Learning from feedback
I’m sure no one will be surprised when I say that I had a fair amount of feedback on my last post. All of it friendly and useful in helping me better understand both the situation and where my thoughts were heading.
I won’t be removing my last post as it’s an important point in how my thought process has developed as I move on and also a good marker for others going through similar processes, but I felt it both important and right that I should admit my mistakes and show how my thoughts have developed.
Most of the feedback to me was in the line of, I don’t live the situation so my thoughts are coming from not facing it or my fears are my problem not the people protesting’s problem.
I can’t deny that and my biggest mistake I see in my last post was in putting the onus of my fears on the protestors rather than following it back to its heart. My other mistake, and one I hear repeated often, is in thinking that the words, “It’s your problem,” mean the same as, “shut up and go away.”
So lets see what facing those two mistakes lead to..
What’s the heart of my fears?
I do still see the fear there. It’s true that real change happens with strong actions so I have to accept that there are times when scary actions are important, but that’s not the heart of my fear, it’s the point when I noticed it.
The heart isn’t in what happens today, or even tomorrow. It’s in what happens after.
Frankly, I’m not scared that better rules will come in or that those in charge will realise they need to care about everyone. These are important things and the only issue I have with that is in hoping that all those in need, whether from gender, race, sexual path, disability, age etc.. will be heard.
However, I remember, pre Brexit, watching all the people around me who, it seemed to me, had buried their angers and fears as rules on health and safety and disability rights came in force here in the UK; I remember them stewing on it and wanting someone to blame for less money and jobs; I remember how it burst like a blind wave when someone pointed at immigrants and Europe; most of all I remember how similar it felt to what I understand had happened in Germany in 1932/3 before a certain person had come to power.
Now I could be wrong about all this – it happens all the time – but I can imagine the same process happening again, with the people watching the protests but not involved, burying fear and anger at things changing then blowing their tops much later and undoing all the good that gets done today.
That’s the heart of my fear. And yes, statues and things are unimportant compared to people, but believe me, I’ve known people who hold some aspect of their lives to be the main pillar of themselves, be it their job or position, being a scout or part of a group and, for them, something which hurts that pillar is going to be like a dagger in their hearts.
But it’s MY problem
And this is where my second mistake comes in.
I was so busy looking at what revealed my fear and suggesting how to stop it that I didn’t think about who I was talking to or why I was putting the weight on them.
You see it is MY problem. But that’s not to say I should shut up and ignore it. No, that’s how it comes true.
You see, when I’m scared I’ll either curl up or charge. Stopping and thinking goes out the window. I don’t want to look the fear in the eye, certainly not take responsibility and understand it, but, unless I face it, there’s always the danger it could start to stew and the option to blame someone else for it will always be there.
So I don’t get to change what’s happening or speak up on that, but it doesn’t mean I can’t think about my worries or make my own efforts in dealing with my fears and the issues in my world that need fixing.