The insidiousness of egocentric individualism...
I'm currently fighting depression, I lack hope, motivation, none of my coping mechanisms are working, going outside is triggering; between people who don't know how to mind their own business, the winter cold, vigilantes and racism, I am struggling with being outside at the moment. I am beginning to get cabin fever and I need to go out but I am not comfortable with being outside and it's not because of the virus. I am being cautious and respectful of other people's space and limiting interaction as much as possible, however that compassion is not being extended to others. I don't think any of us are comfortable with this virus, but not everyone is scared and doesn't have to be, the idea that because you are doing things differently to other people, doesn't mean that you are not spreading the virus and any better then everyone else. Other people are dealing with the situation differently and that often times gets interpreted as, "not taking it seriously" This statement is not only false in many circumstances, but it is also rude and airs on the side of morally superior.
You are not morally superior if you do not factor in other peoples needs and/or circumstances. The closing down of our countries has highlighted to me (and those who have a shred of empathy and self awareness) many problems that existed pre pandemic, such as domestic violence, poor mental health support, homelessness, poverty, just to name a few. These problems have not gone away, nor are they going to and they are just getting worse, whilst they are being ignored in large by social media.
These problems have affected me in the past (and some still do) and I can't feel anything but gratitude for my current circumstances; but that leaves me thinking about the people who are currently being left behind. The people who are in my previous shoes and the ones worse off then me, I think about it till it hurts my head and affects my mental health. I want to make the world a better place, because I selfishlessly want to live in a world which is filled with joy, love and happiness. I am not talking about a perfect world but a healthy one and we currently do not live in that.
In order for this healthy world to exist, we as humans need to be happy, loved filled and joyous and we do that by healing the hurt and being able to express ourselves freely. I really want us to have such high self esteem and self love that we create happy worlds within our huge globe. For us to achieve that, I believe that we need to get to the root of our problems. The root of our problems are white supremacist, capitalistic, racist, colonialising, insufferably, psychopathic, individualists.
Egocentrism is rooted in narcissism and unfortunately the world thrives off of it, it is [narcissism] rewarded and enabled, in the name of perceived niceness towards people. Here in the UK we really are a passive aggressive nation, I am not saying no other nation is like this, but I don't have the first hand experience to be able to do that. The British are very: "Let's just be nice and it will all go away and solve the problems" whilst the pain of being hurt or harmed, eats away at you. We do not confront things, ever and this is why we suffer so much because we do not clear things up with each other and ourselves. We also do not know how to self soothe, but this is all for another post, the point that I am trying to make is that we do not question or call out harm, when it is in front of us and in doing so we allow harm to ourselves or others but allowing poor behaviour to continue.
Egocentrism has been at the forefront of my mind as I traverse these internet streets, as a person with dyslexia, I can find learning hard. It is classified as a learning disability and also comes under the umbrella of neurodiversity which I only found out recently. What isn't new is how some of us with these conditions struggle with life, things like sensory processing disorders, not being able to read quickly, spelling mistakes, not grasping how to do seemingly simple tasks very well etc are not factored into the disability debate. I recently had enough of the debate revolving around only some disabilities whilst others (like mine) are left to the wayside and not factored in.
I realised that I would have to fight another fight and draw attention to other peoples needs and this is why egocentrism came to my mind. We now live in an online world where those who shout the loudest get their needs met and everyone else has to go along, for fear of being called a bigot or -ist/-phobic. It's the egotistical notion that if someone asks for their needs to be met that it's taking from another person, it's a scarcity mindset with a side of self serving and entitled.
Many vocal people on social media, the blue tick brigade and it's echo chamber of loyal subscribers have highlighted their own problems and are very vocal about their needs. Now this isn't a problem, everyone should be able to voice their needs and make demands for them to be met. The issue is when others make their demands and then are shut down and called a myriad of names for speaking up. This behaviour has become the norm and is taking place of actual real change.
The blue tick brigade and it's ilk of supporters are at large liberals, liberals are extremely dangerous as their core mentality is individualism/egocentrism. They do just about enough to be seen as doing something, whilst doing absolutely nothing for the community at large, just the select few. Their focus and work is as shallow as a puddle on a mildly rainy day; trying to solve surface level issues thinking that it will cure things. I'm not sure if it's naivety or intentional, I'm leaning to intentional because nothing new is under the sun and doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity as Albert Einstein said.
Which leads me back to the demands of self and their own needs; many liberals are middle class or feel as if they are because some people live in delusions of grandeur. These people do not know what it is to be destitute or needing support in terms of services like refuges or government funded wellbeing groups, such as groups for Black, Asian and other women from marginalised communities. They do not know the work being done in these places, nor will they have the need to use these services as their access to resources is bountiful, because they have the money to. This leads to selfish unimaginative thoughts and opinions on experiences that they have never gone through or will ever and leaves many of us in despair. We do not have a voice of a large enough presence on social media because our needs and our views on community are demonised, we are made to look like the enemy whilst the actual enemy laughs and continues to destroy our lives.
I am struggling with my mental health right now because I can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, I only see selfish people, the me me me attitude, and if you dare think about yourself you are causing me harm, behaviours. I really need people to understand the root issues and the people who are enforcing it are the problem, not people speaking up on their needs.
This is one of the very issues of social media activism, it's the idea of trying to solve individual surface level problems, instead of the root, as I mentioned earlier, I don't know if this is intentional or not, but I do believe it is, because people feel as if others get their needs met, that it somehow takes away from them. There is a real problem with attention seeking and being centred, as this is where the issue lies around others sharing their needs and being shamed for, but I would like to go deeper into that on another post. Solving individual problems, creates more problems as it often does not factor in others needs, we are creating more work for ourselves by not listening to everyone. By dismissing others questions or concerns, we are creating divide and we are not helping the problems at large. People do ask questions to be divise but we must also exercise discernment and how much we are willing to keep going back and forth with people who do not have good intentions.
I shouldn't have to keep telling the world that I am dyslexic or have mental health problems or that my brain isn't like other people's to be heard, I should be able to receive compassion and empathy, but alas individualism & ego will not let some people see outside of themselves. My final thoughts are that we should be listening to at least one voice that doesn't get heard often or seems to have the smallest voice, amplify the needs of others, especially Black voices. There are many voices that aren't being heard because they do not have the platform, they have a voice but to some it is too inconvenient to hear because it disrupts their self centredness and fake love for others. Saviourism is well and truly alive in activist spaces.