LCD talking and thinking

Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2008 07:32 pm
aidan wrote:
About the whole internet troll thing. I don't really know what to think about that either. On one hand, I think, "Okay - it is what it is (to quote my boss who says that all the time).
He rarely gets upset about anything - especially knowing that it's something we probably can't do much about. But on the other hand, it's just another instance of bullying, and I know in some cases it has done real harm to children and people who are vulnerable to that kind of harrassment. So to let it go unchallenged is to allow it to fester and grow.
Another thing my boss says is "What you permit- you promote".
I see holes in that - but I do think there is some veracity to that as well.

You know - this kind of thing- (cyber bullying) which children have to put up with today on Facebook and My space and texted messages, etc...I just don't think I could have functioned and made my way through it.
That's another aspect of this all-encompassing twenty-four hour communication (applied in a particularly appalling way) that would just overwhelm me if I thought about it too much.

Yeah it's terrible really, these kids must feel like prisoners of their own lives, locked in to a "relationship" of torment from these bullies for no reason and for no fault of their own. You know I heard of a programme on TV the other day about parents who were making their kids participate in martial arts of varying forms like thai boxing. Now I've done martial arts and I can certainly see the positives for kids in terms of confidence but these children were really being pressurised to fight and "get in the ring!" apparently. I didn't see this programme but apparently we're talking of girls/boys, many aged as low as say 5-7, punching each other. Kids crying but being pushed on anyway, that's what I was told. The "concerned" parent thinks it's a "necessity" given the dangers of the world. What you say of Facebook and how the world is really opened up to kids now, it seems like some of these parents on this show were the most afraid of all but that fear can't be good for anyone. Maybe we need more parents teaching their kids to love and be compassionate rather than to fight and hate but that's crazy talk, everyone is my competitor and I must defend myself by all means! Sad

aidan wrote:
When you said, "Welcome to my world" a few posts back when I talked about not having to make my way through it - do you feel that you're at a spot where you're expected to participate in it? Is that what you meant?

Just "trying to find my way" really, deciding what I want to be a part of, what I don't, what I draw the line at and what these decisions might cost me. Nothing specific just finding a way that works for me, as you put it.

aidan wrote:
I have such a literal take on things sometimes- I think it's because I'm a very visual person, so I tend to conceptualize and form concrete images for abstract concepts. That's what I was doing when I said, "I find it peaceful over here." I wasn't thinking of England - I was thinking of this thread as a physical space - like a room. I tend to think of this forum as a whole like that: a building with rooms and some feel more comfortable to be in than others. This 'room' (thread) was feeling peaceful to me.

Ah I see, yeah I've used that same analogy to explain forums to someone before, I'm visual too. Glad it's been peaceful anyway. Smile
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Reply Sat 26 Apr, 2008 06:16 am
Love and compassion as 'crazy talk'- isn't that wild that that's what we've come to? And I don't think parents really view it as devaluing love and compassion as much as they see it as fulfilling their duty to prepare their kids for the world they live in.
The sad part of it is that instead of changing the world so that children who are loving and compassionate can survive in it- they change their children (in really horrible, negative ways) to adapt to the world. But it's the world they themselves are helping to create by changing their children....it's a vicious, endless cycle.

I did feel somewhat pressured to participate in that stuff with my kids- for a while and to a point. But when I told my daughter one day that she had Brownies after school that day and she said, 'I'd really rather just come home,' what could I say? She was seven years old. She spent all day among other kids and adults in school and she was letting me know she valued her time alone at home more and that was what she needed...so that was that for Brownies. I was SO happy to be able to oblige her. I didn't really like hanging out at Brownies either... Laughing

I guess my philosophy has always been to make available the activities they want to do - but not to force them to do what they don't want to do.
I'm even almost to that point with school for my daughter. She's always struggled in the typical school setting and at this point- sometimes I just think- let her stay home and teach her what she needs to know here- primarily because of all the negative, stressful crap I know from experience goes on with kids at school and how it changes them. I don't want her to be influenced and changed in a negative way. I LOVE the loving, gentle and compassionate person she is and I think the world needs her to stay that way moreso than they need one more stressed out competitive, scared, sad person struggling her way into adulthood.

It must look like an endless struggle to these kids- one fight after another to reach some sort of imaginary top tier.
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Reply Mon 28 Apr, 2008 07:57 pm
Well I don't know exactly what you mean by your daughter struggling with the typical school setting or with the negative crap of school, but I can imagine. Secondary school was a massive eye opener for me, I was naive but some of the people I met and the experiences I had turned my world upside down, forced me to re-evaluate lots and lots of stuff. Looking back there was stuff I loved about school and stuff I detested but it was important for me to have ideas about things that would stop me from losing myself in all the negativity, something I felt absolutely good/positive about, things that were bigger than me so I could always steer clear of too much negative self identification. If that makes some sense. I guess it was all part of the teen angst thing in some ways, which looking back it seems almost too easy for adults to dismiss, okay in our present state it's "cute" but for them, it's so real and they deserve more respect and concern than I think they get sometimes. It's that vicious circle or a feeling of being locked in. I could just never bring myself to buy into it though, I think that was what kept me from fighting fire with fire. You might sum it up as: kindness is it's own reward. Not in some cosmic karma deal whereby you'll be rewarded by someone else following a good deed moments later but just in terms of the acts themselves. There was always something timeless and priceless about that kind of thinking/being.

