Sally A Illingworth
Mitigate the Misery, it's Monotonous
My father has always preached to me “don’t criticize, condemn or complain” (onto others). For as long as he has said this to me, I’ve absorbed it as sound advice because I know there to be liberation in the act of adhering to this advice. Often I hope that others would take this advice albeit it’s likely my personal bias that causes me to hope such a thing.
We all have our own opinions, which are typically relative to our experiences, education, level of understanding in relation to the subject at hand and perspective compass. Although it can be difficult to respect the opinion of others, particularly when it directly contradicts that of our own, it is only fair that we do so.
Ten weeks ago I decided to start publishing video content on LinkedIn for two primary reasons, being as follows:
1. To provide value to others irrespective of geographical constraints by sharing my thoughts based on my experiences and learning’s
2. To provide value to myself in the way of personal development, which will lead into professional development
This video venture has been confronting so far and I’ve become very aware of how reactive and aggressive we can be as humans and how abruptly we can dehumanise someone in the face of vulnerability. It seems as though a keyboard, whether on a smart phone or on a computer, has the power to kill kindness and curiosity.
Technological advancements and subsequently the opportunity to produce videos and show ourselves to the world presents us with an unprecedented chance to realize strength in unity and come closer together from across the globe. Video is a vulnerable exercise and in that respect I believe it offers a unique value proposition to those who want to positively impact the lives of others without limiting themselves to their locality.
It seems as though a keyboard, whether on
a smart phone or on a computer, has the power
to kill kindness and curiosity
As a result of the increased vulnerability associated with video content, people tend to be more aggressive and reactive towards those who are producing such content because there are more things that can be criticized. Video is an all-or-nothing approach.
When being interviewed by Sean Illing, psychologist Paul Bloom responded to a question surrounding cruelty by saying “A lot of the cruelty we do to one another is in fact because we recognize the humanity of the other person. We see other people as blameworthy, as morally responsible, as themselves cruel, as not giving us what we deserve, as taking more than they deserve. And so we treat them horribly precisely because we see them as moral human beings”.
To those who actively criticize, condemn and complain online, particularly in reaction to video content, seek the value in the vulnerability of others and in the vulnerability of yourself. To avoid vulnerability is to “pre-emptively reject yourself to avoid the possibility of rejection”.
Giles Fraser profoundly wrote in his article “When we deny our own vulnerability, we cope by being cruel to others” published in The Guardian - “For those in denial about their own vulnerability are unable to cope with other people who remind them of it, unable to cope with those who threaten to put a crack in the dam of denial that has been carefully maintained to hold back a tsunami of terror”.
To avoid vulnerability is to pre-emptively
reject yourself to avoid the possibility of
If every living human being was to agree on all of the same things, the world would not move forward and we’d likely be stuck in the middle passage. How we treat people that we strongly disagree with is a reflection of what we understand about love, compassion and kindness.
Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.
Sally A Illingworth
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of vulnerability - comment below! If you find value in this article, please share it. Thank you for affording the time to read this article.