The Sound of Silence
Updated: Sep 26, 2021
My crude social media experiment was a success. The raw data from my very unofficial, no business doing it, study, shows that my hypothesis, is quite accurate.
I deleted the social posts used to gather information, as it was clear that so many have been in fear for too long and are unable to hear someone in the middle, making a point about kindness. I'm all for asking hard questions but I don't need to expose myself to misinterpretation, when we are so prone to it, as a society right now.
What I saw in the results:
1. A person's position on the current collective issue we are facing, determined how they read into my non-existent position. It proved my point and it is where the danger lies.
2. I lost a few followers, confirming to me that my message of ‘be kind’ passed through their fear-based filters and was read as something else. (oh don't worry, I got a lot more followers too.)
3. The rest of you, needed to hear the message. You needed affirmation of what you were seeing and that you are not crazy for feeling how hard this is and how bad it is getting.
From comments I could find on the posts of those who shared part 1 on their own social media, it seemed that those who are 'pro-v' at all human cost, were the ones that projected the strongest. Those who are anti-v, felt the most relief, assuming that I was taking their side. But I had a limited view on that, so I cannot be conclusive.
The reality is that I took no side.
I am vaccinated.
I wear a mask.
I also hate the rules.
I hate what they have done to my friend's and family's lives, security and life savings. ( I don't like what they have done to mine either, as someone that had just rebuilt her life after losing everything in 2017, it has been extra devastating)
My moral compass believes that it is a human right to choose what goes into our bodies.
My moral compass is in conflict with what appears to be the greater good.
My moral compass also wants to serve the greater good.
This conflict, exacerbated by the last 18 months that have already happened, and watching loved ones lose jobs because they are afraid something could hurt them, puts us all in moral duress. We are now also vulnerable to a moral injury, which can cause PTSD. (Which is where my anger flows below, into the irresponsible language and context used by leadership in the last 18 months. At this point, in their position of power, to not be trauma informed is a choice. What you are not changing, you are choosing)
End of the day, for all of 'feelings' I feel every day, I am unsure of what is 'right'. I'm not sure 'right' is even a thing at this point.
What I do believe for sure, is that this could have been done better. And if we have any hope of doing it better next time, then mistakes need to be recognized and accounted for, and then we need to move on.
I think that no matter who and what is 'right', that our leaders have done a non-job of managing the humanity at risk. The language, the enforcement, the distribution of support, was poor. It lacked wisdom. Wisdom was nowhere.
And no, I don't think anyone would have done this perfectly.
I think what is clear, is that our leaders are not informed on some key levels. Old school strategies being implemented on evolved new school problems is always a disaster.
It was painfully clear that the majority of leadership in this country, lack basic trauma-informed psychological strategies, they lack true knowledge of mental health. You cannot tell me that in this day and age, in the state of our society, that those things are not incredibly important. Language and context is everything.
And please, please do your best to understand that I am not saying that 'what' happened, and the 'rules' were wrong, or that they should have been different - because the truth is that no one knows that for sure.
I am speaking on the level of humaneness. I am saying that when leaders use the language of a triggered 7 year old that wants to blame someone else, they create division, they fuel all of the bullying going on, they escalate it. We are at a place now where that kind of immaturity has no place in leadership. If there is a modern day objective accountability to be had, it lies there.
In other words, the whole system is out of date. The research done in all the fields of humanity mentioned above, in the last 15 years, contradicts how they have led.
I think that is the problem.
The OS of politic’s needs 20 years-worth of updates.
Who are we kidding, tho. We know there are no updates left for that operating system.
Had they employed cutting edge research in psychology and trauma, in the execution of lockdowns, in language choice, in guiding the public conversation, the way they did with vaccinations and ventilators, it would not be so messy.
We can't change what has happened now - but, even right now - our leaders could take a one day seminar on this and find a better language and extinguish at least some of the hate out there right now. When millions of people's minds and hearts are at stake, creating psychological safety should be on par with creating restrictions and lockdowns.
This screenshot here, from Adam Grant's book "Think Again" describes the better way perfectly. (and the subject has whiteout, my sister is responsible for the clever artwork to ensure delivery past our triggers and filters)
and if you know me, then you know there is something else that I can't say enough:
Is it all complex? Yes. Was it ever meant to be so god-damn complicated? No.