Good for you with the Brownies thing by the way. Man, "I'd really rather just come home", why didn't I think of that? I think for whatever similar after school stuff I was sent off on I used to just display my displeasure with some exaggerated huffs of indignation. It never worked.
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Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2008 04:10 am
My daughter has a bilateral moderate to severe hearing loss in the high frequencies- so she has trouble hearing speech sounds. This has affected her speech to a small degree- she has trouble articulating s's and f's and v's correctly. She's also interracial and was adopted. We've moved around a lot. So each time she goes to a school, I think she feels like there's this long laundry list of disclosures she needs to make. The last time we moved she quit using her hearing aids and asked me if it was absolutely necessary for us to tell anyone she was adopted. She said she just wanted to be 'normal' and not the 'different' new girl.

I was against her not using her hearing aids - but she won't- and it's affected her work - it's hard to excel when you can't hear....but you know what - I understand what she's saying. And I guess I trust her enough to let her do what she has to do. I don't know what it's like to live her life, but she does, and I have faith in her that she's doing what she has to do right now.
I've just gotten to the point that I don't think everyone has to do the same stuff at the same rate or in the same way. If she needs to take more time to get through school, so be it.
Because the fact of the matter is, that all that has made her 'different' has made her really lovely and strong too - and I know she'll turn out to be an exceptional person whether or not she graduates with straight A's at l8 or not. She'll certainly be more interesting (in my opinion).

I take teen angst VERY seriously. I think that time in a person's life and how one is able to navigate through it can either make or break a person. It's vital that these kids have someone who can offer some sort of grounding influence or throw them a lifeline in terms of helping them see what's good about themselves and can act as a constant that they can hang on to, if they don't have that within themselves.

What do you think of the bullies as victims though? I tend to think that they're the really wounded ones - but I don't ever seem to be able to work up enough empathy for them to try to figure out how to help them. I was talking to this woman who said she was one of those 'mean girls' as a teen. And I asked her why - what made her do that? She said she didn't know - she just felt it was her right to let people know that she didn't like them if she didn't...That got me thinking about the whole kindness as its own reward thing.
I think it's a reward as you said, for people who enjoy being kind and feel badly if they're not. But sometimes I think there are certain people who find more enjoyment in cruelty- in fact I KNOW there are. But where does that COME from?
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Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 08:33 pm
Yeah, we're more than the sum of our parts, A's or F's everyone has to "get on with it" so to speak. I think, not so much what we've achieved as attributes or objects to contrast and compare, but how we relate to it all is what makes the person. Bullies seem to lack a certain trust in the world, they seem inwardly terrified. How often do you see them just enjoying a scene in contentment? Rather, in my experience, they're always looking to point a finger. Your example of the woman who felt it was her right to "let people know" is a good one, maybe it's too simplistic or obvious but I wonder how her sense of self was developed and shaped by those around her at home when she was young. Was she pushed around, even just verbally, meant to feel defensive with something to prove and fight against. That's what I imagine anyway. Sounds like they lack the trust in themselves and the world to just pipe down and relax, which IS very sad, I agree. Empathy was tough back then, right in the middle of that environment, now with distance and perspective things open up. I also see what you're saying about enjoyment in cruelty. I don't think it's that they've tried kindness and not enjoyed it, so much as kindness to them, is the key attribute of a people/person who they CAN push around, shout at, deflect attention towards etc. Kindness, as I understand it, can only really come when we don't see those around us as "the enemy" or distant from us.

One of my favourite scenes is from that film, Good Will Hunting, when Robin Williams (the psychiatrist) just keeps repeating "it's not your fault, it's not your fault", Matt Damon's character knocks it away as a reflex action at first, "yeah I know!", but the repeated olive branch, again and again just crumbles the guys defences and instead of acknowledging that it wasn't his fault (abusive parent) as a matter of fact, as he had done in the past (outwardly), he really felt it and acknowledged it inwardly with another person, he stopped fighting.
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Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 07:06 pm
You asked, 'How often do you see them (bullies) enjoying a scene in contentment?'
Interesting question and when I think about it, I realize it's only really when they sense that they have back up...and then there seems to arise an overriding sense of what can almost be called glee and/or excitement that just seems to feed upon itself until it either satiates or burns itself out.

And it's that phenomenon which leads me to really question whether that behavior is based, as you suggest, in insecurity or defensiveness. I used to believe that. But I don't know that I do anymore. Mainly because I see and wonder about what causes the difference in how people respond to abuse. Even if it's only emotional abuse (I say only- but I recognize that emotional abuse can be crippling). Or even if it's only the feeling one develops that they need to defend themselves because they aren't given the comfort of acceptance by those they love and who they wish moreso than anything else to feel love from.
What makes one person respond to abuse with the resolution never to visit it upon another, while others respond to it with the exact opposite reaction? I do think it has to do with a personality trait. I think there are people who could and would never want to be cruel and others who, because of who they innately are - delight in it.

I think it's dependent on character. I think there has to be something either missing or added within a person that makes him or her willing, and sometimes even eager, to hurt another.
I do believe that a person can observe a behavior and say to him or herself, 'I could never do that' and then there are some who respond by thinking or saying, 'I'd like to be able to do that.'
They may not have ever been treated meanly themselves. In fact, a lot of time, I find it's the opposite. A lot of times these are people who feel entitled, because no one has ever questioned them or their motives and they feel above censure or reproach. They feel that they have certain rights...and they're not really worried about the rights and feelings of others.

Maybe that sounds harsh, but it's what I've observed.

I'll have to watch 'Good Will Hunting' again. I liked it when I saw it and I remember liking the Matt Damon character, but what I remember of him is his withdrawal into himself because of where he came from and what he experienced. And I think that fits that particular scene. He was a kind person who revisited his abuse over and over onto himself and I guess that's what I'm saying. There's a different kind of person who revisits their own abuse outward onto others.
And it's that difference that I think speaks to an innate difference in character that can't be blamed on outside influences.
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