Complacency Scam

“It’s just the age. Everyone at your age feels the same way. Once you get older life will slowly settle in.”

These words ring heavy in my mind, weighing heavier with every second that passes. Words meant to be reassuring, cast severe doubt across my heart. The entirety of my emotions, spanning the vast territory of my mental health, summed up in a few sentences. Fleeting moments spent wondering, is that truly the problem and solution wrapped up in pretty punctuation around these sentences? The problem at hand in this case revolves around an immense sense of frustration, lack of motivation, and a general sense of being lost. Of course being young does play quite a large factor, the first steps into adulthood are always going to be quite alarming no matter the amount of preparation done ahead of time. That’s the general nature of life, however this isn’t a simple matter of young restlessness, nor does it make sense to generalize. Exactly who are those words truly supposed to convince? There are many practices in society that seem to have been accepted long ago and been passed down from generation to generation. As if looming depression and a lack of excitement or purpose are unwritten traditions meant to be passed along like valuable heirlooms.

Yet here we all are.

As society progresses, with it grows the global economy and the cost of living. Now cost of living doesn’t just refer to how much an apartment may cost in a nice neighborhood, but the cost of Living. Every activity that defined adulthood for the many generations before us continues to escalate in cost at a faster pace than inflation. A large sense of purpose in life has been interwoven with many of those activities as well, such as buying a house, traveling the world, having a large family, buying a car, etc. A lot of these practices have now become luxuries, some can even be included in the whole “back in my day” argument. But if the purpose of life, if the adventure of life is compacted into those luxuries, what about the current generation that can’t afford it? A giant group of kids grew up hearing what the best moments of life are going to be, or what the true “mark of adulthood” is going to be, yet they’ve all been taken away before it could even touch our hands.

Truly have taken the candy out of a baby’s hand.

If those are the marks for adulthood there should be no surprise as to why an entire generation is perpetually stuck in a young adult stage, in between a teenager and an adult. When you base entire life experiences in antiquated signs of success, in material signs of wealth, lives are stripped of self development, creativity, and adaptability. If the world is changing at such a rapid pace, why hasn’t the definition of success? The repercussions are then felt in political, social, and economic ways. It’s common to bring up “millennial culture” and the tendency to ridicule simple practices, however we all fail to ask what the serious purpose for that ridicule is. The average millennial’s childhood is full of stories and memories of traditional baby boomer signs of success. Technology and its rapid growth may have occurred during the young adult or teenage years, but that also means that the brain developed in both the traditional view of the past as well as the modern view of the present. Then begins the birth of a typical sense of disappointment and a lingering feeling of failure. Without the signs of success from childhood, adult life begins to feel incomplete or truly disappointing. Is a 9-5 desk job reporting to superiors in a corporate world truly the pinnacle of success of adulthood? For some, maybe so, for others the taste of a growing social renaissance interwoven with the digital era poses new opportunities.

The fruit is ripe to take, but fear holds us back.

A feeling of complacency is easy to grow in this environment. Dreams are shelved for the practical job in order to take care of responsibilities. “Everyone hates their job, but if you save up you can enjoy life later” has become the common mindset of the previous eras pouring into the millennial generation. Comedy routines, movies, literature are all saturated with stories of rebellious wild and passionate youth dulling their lives for a mature adult life. Now that retirement is a far off dream for much of the younger generations, is it worth it to spend a majority of the human life hating what you do every day? The sense of freedom and creativity that grows in childhood is killed as financial burdens and harsh realities pose as prominent threats. College is no longer the accepted ground for self discovery. Students are pushed to structure middle school and high school with advanced classes centering around the field they want to pursue, so that their college applications can be even more competitive. A child goes through a million different career and life goals, yet it’s become accepted practice to narrow down life’s purpose by 13. There’s no room for error or experimenting, especially if you happen to be an immigrant young adult.

College graduation is marked with a diploma, debt, and degrees of depression.

It is true that everyone in that age will be conflicted with what to do in life, and beginning the search for a self purpose. However the notion that any form of self doubt is only attributed to young age and life will settle after is preposterous. The questioning needs to be encouraged, for so many of young adults stepping into the “real adult world” this is the only time it’s been allowed to question. To fall into a responsible routine and have life be built around traditional symbols of success strip many of their goals and passions. There’s a difference between growing pains and the acceptance of complacency. A majority of the older generation accepts a life of misery/autopilot at the workplace and joy at home or with friends. Investing into hobbies is extremely valuable but at what point should you question if their advice isn’t misleading. Has life truly settled itself in as they grew up and followed the usual patterns of practical job, early marriage, and kids or did they stifle their own search for life’s purpose and succumb to a complacent life?

