I must start off by saying that I’m sorry if this post may offend anyone. I just simply want to write out my thoughts. If there’s one lesson to be learned from my program, it’s that more often than not, we, as society, associate problems to the inherent nature of that person. For instance, we see bullies as people who are: mean, rude, aggressive, etc. How about prisoners? Every day we hear gruesome stories on the news about how a man has killed their entire family, or that a man had brutally murdered 15 prostitutes and buried them on his farm. I am not denying the fact that they should be punished, but perhaps it’s the way the media portrays it. The media simply portrays the gruesome acts. There is more to their story than just the killings. We shouldn’t just be focusing on what they did… but rather what happened in their life to lead them to that point. What were the the factors that led them ultimately to where they are today? What’s their life story?
I must admit that I am one of those people who automatically link the problem to that person. Today we had a guest lecture come in to talk about the Aboriginals. Anyways, this woman was so well spoken, and so inspiring, it made me think twice about the Aboriginal culture and the people. Their culture is so deep and meaningful, but unfortunately, it seems these days that perhaps the “wise” are the exception. The few encounters I have had with Aboriginals have not left me seeing them in a very positive light. When I do have an encounter with them, I see them on or near train stations, who more often than not, have had a few drinks. But what the guest lecture said today really resonated with me. And this can be applicable to other aspects. It may not be the drinking that is the true issue, but rather, the drinking is merely a symptom of another problem; and with the Aboriginals, the problem is oppression. For hundreds of years, they have been looked down upon, and treated without respect. And as a result of this, perhaps drinking was the only way they knew how to alleviate that oppression.
As with this example, perhaps we are too quick to assume that the problem is because of the person. “Oh, that person is an alcoholic” or “Oh, that person is a bully because he’s naturally aggressive and likes to pick on people”. But the one thing we don’t know is the underlying root cause of that issue. We may be too quick to judge. And maybe the reason why we inherently link it to the person is because it’s a ‘quick fix‘. If we link it to the person, then there’s nothing else we can do. “They’re just the way they are because that’s who they are” rather than taking the time to understand their life story… to see what they’re worth for who they are… to understand what they have been through that has gotten them there in the first place.
Because it’s easier to change the person than to change society/environment as a whole, and as a result, we take the easy way out, and change the person. Unfortunately, all this only leads to a downward spiral.