Tag Archives: Hate

The Mess We’re Making

I shake my head a lot at current events. There are things happening in this world that don’t make sense to me. Many of these happenings I can’t and won’t ever understand. Yet, they still make me wonder and cause me angst.

I’m sure the world has experienced this before. However, in my almost 30 years of existence, this is my first, front row seat to it. The world I see is very black or white, both figuratively and literally. Whether it be race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation and list continues, we don’t want to listen to each other, let alone respect each other.

It all seems very one-sided: I’m right because I’m _________. You’re wrong because you’re _________. When people hear someone identify as ______, they make a world of assumptions. A personal example: I am Catholic, I go to Mass on Sundays, don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent and pray often. I’ve experienced sharing this and others making an almost immediate assumption that I believe a whole swirl of ideas that I don’t personally agree with. Before I can even share this, I was dismissed. This person doesn’t know a thing about me, my faith or what I believe and don’t believe.

Now multiply that by the 327 million Americans walking around like this. No wonder we have these types of problems on our hands. We all do it, it’s part of our wiring as humans. The trick is to cultivate an awareness around what you’re doing, which ultimately means slowing down to participate in dialogue. When was the last time you have a constructive (not necessary positive) conversation with someone whose identity is different (and maybe you don’t agree with it) than yours? Make that your mission over this holiday weekend.

I’m surrounded by extraordinary individuals, whose experiences are much different than mine. I personally feel like that counts for something and still feel like there are more perspectives out there for me to learn about (there always will be). I also know that if I didn’t take the time to get to know these life-changing humans, I would have dismissed them because we’re more different than alike or because they once said something that I didn’t agree with. I’m shaking my own head as I type.

These issues are complex and deep rooted. I’m not suggesting that

  1. I understand all of the dimensions to these challenges
  2. I’m an expert – just a woman sharing her perspective
  3. I’ve gotten it right – believe me, writing this was a serious reflection about times when I got this so, so wrong. Can’t get stuck there.
  4. talking to each out and listening more will fix everything. But to quote Michelle Obama, “it’s hard to hate up close.”

I don’t have a nice, neat, bulleted list on what to do next. Stay curious – ask questions, start conversations and be open/responsive when people engage with you. Try new things because you’ll likely meet people who aren’t like you. If you want to see a change in this world, start by looking within and then accept that for change to occur, you’ll need to be uncomfortable.

Introducing The 30 Days of Truth Challenge

Right before the holidays, my friend and mentee Amber emailed myself along with our other two friends, asking us to participate in the 30 Days30truthdays1-300x297 of Truth blogging challenge. In short, you are given a prompt for each day and must answer it openly and honestly. Since I never say no to Amber, I figured why not try it out. I plan to incorporate multiple prompts into one post but will continue blogging about other topics. So this may take more than 30 days. Here goes nothing!

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

I think it is too appropriate to put these prompts together since what I hate and love about myself are connected. I hate that I’m a constant over thinker. I cause myself too much stress wondering if the decision I made was right. I think it is my lack in self-confidence that leads to my continuous over thinking. I tend to feel like I’m always doing something wrong, disappointing someone and the list goes on. At work, I often contemplate if I did an assignment right and occasionally jump when my email goes off, afraid to look and see an irate email. Mind you, this has never happened so clearly it’s in my head. In my personal life, I wonder the wording of every text message, fearful I might aggravate my parents or friends. I honestly care too much about what other people think…because I am always trying to gain approval…thanks to a lack of self-confidence. Pretty full circle, right?

keep-calm-and-love-thyself-5Solution to the problem? Manage everyone’s expectations from the start of the job, conversation or whatever else. Accept the fact that I am good enough and whoever doesn’t think I am can take a hike. Realize nothing will ever be perfect. Figure out what triggers my lack of self-confidence. Have confidence in my decision-making skills since I’ve gotten myself this far without a real catastrophe. It’s a work in progress.

Now on a more positive note, what I love about myself. I love how much I care about people, projects and causes. I am invested in every single important person in my life.  If it or they matters to me, I give it 110 percent and will figure out a way to make it work. While there are times when I care too much, for the most part what I invest, I get back tenfold. When people see you are invested in them or their project, they tend to become equally as invested in you. Caring too much can lead to my over thinking but I wouldn’t change this part of my personality entirely. Like I said yesterday, 2013 is about balance for me. So, I am learning to balance my caring nature with the reality of caring too much and the negative things attached to that possibility.

A huge thank you to Amber for introducing me to the 30 days of truth blogging challenge. You should go check out her blog because it’s fantastic. Additionally, our other friend Lauren started her 30 days of truth challenge today too. Great minds think alike! The quote below sums it up.

“If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check.” – Eat Pray Love

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