Life’s entire track has been planned out for a lot of young adults, as if we’ve been handed a checklist of accomplishments that need to be crossed for ultimate fulfillment. Not every person on the earth should have the same list, there’s no advancement in that. If you’re truly feeling lost and can’t shake the search for “it”, can’t shake the need to find what “it” even is, don’t give up. It’s ok to spend life searching, it’s OK to spend life needing constant change for the soul. There’s nothing broken or wrong if an individual list of accomplishments varies greatly from the older list of life goals. Routine is right for some, and not for others. No matter the age, if you truly feel like your journey is out there and meant to be explored, don’t be afraid of change. The time is now. The time is young. Apathy and a complacent life do not need to be the accepted norm or some valuable life lesson passed along. Goals aren’t always going to be easy, nor feasible at every second, but that’s because they’re meant to change. For those looking to find the meaning of “Living”, let it change and change often. Find your joy in the smallest of things, the largest of things, and every thing in between.

Emotional Dependency

The action of waking up in the morning is not something many think twice about. Despite the begrudging attitude and the craving for those precious extra five minutes, the action as a whole is in a way involuntary; everyone wakes up ready for the new day. It’s hard to imagine the action of waking up without that involuntary sense in the back of the mind that says: it’s time to start living. The notion comes off as morbid, however it is the state of a large demographic of the American public. Mental illness rears its head to greatly affect all actions and words for many, but no battle needs to be fought alone. Support systems, present within friends, significant others, family, and/or a mental health professional, truly help a mind maneuver through a new reality. But what are the repercussions when an emotional dependency is formed in the midst of a mental illness? What begins to surface from a seemingly safe support system is a much more dangerous manipulative situation.

It may seem odd to read the words support system and then imagine negativity, but the word support is a neutral term; it isn’t inherently good, nor is it bad. Many only view the push of influence coming from a support system in to the center of the system, to the person in need, however that push of influence can go from the center out. So if the person in need is so strong, that the support system begins to deteriorate, the consequences are exponential. Life begins to mimic the slow corrosion of material in contact with acid. To put all that in much simpler terms, you as the support system are going to need help of your own if you aren’t stronger than who you’re helping. What happens then? In a way a series of rings is the best representation for a support system. However there’s another type of support system: linear.

A linear support system is the unfortunate remains of what once was a more robust and successful system. It only has two people, the one in need of help and the other attempting it. In time though there will be more pull coming from one side, which is never the safest dynamic but truly dangerous when the one in need of help grows in harmful power. It won’t matter the size of the words or actions, everything begins to seem completely minuscule in comparison to problems present. This begins to create a sense of helplessness and being useless to the one attempting to help. Those exact words don’t need to be said, but they hover right above the head until they begin to weigh heavy on the soul. These types of scenarios present themselves as a red flag for potential abusive behavior hidden behind cries for help.

When influence begins growing only on one side, it’s a result of an emotional dependency. Somewhere along the way, the person in need begins to unload an entire emotional responsibility onto a single person. When a support system consists of close personal people, with no actual healthcare professional’s guidance, it’s natural for people to crumble. Soon the support system crumbles leaving one person to accept the responsibility of everyone. At times it’s hard to clarify whether the last remaining is the strongest, or because of fear. The reason for fear is because, when emotional dependency is established by the person in need it begins to change the dynamic of relationships. Friendships break, relationships become strained, and every action and word spoken appears tainted to all parties. Emotional dependency strips away reality and allows room for paranoia and disbelief. Entire foundations break apart and when it’s just one on one, unless one happens to be some supernatural power, it’s natural for bonds to break.

Now the previous statement will make it seem like no friendship or relationship is strong enough to handle mental illness, and that isn’t the case. Bonds break when the relationship turns into a power play, and when emotional dependency grows it begins to establish a new foundation of manipulation. In fact there are people that argue to pardon everything that is said or done when mental illness is involved, but there’s a line between the effects of mental illness and clear emotional abuse.

“Well I was depressed so nothing I said counts, you have to forgive me.”

“That was my anxiety lashing out, you know I didn’t mean that.”

