eThoughts : July 1, 2008: Vulnerability, Part I

Okay, I could write about a lot of contemporary things like the credit crunch, the collapsing housing market, gasoline prices, global warming, the presidential election, etc. (note to the sarcastic ones out there: I didn’t say I could write about them well, I just said write). But a lot of people, and competent ones at that, are writing about those timely subjects. I tend to write about compass headings, as in what in human nature, created directly by us and/or inherited from eons of interactions, allows such conditions in the first place?

Certainly I think one thing we can improve upon is our handling of vulnerability. It is a sacred undertaking and speaks loudly about our understanding true humanity. Going green is a hot political and global necessity, but getting right with each other is an even hotter one.

Let’s start with an article I read recently. What about the vulnerabilities of overweight people and airline tickets? Should the overweight purchase two seats or is that dehumanization? What about the vulnerabilities of people being crowded out of their airline seat? This kind of example can turn into a can of worms for sure. Hey, if one is a really large person, do they fit in an airline lavatory? And if not, what to do now? Can two very small people who only take up the equivalent of one airline seat be allowed to purchase one ticket (the seats could be outfitted with two seatbelts for each such designated seat)? Where should really tall people be seated in airplanes? If a woman has really huge breasts, should the airlines provide a different drop-down tray? And this is not just about airline seats, but any timeshare seat, like theaters, classrooms, etc.

What about gender vulnerability? In psychology, one viewpoint in the gender dance is that men rule women through submission and women rule men through humiliation. Who exactly has the high ground? In such a dance one can suddenly find themselves, without the slightest idea of having changed positions at all, looking up instead of down. Maybe one concept about intimacy, passion, and commitment involves handling vulnerabilities without controlling others to improve personal positions. That’s certainly what good sexual relations are about. If one exposes themselves in an intimate situation, they may be an idiot, but that does not allow one to bite another’s jugular.

And another thing, why use one’s own vulnerabilities to control others? We have them, if someone else is not being sensitive with them, maybe we shouldn’t whine or create chaos as a default behavior. How about we have some dignity along with the foolishness and communicate properly, without practicing just another form of dehumanization by belittling others for stepping on our sensitivities. An eye for eye indeed!

Why do so many of our work places suck the life out of us? Work is good for our beings. And a certain amount of conflict works as well. But what is with all the backstabbing? People need people to pick on, or to do the picking on? I know this doesn’t apply to every job, but I think that if one cannot have their humanity as a default in even the most basic of jobs, the culture itself isn’t all that advanced, whatever the so-called standard of living is. While we all need a position from which to work and relate, the position itself is not the be-all and end-all, it’s the way we deal with people. Hello! Issues are a way to deal with people, not a way to trump them. Good grief. Okay, it’s true that sometimes the really idiotic people who only know how to rule through the manipulation of others and issues, may have to be tricked. I don’t like it, but I know it’s a reality. But I suspect it doesn’t have to be a gun that is oft used—and I know we do not have to venerate the gun just because it is sometimes useful.

Why is buying a house or a car a dangerous undertaking? Let the buyer beware is the byline? One can read that as let the vulnerable wise up, and until they do, rape ‘em for all that can be gotten. So we wind up with bursting economic bubbles because one must make hay while the sun is shining—or whatever the saying is? If the idea is to buy low and sell high, who wins exactly? It may be an economy of movement for the lion to chase the weakest antelope, and it may be about culling out the weakest link in the herd, but does Darwinianism run the show at every corner? What does it say about a culture that it allows the weakest and/or uninformed members to be offered up as a sacrifice for someone else’s sole “benefit” or “position”?

Look folks, anyone who has true wisdom, contributes. And wisdom is not about position or personal benefit, it is about the ability to accurately see and describe what is and what can be, for the benefit and position of all. In that kind of world, the weakest are not culled, but strengthened. And a people that respect and honor vulnerability, without either getting trapped by it or using it as a trap, is the first place to begin. After all, it seems to me that when the least of us are strengthen, the best of us thrives.

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