The Dangers Of Cancel Culture And Not Speaking - Or Thinking - Your Mind
I have a very long experience with 'cancel culture' that goes way back to the mid to late 1990's when I was studying social science.
I didn't like it then - particularly being a 20 something white male at the time - and I don't like it now.
It didn't help that I was the only surviving male after the first semester (the other 5 males left) as I was bombarded daily by cancel culture and 'it's white males fault for everything in the world'.
I didn't realise how much it was actually impacting me at the time as I fronted up to my daily dose of;
"I'm offended by this or that or the other..."
"It's mens fault... blah blah blah."
On reflection it was not an enjoyable time in my life.
It was stressful. It was also a time where I simply stayed for the outcome of seeking a qualification (in hindsight the wrong decision as valuable as that experience ironically was for me) knowing I would never want to work with many of these kinds of people ever again.
That's another story.
It's one think to be restricted by not speaking your mind.
It's an entirely different situation to change your mind out of fear, and out of the need to conform to a forced narrative that erodes away who you are.
Is that building a healthy democracy or free society?
No it isn't. It's the beginnings of something much much worse - it's the beginning of authoritarian totalitarian society.
But let's focus in on the individual here and what - not thinking for yourself - can do.
You see as a coach I am focused on helping and guiding people to create their own world by becoming much clearer about who they are, and what they want to achieve in their lives.
I don't seek to control people or make them conform to a system of narrow thinking and compliance that destroys whatever humanity or brain cells they have by limiting their expression with controlled narratives and societal norms that are unquestionable.
It takes discipline and resilience to move out from where you are in life - wherever that is - to work and play towards a better expression of who it is you are, and who you aspire to be.
Its hard enough to do that without the social and societal structures coming down on you.
And today, that is the point I want to make.
The structures around us do impact us. They do coerce and force us in to ways of thinking and living that are not always in our - or others - best interests.
These structures and 'forces' are often invisible - and that is why they can be dangerous if they are not supportive structures.
Society, and the values and beliefs in that society, can lift people or they can limit people.
It's my opinion that people are becoming more restricted and more limited by narrow fundamental approaches that shut down wider discussion and conversation.
And that - coaching plug coming up - is where coaching can be so valuable, particularly when it is done in relationship with a coach aware enough, and sensitive enough, to not only understand this, but who has experienced it personally.
This experience was also evident following my transition from my '9 to 5' lifestyle seven years ago when I went cold turkey and started out on living my rather free ranging lifestyle where I decided I had basically had enough of being on a hamster wheel.
In conclusion, the point of todays post is that if you stop thinking for yourself you dig yourself a bigger hole in the end... it will take you further away from you.
This is why, in my opinion, we are seeing more anxiety and depression and hopelessness in society, as people disconnect from what drives them, and what helps them to feel alive and inspired about their lives.
Who you are is important. You matter to you. A better expression of you is better for a healthy society.
You don't need to be a rebel, or a non conformist. You simply need to understand that the more you restrict and limit yourself by adhering to forced thinking and narratives, the more you lose yourself... and the more everyone around you loses you as well.
Fundamentalists thrive on people who are fearful and who will not think or act for themselves.
A society too scared or fearful to speak their mind is not a healthy society.
The good news?
You do not have to take a podium and parrot your lines.
You can be you without the fanfare or the conflict.
You simply need to understand that who you are, and what you think is valuable and necessary in a world that is doing it's best to take that - and you - away from you.