Instead of apologies and communication, the dynamic begins to transition into volatile frustration and apologies. It is true that when your mind becomes heavy and the painful behavior kicks in there isn’t always full control over actions and words, but that’s not meant to be used as justification. Many people, including those with debilitating mental illnesses understand accountability and forgiveness and work towards building those practices even in therapy. Consistent verbal and emotional abuse isn’t and shouldn’t be tolerated because of a mental illness. In fact emotional abuse warning signs are many actions that a lot of people will label as symptoms of their mental illness, but then use to cross a dangerous line within their own lives. This abuse has ground to continue building due to the foundation of emotional dependency built throughout time within close friends or family.

Severe emotional dependency is fodder for abusers to find a correlation between mental illness and abusive actions. The same way violent drunkards blame physical harm on drinking, many abusers seek excuses for their actions and words. In terms of emotional abuse, a lot of abusers reach for mental illness as justification and grounds for pardoning. There’s a large difference between depression and/or any mental illness causing isolation and breaks in communication with a support system and constant condescending & caustic communication. Once a support system enters a linear structure, once it’s just one on one, it feels like there is no escape. Feelings of guilt are easily manipulated to placate the one remaining person to stay. For every day of emotional abuse and emotional drain, there may be a 30 minute moment of nostalgic friendly behavior. None of this erases any mental illness that may actually be present, but then that severe guilt and responsibility kicks into one person, who is extremely under-qualified to be playing god.

One person, especially another friend/family member/significant other, cannot have the existence of another life placed in the palm of their hand.

What support can come from someone who now lives knowing that every word and action, or lack thereof, have a direct effect on whether someone they love continues to survive and fight against mental illness? Essentially this linear support system becomes two people fighting their own internal battles, and potentially pulling each other further down.

Support systems are meant to aid, to share good and bad moments, and to provide a gentle push of encouragement in the right direction in times of need. They are not meant to completely resolve all issues; they especially cannot erase mental illness. Severe emotional dependency within a support system blurs the line between actual help and harm. When someone is in need, and it’s beyond the means and limits of the relationship, it’s time to ask for advice and seek help. No one is a bad person for understanding that a matter at hand is larger than a bond; knowing when to get extra help grows the bond.



Accent of Character

“Describe them”

A simple question such as this reduces the five senses to just two: visual and auditory. When someone presents themselves the first thing someone notices is how that person looks, of course this is if blindness is not an issue. The phrase about first impressions being the most important exists for a reason. No matter the mind, the eyes pick up the image right in front of them. Only after taking in the visual image is it then processed and evaluated by each individual’s mind and personality. Looks and such can be and are frequently altered. Right after the visual the next thing that hits are the sounds. This person’s voice, their tone, intonation, and everything that can make it’s way to the ears. This too can be and is being altered. Speech classes, language classes, what reaches the ear can be different every time just with one person. To many this is an advancement, a step toward progress that was once only imaginable. To many this may sound like sci-fi dreams, but to an immigrant and an immigrant’s child this sounds like conflict.

Conflict is the only word that can come to mind because this is a literal conflict of characters, of cultures. Looks begin to be altered because nothing seems to fit in. Maybe if my skin was lighter here, maybe this color takes away from this, maybe this makeup will take away my heavy features. Voice begins to alter because my accent is too heavy, my voice gives away where I am from. What pushes this desire to need to change everything? All for the sense of fitting in? Yes. It is simple for someone to say “stick out!” but the sense of coming to a strange land and feeling completely away from home is one that cannot just disappear. No amount of confidence in sticking out will erase the harsh words out of someone’s mouth for being different. Nothing can erase the looks that burn through a person until scars form. So this need comes from a fear. A fear of being a complete alien. As if the darker color of skin or a different accent will take away the status of a human being. It should no longer be asking those that are different to stick out and be confident, it should be about informing those that this concept of “different” does not exist. What one deems as different in one country is praised or relished in another.

The darker color of my family’s skin is proof of the labor of our people. It shows the years spent outside working with the earth in order to feed families. It shows the hard work of a warrior that fought for the people of its land and those of a foreign land. It shows the love of the sun’s kisses on our land. The color of our skin shows the strength and history of land that is growing and thriving in the world.

The accent that laces my parents’ words is proof of their determination. It shows their knowledge of multiple languages that even one mouth can contain. It shows their perseverance in a land that was not their home. It shows their love for their motherland as she waits for her children to come back to her. It shows their history comes from another land across the ocean. It shows their struggle to come to a land of opportunity.

The differences that create who we are as people are what make our characters. They are what show our inner qualities that encase our true beauty. We do not need to be told to be stronger and “stick out more”, they are defined in every breath we take in and release. It is time others are told, there is no different. There is no need to point out, there is no need to instill fear. There is no different for underneath it all we are made of the the same bones and blood that will return to the earth upon our death.

