It’s hard to imagine that there are people out there that aren’t actually humanitarians. Humanitarians value human life in all its forms and persuasions. Isn’t it interesting that we actually have a word for being friendly towards our own species. You see you a super high functioning human being if you take this kind of approach for granted. That we expect humans to be nice to each other. To be mindful, caring, considerate and even resourceful? That we value another human based on their behaviour, their resources and even their adaptability. Most of us a laced with prejudices about worthiness even if it’s just our own. That somehow our humans comes down to a tick list. That goodness has to be imbibed in order for us to be deserving or worthy. If we believe that about our self we almost certainly believe that about others. More than this we have to be super careful about our default programming.
That’s the thing it’s nice to be nice. Who are we really doing it for? The idea of people pleasing seems to have become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon over the last few years. Where people now list as a character flaw and go about there day trying to find the fine line between boundaried and bitchy. It’s a lot more difficult than you might imagine. More recently in the work that I do more and more (and especially from my middle class clients) the word performative to roll of the tongue like the epistemic language that it is. That your just doing that to make me like you. I’m just doing it for approval. It’s been a shocking revelation to many. That their whole careers were built on the idea of box ticking or getting parental approval. That a degree or Phd might afford them the sort of love that they desire. More importantly that a humanitarian aid mission might buy them the societal cud’s that they crave. With the intoxicating mix of personal freedom, expansive expression and trauma displacement who could blame you.
You see I don’t believe that the ‘third world’ needs to be saved. Our that I have any responsibility to right the wrongs of the past. ‘Even God can’t change the past’ Yet here we are projecting ideas of development on communities that have been living in harmony with the environments with millenias and due to some modernest perversion of progress we think that everybody needs what we need in order to have a good life. Maybe I’m being romantic, or naive. Maybe this is triggering for you? I don’t really care I’ve been on the end of both sides of this argument to many times from me to be able to hold space for it anymore. Increasingly my work seems to be rectify the trauma transference of the white man. That the idea of having to fix the real visceral unsanitised version of life that is rolling out across the globe is ultimately and in ability to be present with out emotions. An inability to be present with our own feeling and the inability to connect with the high charged spaces that we have to embody as a fully engaged human. That the thing death is real, pain is real, suffering is real, decay is real and in fact trauma is real. Yet we are off on the adrenaline pumping search for ourselves that keeps our true selves hidden from our nearest and dearest.
You see if you are off on a mission to save the world, the question really is what are you trying to save yourself from. What keep s you awak at night and why? Why is pleasing you parents more important that healing the wound. If pleasing your parents or society is more important than following the dream of who your really are then it’s time to take a deep pause.
So much of my work revolves round the peeling back the layers of programmed dysfunction. I’m sad to say it is rare to find people living their passion or even in alignment with where they’re true talent lies. What I know for sure is that much of the ability we have to find ourselves lives deep in the core of our family origins. If you can’t share who you really are, being yourself isn’t safe and unsafe environments are normal for us.
Far from being mundane the your suburban life might be highly toxic and in fact harmful. I know, as I’ve said many time now over and over again. Our problems are systemic and however you are, where ever you are, the system is you.
If you aren’t being kind to yourself what right do you have to enforce kindness on other. Clearly there is a lot of projection in this. Not least because I’m at the beginning of an MRes in Human Geography. Assesses the trauma landscape inwardly and outwardly.
Humantitarians are ultimately human friendly are they not? What a thing to make living from #yourevaluable. What if we really were really pro human? And what exactly does that look like in an anti-human system? You see where our challenge lies is that some how somewhere we believe that the the current system that we operate in is pro-human. If you believe that how do you embody the humanitarian daily.
I figured out a long time ago that thre real key to world change is healing humans. It’s a lot more complicated than you might think. Not least because it means centering planetary healing around ourselves. It’s a radical idea right?
I’ll leave you with it.
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