I am a fairly educated person. I take the time to read, research, and learn about “stuff” whether or not it is a passion of mine or not. I like to be well rounded. Now, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be versed on all things and of course I don’t have the bandwidth for all the nuance of the minutia I do take the time to educate myself on, but that just makes me human. Are we feeling each other on this? I hope so.
I’ve learned a few things about myself while aging. I like people. A lot. People I didn’t think I liked when I was younger I now adore. It turns out I am more similar to them than I ever could have imagined. Maybe I was afraid to like them when I was younger because I was afraid to like myself. Do you find that to be your truth, too? Don’t we all sort of go through that phase in life? We hate ourselves, give ourselves far too little credit, and then hate on the people living their life “out loud” the way we want to? Oy. Bless you age, for I have learned from you.
You may be thinking but where is she going with this? Well, I don’t know yet, I just know I have a lot of feelings floating around in my head today: a lot of joy, a lot of anger, and a lot of frustration. The anger has subsided and thank goodness it hasn’t turned into anxiety, why? Because I sought out professional help to address my long-term anxiety issues. It was the best thing I ever did. I am a rare and lucky breed that my anxiety never paired itself with depression, but my panic attacks were brutal. BRUTAL. I didn’t know what they were when I was a child, or a teenager, or an adult in my 20s. Here in my 30s, post-child bearing, when they escalated to a dangerous level I knew right away this is bad, I thought, this is really bad and it spurred me to reach out for the help I desperately needed. I am forever grateful for the health insurance we pay to carry so that I was able to go to the best doctor and receive the best care. My incredible doctor, an M.D. in Psychiatry, a PhD in Pharmacology, and a PhD in Psychology spent countless hours with me. He educated me. He made me a partner in my own health and care. That’s important.
Back to being fairly well educated, both through institutional learning and self-education, they do pair well after all. Formal education teaches us how to develop the skills to make good choices and to read good source material and understand the contents of that material versus “fake-news,” and “crackpot” theories, and to distinguish between fact and opinion. This last one is really hard these days. The Internet, documentaries, news is filled with stories written as fact, when honestly it’s more opinion and theory than actual fact.
I continue to read and have been “preached” to by more opinion based theories than I care to. I’m not an argumentative person (though I believe many family members would disagree with me) if I find myself dealing with a human being I know is speaking with passion about an opinion based theory, I tend to shut down. I cover my discomfort with kind words so I can excuse myself and not be bothered with any more of this ‘gossip’ intended to ‘better’ me.
I’m not talking about one person or one thing I’m speaking from a broad experience as of late. Maybe I am angry, but I am also so completely open minded and willing to do the studying it takes to form educated opinions that when I am put down (broadly speaking) or preached at from a soapbox without merit I feel my blood start to boil. Is it because I’m offended that I’ve been perceived as an individual that needed preaching to? Maybe.
Words are powerful. A persuasively written sentence can sway the strong and weak of mind alike without any authentication. That’s the world we are living in. It always has been, frankly.
Let’s read more. Let’s not take one side of an argument based on one thought, one theory, or one article/documentary/resource and make it our entire belief system. We are better than that. We have the ability to educate ourselves broadly so why do we succumb to the first thing that supports our own wishful thinking, versus the greater mass? I’m yelling into a wall now, I know, but at least the one person reading this will hear me. You and I will make a pact to be better together.