For as long as I can remember, empathy and genuine human connection have been focal points in my life. I’m a brutally soft woman and I believe [or at least want to believe] that the world is a beautiful place. Empathy and genuine human connection cannot exist without vulnerability. Quite a few times, I’ve been too open to those who many not place as much importance on empathy and those who were not able or willing to connect me and just wanted to use me. Those situations have been very painful, especially in how people react then leave me, and I’ve required therapy. But I still believe that empathy is the most important thing.
However this philosophy of mine has led me to harboring feelings of disgust at my fellow counterparts. bell hooks has hypothesized that greed begat capitalism which begat instant gratification which begat viewing people and relationships as disposable as dixie cups. We view people for what they can do for us with as minimal reciprocity as possible. This mentality has birthed the current popular term, “savage” and there is a sense of pride with self-identifying as one.
If you look on any social media platform, whether it’s Twitter, GroupMe, Facebook, Instagram, if you are around fellow millennials in a social gathering, or you listen to popular music, people will brag about their savagery and their refusal to bond with others. Men will brag about their sexual conquests of women who are seeking an emotional relationship and how easy it is for them to use, discard, and replace with a newer model. Women will brag about using men for meals or being able to have sex with people and ignoring their partners’ emotional needs.
For the record emotional intimacy does not need to go hand in hand with sex however I pose this question to the self-identified savages; why do you derive a sense of power, pleasure, and pride from being emotionally detached from individuals who want to be vulnerable with you? I am directing this question to people who may not maliciously discuss it, but they light-heartedly talk about their interpersonal romantic relationships and how they are a savage; I’m talking about the people who revel in their savagery and see nothing wrong with how problematic that term is. I’m directing this question to those who maliciously exert and manipulate individuals and leave with the quote “you knew I was a savage.” I’m asking you “who hurt you and convinced you that this is okay?”
When I say “hurt,” it could mean that someone ruined you and you now act in a spirit of fear. It could also mean that you never had that experience however someone taught you it is okay to utilize people and discard. Therefore you operate under a toxic mentality. It is important to place emotional blockades to protect yourselves; you never fully know the intentions of another individual and you do not want to be attached to those who could potentially hurt you. And you need to be able to quickly remove yourself from people who have shown their propensity for cruelty.
But your blockades should not entail “winning” or “having power” by mocking, abusing, or disparaging others. Are you really a winner if you have to break someone down to uplift yourself? Are you really a savage or a sad human being?
People know what they do and why they do it; people choose to be blissfully ignorant on the damage it can have to the object of interest. While the world does not owe people shit and people do not owe people respect, you owe it to yourself to love yourself enough so you do not have to find joy in destroying other people. You owe it to yourself to be a human being whose presence brings worth to the world. Self esteem/self worth is an internal exercise. Being a savage splits your soul in half and sabotages your ability to ever find personal fulfillment outside of other people.
I can’t wait until it’s cool to be a good person again. #HaveEmpathyIn2017