What is that pull to associate with good? Some of us feel it, others don't. It shifts in its strength, this pull for good. Sometimes it's clear and in other moments vague. We get beaten down or otherwise feel the drag of life, and maybe we forgo any association with the pull for good. It's not there anyway! Why do I try so hard! Everything sucks! Totally understandable perspectives. In this life, there are a lot of reasons to act good or bad, moral or unjust, kind or cruel. All of us have our stories, our identities. Our parents weren't able to give us what we needed or they gave too much in some areas and not enough in others. We created dreams for ourselves and didn't follow them sometimes or maybe we followed all of them and feel tired. Our siblings or friends or local society treated us with disrespect and dishonor. It's real, the struggle is totally real and on so many levels. A pull to associate with good may persist against all odds.
I recently discovered that many gifted and sensitive people are drawn to cults, that some believe this is due to the former's innate sense of idealism. A clinician named Dabrowski wrote about the gifted and sensitive population. He believed that certain neuroses are necessary for full character development. Rather than characterize depressive states as pathological, Dabrowski wrote of why they can be essential. Several clinicians and educators offer support and discernment in Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Instead of looking at the powerhouse one-minded personality as singularly desireable, Dabrowski's theory of positive disintegration, and his associated views, offers that abstract and meek are equally necessary and helpful for the planet.
In my experience with a local cult, I found myself heavily invested in the power of positive thought. I didn't read The Secret, and when I describe the cult leader to people, they sometimes ask if I mean the type of thinking found in that book. More than a decade later, I can see now how I was very excited to try this new thought process. It seemed to be on par with my ideals about the world, the world I wanted to exist. Others appeared to agree. We all seemed to encourage each other. Then, slowly... our negative traits reared their heads, and we proceeded to disconnect. Later, I would discover that this is a common scenario for cult-y situations. They start out idyllic and then turn rambunctious when people realize you can't escape negativity. Recently, I discussed this cult situation with someone I know and trust, and she shared a YouTube video with me. I'd like to share it with you, reader person. It's fabulous. Barbara Ehrenreich talks about her perceptions of this "cult" of positivity. (I really enjoyed her book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America.) Check out her talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5um8QWWRvo.
So much to share with you this week! For a revealing treat, read the questions included in a privilege walk. I cried when I read them. Marisa Gonzalez discusses the questions at hers here: http://theodysseyonline.com/washington-state/privilege-walk/145970. I've read a couple of other accounts that discredit the privilege walk as entirely subjective and void of complete coverage of all types of non-privilege. At first, I started to feel angry that anyone would think the exercise useless. Then I realized, you know -- we're all different. We're all going to see things through the eyes of our own experiences. If people want to say the privilege doesn't exist because they can't see it, well, gosh -- that's their choice to live in that reality. Not much can be done for those who don't want to see a different perspective. For those that do: Thanks for reading and searching!
4/19/16 Corrected spelling in third paragraph.
Well hello there.