Be strong

There are many people who are being abused on a daily basis who don’t even realise it. When other people mention abuse, these people imagine the horrors of sexual and other physical forms of abuse, but it’s most pernicious form is psychological abuse. A large number of the people being psychologically abused think that either it is normal, or it is their fault, or they deserve it.

It is not normal for the people close to you to put you down, to undermine you, to attack you verbally or in any other way. It should not be normal for people in your wider circle to do so either. If they do this it is NOT because of you, it IS because of them. They have a problem, rather than dealing with that problem they are going to punish you.

Additionally, anyone who seeks to isolate and/or control you is abusing you. People who love you will support you and encourage you to live your own life as far as their self-confidence allows them to.

No one deserves to be undermined or abused in any way. But we all have to take responsibility for our own problems and actions, we need to be brave enough to reach out to other people when we need help. It is a very strong thing to do, to reach out and ask when you realise that you can’t solve your problems alone.

I wish you all that strength in those moments of self doubt, we are social animals, we are stronger together when we support each other. Jealousy and fear are what make us weak.

Happy And Healthy

So, I’m thinking the question is “what does a human being really need in order to have a happy and healthy life?”.

I’m guessing most people would include different things. But let’s start with the real basics like access to enough food to maintain health, and preferably a shelter that would protect from the worst vagaries of the local weather.

The question is what else do we actually need? I think we need people around us, to love, support and challenge us. I think we also need activities to give us a sense of purpose and usefulness. We need self respect and a small dollop of self reliance. We also need beauty, maybe human made, maybe nature.

For me, that covers pretty much everything. The interesting bit is how we go about meeting those needs. At the moment, in most industrialised societies, not all of those needs are being met. People are increasingly isolated, they interact with others via computers, missing out on the joys and challenges of face to face interaction. And like many skills, the less you do it, the less confidence you have in your ability to do it, so the more you avoid it.

People are a challenge, and a delight. A hug from a good friend is more health giving than a bushel of veggies or fruit (fresh veggies and fruit are very good for you). But, in Britain, my generation are pretty much the first generation that have not grown any fruit or vegetables as a matter of course, to supplement that which we buy. We have already lost many of the skills that previous generations took for granted.

The health giving virtues of growing your own, are not just contained in the goodness of the food, they also stem from the confidence, self respect and self reliance that comes from having done it yourself.

Having the skills and ability to build your own shelter, is another great confidence boost. I’m not suggesting that any one person should have all of every skill, this is why we need communities. We all have strengths in different areas, we need a community of people we can rely on, who can rely on us. So that between us we have most possibilities covered.

No one skill is more important than another, they all have their place… we need thinkers and planners and doers and makers: cooks; washers; diggers; builders; carvers; knitters; needle workers; gardeners; dreamers; story tellers; weavers; negotiators; the list is very long. Some people will have more than one skill, that still doesn’t make them more valuable. Hierarchy is a nasty, divisive way of thinking.

Mutual respect is much healthier. It needs to be part of the new story we are all trying to write for the future. We need a healthier, happier future. One with fewer unnecessary distractions and divisions in it. One where each one of us is valued as a whole human being.