Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 375 - The paranoia of respect part2

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In my last post I started to look at how we use respect to undermine children's natural learning ability. Because we know that this world is based on self-interest, emotional manipulations, sabotage and competition for survival, we create, as soon as we can, a stop to a child's fearless asking of useful questions. This is completely accepted in our society because we believe that children are not developed enough to understand an adult's world - yet children are in the position to ask some of the most powerful questions that can be asked. The examples I gave in my last post speak for themselves.

We can ask ourselves how and why children can ask these types of questions if they are so 'underdeveloped'? And -  how can we as adults have so few real answers ? (whereby it's important to mention that once we have become young adults we have to study (again) the 'art of asking questions' as, for example, in science education)

In my previous post I further laid out that one of the major mechanisms to stop children from asking questions is to make children compliant with an adult's demands. This is done under the umbrella of teaching a child respect.

While parents demand of children to be respectful, the parents in turn are limited and constrained by having to respect the collective agreement of manners and social etiquette, which in part is the reason parents impose a programmed behavioural conduct on children - to ultimately portray a satisfactory picture of themselves to society.

We begin to see that we apply the concept of respect as adaptable parameter that is conveniently used to install fear: to fear each other. At the same time, when we use respect to create inequality, as with the child-parent relationship, where fear can flourish, then what is the context that causes us to accept these fears?

When children are taught to respect their parents, they are also taught that any opinion, attitude, idea that comes from the parent counts as valid because in the greatest sense, it's coming from someone who has more 'buying power' in the world. This establishes the fact that 'hierarchy' is instrumental in whose 'respect' comes first. Children are completely dependent on their parents for survival and this dependency can be expressed in buying power (because all dependencies originate in money since money is the main link to our physical survival and comfort but also the feeling of security, warmth, and happiness).

The child-parent relationship teaches respect by validating non-sense arguments. The situational context may be because the parent is angry, tired, annoyed and so forth, and gradually builds up to a parent-child interaction that paves the road for children to become adults that 'respect another's opinion' regardless of the sensical or nonsensical content that an argument may contain. This is the basis for religion and politics: To freely speak out about our beliefs 
and opinions, and find others who will agree with us - regardless of the consequences that are created with this speech or the action items that are put into motion on the basis of a belief and opinion.

Let's look at the English entry on wikipedia again and then reformulate what is really being said:

"Respect is a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem."
In common sense this translates to:

An entity's - such as a nation, organisation, corporation, party - belief, opinion and perspective must be accepted by others as long as there is a receptor or a body of people - such as a group, organisation, society, consumer - who is benefitting from this belief and opinion with a positive feeling.

The next question is: what if there is a group or body of people who does not benefit via a positive feeling?

Here I also refer back to the wikipedia page, among the named references is an essay that draws on John Paul Lederach, and it states:

"Respect is the first positive step in building a relationship and relationships are central to conflict transformation."
If we bring this statement back to the child-parent relationship, then we see that this is exactly what the parent/adult is doing: 

...creating a relationship where the hierarchy of power is clearly established, where parents are in charge of the children and children redeem the parents with respect.

which means:

...that children are compliant with the parents beliefs and opinions so that in the future, as these children become adults, they will recreate this "building of relationships", where they find their appropriate place in the social hierarchy and 'pay respect' to those who are above them, and demand respect from those who are below them - and this is how we resolve keeping the peace with conflictual feelings based on opinions and beliefs.

In my next post I'll explore the paranoia of respect further. 
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 374 - The paranoia of respect part1

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In my previous series of posts, I talked about manners and social etiquette and how we shape our children and coerce them into adjusting their behaviour so that they fit the mold that we, as society, have agreed upon and that we enforce regardless of the results that it breeds, namely a human that is out-of-touch with the body, the environment and all the co-habitants.

In this post I want to begin with homing in on the concept of respect as one of the mechanisms that underlies the implementation of manners and social etiquette. It’s one of the paranoias we have created to do the following: to make sure that our relationships with each other, our bodies, society, and the environment do not transform to a more egalitarian, mutually beneficial understanding. There is no other purpose because respect is very narrowly lived in reality, creating all kinds of sharp edges, by contrast, it is a very ambiguously defined term otherwise. The term spans living beings and man-made objects and can be applied to anything, really, as long as it is ensured that the access to impose respect upon the world around us rests with the one who is in a more powerful position.