Cannot Escape Color

“I don’t see color.”

These words are unoriginal, they are not born from creativity or a spontaneous moment in life. They are words that have been passed from one mouth to a pair of ears and so on. They are words that have been cultivated, harvested by those choosing to escape a truth. A reality that envelops human life.  They have been used to sympathize while attempting to empathize, they have been used to alleviate the guilt of the speaker while confusing the receiver. No more should there be confusion because these words are lies.

If these words have ever come out of your mouth, you are a liar.

As human beings we have been gifted with a world filled with color, and eyes and a mind that can see them. As a society we have grown to provide names to each color in order to be as descriptive as possible. We have built technology that aims to provide the tiniest of details, shows the most minute of changes in gradients. Why? So that every pair of eyes can see on a screen the same range of colors in everyday life. So that every pair of eyes may grow an appreciation for the vivacious life in every color in the world.

Yet as a society there are people that refuse to provide life solely based on color. The human eye is more willing to accept that there is life in a color, in a descriptive pigment, yet is afraid to accept the life in a body covered in a descriptive pigment. To those who may have never heard the original statement, well congratulations for successfully avoiding a negative power and perhaps surrounding yourself with acceptance and love. For those of us who may not have been as lucky, this statement, this common defensive mechanism is not one on a positive side. It does not stem from love, it does not stem from hate, but it stems from ignorance.

It stems from complacency.

It stems from fear.

With a world’s population in the billions and a majority of them being another color than “white” it is impossible to not see any color. If a person can see the off white color of paint in comparison to the egg creme white to put on their walls then the brown color of my skin can be vibrantly seen. The deep browns, the caramels, the mochas, the coffees, every gradient working its way to black can be seen. It is seen. To say that it cannot be seen is the invalidation of billions of people. It is the invalidation of hundreds of countries. It is the invalidation of the blatant truth. The only mouth such words should be coming out of is a person suffering from a genetic mutation causing color blindness. Otherwise it is coming out of the mouth of a liar.

A liar who is too afraid to take a stance. “Seeing color” requires a fight, no matter which side. For those who do not want to hurt the feelings of their companion or want to display their “compassionate” humanitarian attitude, this is the easiest way out. But as a receiver, it hurts less to hear the truth. You see color. It is not a matter of whether you do or not because the simple truth is, you do. As does every human being on this planet. What matters is, what do you think about it?

True Nature of Change

When change is referenced it is always split down the middle, either it is being appreciated or abhorred. Are these the only connotations for change? When looked at generally, yes, but the whole world can be broken down to a simple 50/50 view. Change is too complex for a view like that, many times the connotation for change develops from the consequences of an action. Despite this what cannot be denied is the fact that change happens, it needs to happen. It is an essential part of life and even if one does not adore change, that is fine. Change is an involuntary action. Every step taken, every second that passes is change. That may be considered a very unreasonable view for some, which is fine, but it does not deny the fact that change happens whether one wants it or not. If change is not wished for, then what? A human being does not have the strength to prevent another from changing, even if this power did exist it should not be utilized. Change is what makes life exactly what it is: a mish mosh of moments depicting a variety of emotions. Take out change from life and it would be a flat line; death to life. Change cannot be just good vs bad; it is a mix of everything. At first some change may hurt, such as the loss of a relationship whether it be friendship or personal; but the power to take a situation and make it positive is within our own hands. Cherish the good memories but do not cling onto every memory and aspire to live in your past. When one’s eyes are constantly focused on the past, they are blind to what is in front. That is how you walk into walls. If a person leaves, think. At the moment of departure that person is no longer the same character as when they first entered the picture, and most likely neither are you. If the departure is amicable, move on. Life is filled with new personalities, opportunities, growth. If it may have a particularly painful time, grow, take this sudden change and develop it into a longer change. This does not mean that you must change your personality every time someone leaves your life. The change can be small. Change your jokes, favorite tv show, hairstyle, etc. What seems to be something trivial still has the power to cause a difference in attitude. Take a situation where change may have been bad at first and turn it into something positive. Do not let the fear of change engulf and throw you into a pit. Do not let develop a mindset where you cannot differentiate between nostalgia and present emotions. Are you actually seeing someone or something for what they/it is at the moment, or has the tinge of past emotions tainted better judgement? Only you are in control of your actions, your mind, your body. No one can take that away from you, not even your own fears.

Everyone changes. They must change to survive. It does not alter your life, unless you choose it to.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

The age old saying “ignorance is bliss” has been passed down for as long as I can remember. Even being an immigrant I’ve heard my own family use variations of this phrase. It has at this point became a global phrase, mass produced in multiple languages. But what does this phrase truly stand for?

