like these kindness chain videos suggest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuJWHT6tl0M and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYJr03eJjE
- We need to shake up our perceptions – Improveverywhere craziness: https://improveverywhere.com
- We need to dream bigger – Magical Daydream: https://www.magicaldaydream.com
And yes, I said “we” but I really mean “me”…because like most of us, I get forgetful and stuck in my own little corner of the world and forget the bigger, more diverse, more interesting picture of the world.
And it’s great to see, sometimes self-promoting, videos of companies reaching out to the humanity of all:
- Stereotyping – Coke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84OT0NLlqfM
- Surprising Vending machines – Coke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukKBgo6AhwE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgGfBiswon0
- Giving a Holiday lift – Westjet Christmas Miracles: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/christmas-miracle
- Humor in business – Southwest Airline Flight Attendants – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AE_hjOLDtU, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07LFBydGjaM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w943SI4yemY ;
- EDS Cat Herders – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTwJzTsb2QQ
There are so many uplifting videos and talks (ie, TED) about diversity, acceptance, and caring for others…it’s a shame we devolve to hate, fear, and less than civil behavior.
So, here’s to laughter, wonder, excitement, curiosity, creativity, smiles, gratitude, and random acts of kindness to help us combat the fear and anger!!
Our behavior is our choice…