Respect is at all times externally directed, even when we speak of self-respect, it’s directed towards a situation in which we can “demonstrate” self-respect. If respect was anything other than what I have just stated how come we cannot practice respect for all life, when what we see around us is abuse and struggle?

When children, we are taught to respect our parents, and this is our first encounter with the concept of respect. In the context of the parent-child relationship, it creates the first invisible ‘wall’ with our environment. Our understanding of the world is curtailed by having to learn to respect our elders. Children cannot bring common sense or understanding to an interaction because adults do not establish an equal and one relationship with children. Children, on the other hand, treat all elements of their encounter as equal - well, initially.

Parents are clearly seen in a superior position than children because the value of speech and basic ability to navigate society, the value of survival - is more valued than life itself. Children do not present or have any ‘assets’ per se that are useful in the same context in which adults earn a living, and thus they pay their way through childhood by giving “respect” to their parents. We have decided that this is the exchange children must engage in - in exchange for food, shelter and education. Over the centuries we have justified this mechanism as positive and honorable because it puts parents and adults into the absolute control seat.

The English wikipedia entry on “respect” states:

"Respect is a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem."

Through being taught how to respect their parents, children are required to make their parents feel good and they do so by becoming compliant. In this position, within the parent-child relationship, parents are given a card blanche to interact with their children in any way they deem it appropriate - there are no checks and balances because the child belongs to the parent. Early on children are taught to stop questioning because they are only two types of answers they can get, either a “no” answer which can come in different forms, such as an annoyed or busy parent. The other answer possible is then the one that the adult picks because it is ‘suitable’ for the child’s age. Otherwise, can you imagine an adult answering to another adult in the same way they would answer a child?

I found a page on the BBC website where the kinds of questions that children ask were posted for the public to answer. For example, the BBC asked:


WHY CAN'T PEOPLE LEAVE OTHER PEOPLE ALONE?

and Alison Blenkinsop, Aldershot, UK answered:

"Most of us like having other people around, and enjoy helping others. But if we feel unhappy, it's hard to do this. People who annoy other people aren't happy, but they need friends. It's good to be brave and show friendship to them, but it doesn't always work."

The adult answering this question confirms that people welcome other people if they make us feel good - and - this what we learn from your parents through the mechanism of respect.


Another question asked: WHAT IS TIME?
and Elizabeth Whyman, Crawley, West Sussex answered:


"It's a big shoelace of beads stretching into the distance and each bead is a little moment where we have done something that we remember - either fun, or bad, or sad."

Is this the answer she would give to one of her peers? Hardly.

I’ll continue in my next post.
[Continue reading...]

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 373 - Paranoia: shaping children through manners and social etiquette pt3

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The topic of this post was started on day 371. In this post I am writing the commitment statements. 


I commit myself to change myself to see, realise and understand that I, as the system, have created this world through brainwashing children in the same way I have been brainwashed and have refused to take responsibility when I realised ‘what’ I/we are all doing - so now I stop by changing myself through walking my process and by developing a new world system that supports children to become all they can be in the highest potential of what is best for all. 

I commit myself to stop this system from recreating itself by stopping my participation in my thoughts and thus my behaviour because I realise I, as an adult, am the role model for children and that unless I am taking actual steps to change myself, I will re-enact the pattern of behaviour which have support the whole program of manners and etiquette. 

I commit myself to stop looking at children as lesser or inferior than me - in any way - and realise and understand what I need to do to become equal and one with children: wherein I understand that children are no one’s "property" so that, for example, if and when I engage with children I stop all fears of the parents or the system, which are related to the belief that children are someone’s property and that in my interaction I have to take into account that how I interact with the child might not be accepted by the parent.

I commit myself to stop my manipulation in how I manipulate the world around me to satisfy myself interest because that is what I do with children, and sabotage them into accepting the world as is, just like I have been sabotaged into my self-limitations and thus I realise the gift that children present by asking questions and triggering our acceptances and respond to this gift by investigating who I am and stopping all patterns that are raised within this. 

I commit myself to support children by guiding them on the principle of equality and what is best for all, and within that I create gentleness and reflection to ensure that I am catching all patterns that I have accepted as valid in teaching and I do so by incorporating the child as equal in the process of guidance.

I commit myself to communicate with children from my body where all bodily functions are one and equal as I walk my process where I move myself from the mind to the body as operative imperative through which I express myself in self-expression and by doing so I become the role model of equality for children.

I commit myself to communicate with children through living words - in that I talk with children as self-expression - as I learn to stand as equal to all life.
[Continue reading...]
 
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