Ignorance: Noun: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

It is stating that a lack of knowledge is bliss. But I thought knowledge is divine? Yet a phrase that is blatantly pushing aside knowledge and promoting an oblivious nature and quite simply stupidity is being passed on. So I must ask, when exactly is a lack of knowledge bliss? Politics? Education? Civil Rights? Gender Rights? Domestic Abuse? In your career perhaps? When is not knowing enough information a bliss?

At this point many may be throwing their arms up and saying “ignorance can save lives.” “You can’t handle the truth”. We don’t live in a movie. If you truly believe that a human being can’t handle the truth, you’ve failed in educating and raising that human properly. The proof is in that statement itself. Can’t handle the truth. Cannot. This is grammatically stating that a human being is inherently incapable of comprehending honest information. If this was the case then the world would have ended many years ago. Civilization would not have grown whatsoever let alone to be able to create multiple societies and norms. If you cut the bud of a plant, of course it won’t grow. If you cut the right of a human’s pursuit of the truth then yes, you will be raising generations of human beings that literally will not be able to handle the truth.

A psychological mutation experiment.

Give humans the truth, instead teach them how to handle it. Give them facts. Show them how to sit down and analyze those facts. Show them how to take that truth and move forward. The truth is not some kryptonite because human beings are not superheroes. We must fall. We must bruise. But we can stand back up. Bruises heal. Our feet can still take steps forward, and they won’t take the steps that caused the first fall. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is enablement. Ignorance is what perpetuates vile disgusting habits. Ignorance is what will bring upon the demise of not just generations to come but civilization as an entity. You may read this and think this is all common sense but if it was a phrase such as this would not exist, and it shouldn’t. Unless the phrase is being taught as an example of how not to live life, then it must disappear.

Eradicate “ignorance is bliss”.

Take the first step to raising awareness in the mind. Take the first step. You may fall, but that’s ok. Take the first step to the cold hard facts. Grow. Live. Blossom.

Every detail is pivotal

Right now in the world we live in, not just our planet, but the society we have created, the civilization that has formed, there is imminent danger. Concepts that have lived forever but have conveniently been brushed aside by some new national issue or the other are coming out in full force in what seems to be one year. The news media has been focusing on ISIS and the “issues” at hand in Syria, however they can only do so much. In case of a bias deep set within their corporate roots even the news presented will be from one side. Change the channel and you hear about Michael Brown’s case, which reached an unsurprising but unfortunate final decision. No matter what you call it, “incident”, “crime”, or whatever the fact of the matter is that the event happened in August. AUGUST. It is now November about to enter the last month of this year and it took 3 months if not more to decide if a person killed by another person is wrong or not. Change the channel again and you see Jackie’s story about being gang-raped for three hours in a frat house by potential pledges. Potential no more because these men were taken into the brotherhood upon the act of forcefully holding down a woman and mutilating her body for their own purpose. Not pleasure, but purpose. The mutilation of a woman’s body was the necessary component for these men to join an organization that would ensure them a high social status on campus, and within their state. Take them out of that state, then what are they? Oh that’s right.

Cold blooded criminals.

Which is what it all boils down to. We as a people teach our children that hurting another creature is bad. We attempt to teach them care and human rights but then we plaster in public heinous acts against these human rights. A kindergartner will get a timeout just for not sharing and yet here are people physically, emotionally, and mentally harming another human being and where is the punishment? Where is the symbolic timeout? The law is being manipulated. Positions are being manipulated. The public is being manipulated.

Can you really tell fact from fiction anymore? Can you really point to a screen or a paper or a source of any sort and say that news verbatim is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

We may never have had that privilege to begin with but now we are starting to lose the privilege to at least fight for that. We are beginning to lose the ability to present information in front of a group of peers and argue for what is believed to be the truth. Once that is gone what is left?

Just a bunch of cold blooded criminals.

Soon every face you see will be just that. Someone who has participated in the violation of another person’s ability to live in peace. To breathe in peace.

In a time such as this, every detail is a pivotal point. Every step taken by a protester, a cop, a governmental official, a bystander, a person will make noise. Every word spoken will carry with it a barrage of unspoken thoughts and opinions. In a time such as this, everything matters. No longer is there a need to say, If you want change be the change! We are now living in that phrase. Whether you want change or not, there is no choice. We are the change. Each person on this planet is a factor in change. The only thing left to say is….

What change are you?