Thursday, January 1, 2009

Self-worth and the Society (I)

Our society is made up of people in or who had been in our space at one point or the other. Our intimates, family members, acquaintances, people we admire, those that admire us, people in our neighborhood, colleagues, schoolmates, people we grew up knowing. All these people are interwoven into the fabric of our lives.

For every society there are rules (mostly unwritten) which guides the behavior of the individual. The society dictates what is wrong and right to us and without thinking about it most of us accept these rules. Some rules are the norm, they cut across every stratum of the society (there are strata). From childhood all these rules have been pounded into our medulla oblongata, thou shalt not – steal, lie, kill, covet, envy, take God for granted, diss your parents, for-ni-cate, thou shalt not or else…

Aside from the general rules stated above there are also different rules guiding different strata of the society, these strata are called classes. The classes can be broadly divided into the upper, middle and lower classes, this division varies from one society to another.
Within the classes are classes and within those another set of classes– ad infinitum.

These ‘classes’, in most cases dictate the way we perceive ourselves and others, they are like glass bubbles which allow you to see and hear other people without touching them. These bubbles confine us and our experiences within a certain limited space, denying us the freedom to BE. This is due to the fact that within the bubbles are ladders which everyone is scrambling to get on top of, basically because their experiences are so limited and boredom sets in, so a game is made out of being a top dog.

This is the reason, for example, a person who was raised in Mushin and had listened to Fuji and Juju all his or her life will expect to be bored at a jazz or classical music concert. I use the word ‘expect’ because the person has never experienced these forms of music before and therefore cannot be sure of how he/she will respond to it. The same can be said of someone who had lived a sheltered life (sheltered by wealth and affluence), the person cannot even imagine a music form called Fuji…

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