I think I “got it” this morning on my drive to work, when I heard the DJ’s on the radio talking about post-pandemic self-improvement. They were asking listeners to call or log in and tell them what they plan to improve to become “your best post-pandemic self” as we come out of lockdown and back into day to day reality.
I was listening to Christian radio, but I think it would be nice to have a mainstream push in this direction. The past year has been anything but normal, and I think we need some motivation to make an effort to come back better than we were before. All of us have room for improvement, and there’s a sticking point that I think we could all afford to address if we want to create a better post-pandemic world.
We need to get rid of the “victim” mindset and get comfortable with being ourselves.
I mentioned a year ago that the pandemic was a great opportunity to find your authentic self. Good grief, we were working from home and isolated from the outside influences telling us what they wanted us to be! Unfortunately, that isolation was leveraged to create reactions and overreactions to social events that have given rise to a terrible victim mindset plaguing society as bad (or worse!) than COVID-19. Everybody is whining about being a victim of something: race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, financial prosperity (or lack thereof), politics, employment, personal interests, cliques, clothes, intelligence, talent, abilities, health status and conditions – good grief, we’ve found a million ways to judge one another. Stereotypes are as old as time itself. You’d think the human race would have evolved past this nonsense but alas, it seems we’ve done the opposite and found more creative ways to put one another down.
And what does it really do? It keeps us in bondage to the status-quo, because you can’t mine your full potential until you file the chip off your shoulder. Anybody can scream about the injustices of society. The ones who succeed are the ones who rise above the pettiness of these distractions and open their eyes to working toward bigger goals.
I’ve been told I’m disadvantaged because I’m a woman, because I’m over 40, because I don’t have children, because I won’t pursue higher job titles, because I have sinus issues, and lately because I’m mourning the loss of my Dad. And that is so much hogwash that I can smell the sewage from here because it doesn’t take much mental power to figure it out: how many women are there in the world? How many people over 40? How many people without children, with sinus (and other chronic health issues)? And death is part of life in this world, so all of us are grieving.
Good grief, I’ve even been criticized because I like to read, and I like sci-fi. There’s your proof that it’s all just excuses to keep us in our place, folks. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you claim the power to be the person you were meant to be. You are unique in the combination of things that make you who you are. Don’t let people pick those traits apart to minimize you. Each trait makes you similar to millions of others. It’s the combination of those things that make you a unique creation. No one thing puts you at a disadvantage unless you allow it to.
Sure, stereotypes exist, and you will run up against them every now and then. You have the right to reject that judgement as much as they reject that trait and move on. I still am who I am by the grace of God, and you know what I’ve found? I actually get along better when I decided to forget about what other people thought of me and decided to focus on being my best self. When I got comfortable with who I am, other people did too. Yes, I got a bit more introverted in the process, but that also isn’t a bad thing. I didn’t need to have so many opinions anyway, and I channeled the energy into my writing, which has done much better in the past year.
My point is that we were saying a year ago that we wanted to come back and do better, but there were powerful forces that distracted us. We don’t have to listen to it. Good things can still happen, and they’re more likely if you make an effort to find the internal drive to do good work and be your best self. Here's an idea: instead of letting these things divide us, why not unite with others who have similar issues? Think about it: if a generalization is that broad, then it means you have something in common with lots of other people. Stand up to the mainstream criticism by uniting and finding the merits in these differences, instead of letting them be used as a weapon against us.
That is how you can perpetuate good things happening. So let’s bring about that change we were talking about a year ago by rejecting the petty judgements tripping us up, uniting with others, and accepting new discoveries and possibilities in a new reality. It happens by making better choices a day at a time.
There’s your motivational speech. Now get out there and conquer the world in amazing, awesome, and creative new ways.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great week.