I swear I won’t bring up the political season again after this… I’m declaring this blog a politics free zone. (I broke my somewhat observed rule of not blogging about super-charged issues last year by blogging about the Twilight books, and I think I really offended some people.)
There were two articles that got me thinking today.
The first is an article on Slate.com about Ayn Rand and the Pygmies in the Congo. (That last bit is actually a link, and here’s where the political part comes in.) We seem to be doing a lot of talking this year about whose responsibility it is to take care of people who can’t make it on their own, who need a hand up. Certain political candidates seem to subscribe to Rand’s philosophy that it should be an all or nothing proposition – that it’s an every man for himself (or woman for herself) world and if you can’t pull yourself out of whatever mess you’re in, then you just deserve to stay there. Asking for help, in fact, is weak and conveys a certain – er – lack of responsibility for your own life.
The second part of this is a recent post from Dig this Chick (see the side bar) about the power of connection and what happens when we just ask for what we want. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Elke Govertson, publisher of Mamalode (also and link, and there’s a mag to check out) has said on multiple occasions that you should just ask for what you want. At worst, you’ll only hear no. Dig’s post is all about finding tickets to a local Pearl Jam concert (admittedly a far cry from needing food stamps). Elke scored an interview with Connie Chung simply by asking if anyone knew her. A reader offered Dig the tickets she so desperately wanted.
What if we were all in a place where we could offer aid, unstinting, to those who need it? What if our culture encouraged the practice of communication and asking for what we needed – and it wasn’t seen as failure to want something and ask for it instead of “achieving” it?
I seek this type of connection with people, and yet I think I sabotage myself. This blog is public, and yet I don’t expose the raw parts of my life because it’s so personal… and who wants to read about that? Who really wants to know what opinions I hold?
I feel like this all goes back to the ‘being genuine’ question that I grapple with on a regular basis. And I think our culture gives us a lot of reasons to fake our way through life.
To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
This whole post is only half-baked… I’ve got more thinking to do about the subject, but what do you think?
(On a much more light-hearted note – the post is up before midnight and NOT backdated! Booyah!)