And that's the problem. We never were rocket science, we just pretended we were. Why? because when you complicate something, when you confuse the matter and tangle it all up, you can make endless money and ego fuel, solving a problem that was never there. The massive scam that is the nutrition and wellness industry is the best example of this that I can describe. (see other articles and blogs for that)
If you plan to say anything further about the current state of this pandemic shitshow and you want to be of service to humanity, then say these kinds of things. Don't post another one-sided logic meme that makes your ego feel like 'you showed them'. 🤢 please. stop that.
If you are going to hold anyone accountable, then campaign for a trauma-aware society, for a trauma-informed government.
In the case of Manitoba, look at the average age of the people making decisions. They went to school a long time ago, they are leading a young generation through a pandemic with very outdated strategies. Vote for younger leaders next time. Or, for an older one that says wise things and is clearly trauma aware. Both are equally suitable.
Read Adam Grant's book "Think Again," read Gabor Mate's book 'When the Body says No", google Brene Brown and listen to her for 5 minutes, find her documentary on Netflix. If you need some real parenting strategies based on current neurobiology, read 'Hold on to your kids' by Gordon Neufeld. Do you feel older things inside you, a saboteur and patterns that hold you back? Try "Women who run with the wolves". Pick three of those, read them, everything will change. When our perception of our reality changes, our reality changes. Don't blame me for that one, blame the universe that current neuroscience research is helping us to finally understand.
I am writing all of this for everyone, I refuse to dehumanize any one, no matter their stance.
You’re angry, I know. So am I.
You’ve probably never felt so much internal combustion in your life. Good. If you can master your anger and simultaneously not dehumanize another person, that anger can turn you into a superhero.
The rage does not mean you’re crazy, it means you are human and that you are watching a select few f@ck it up for the rest of us. And actually, you have been watching that your whole life. The rage inside of you is not unjustified. HOWEVER. Projecting it onto someone else that feels the exact same thing on the inside, but has a different ‘side’ or position, they project it from, is not justified. You’re both just kicking your own ass back into the prison of all of our unprocessed pain and fear.
Emotional intelligence is key for humanity to move forward without destroying each other. For example, posing the strategy in this beautiful meme below, might be part of the answer for you.
Or, in different words, as I said in one of the posts mentioned above, on this:
It is so hard to speak to people right now, they assume you are either for or against them. It is difficult for a brain that has been on a steady diet of stress, moral panic and virtue-signalling, to comprehend that you might be kind to them no matter what your personal views are. (Which is, again, why I took the social posts down.)
Do I have some personal feelings on some of the issues? Sure. Everyone does. Do I think that my view of them is 'right' and everyone else is 'wrong'? Nope, I don't. What I understand on a deep level is that if you don't know how to hold your own angst and resist dehumanizing someone that does not agree with you, you've already lost - you are already wrong. My plan, and intent, is to win.
If you’ve read my other writing you know that I keep proving over and over that it is all the same. What has happened to our food supply and our health, same. How feminism has ultimately failed, same. How inequality and discrimination have been painted over by systems, programs and policies, only to go underground and come back up bigger and stronger than before: in the clever disguise of an “algorithm” – an algorithm that has segregated us into involuntary cliques on social media according to presumed preferences, same. (oh that hit, hey? I know.)
The biggest con of all, that encapsulates everything that is hurting in this world right now, everything that is scary right now, is the con that made us believe that we have no power as individuals. We actually have all the power. It's called money and it's called time & attention.
Did you know that a dollar is a voting ballot in disguise?
Every. Single. Dollar. YOU. Put. Down. is a vote for the world you are choosing to know, and the world you want to live in.
The better answers we are looking for exist – but – to find our way to them, we have to start with a different question. We have to connect back to the power we have. As all the old wise cliches go, we start with ourselves.
and at this magnificent and scary moment in time of human evolution, we have a choice. To dehumanize, or not to dehumanize.
“Where is the line? Is there a line in the wilderness between what behaviour is tolerable and what isn’t? The reward may be great, but do I have to put up with someone tearing me down or questioning my actual right to exist? Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? The answer is yes.” - Brene Brown
I always say that freedom of speech and our “right to an opinion” ends where bullying begins. For bullies to operate they must first dehumanized their victim.
This is the plague on social media and at the doorway of businesses, right now. This is bad for our health. Even just witnessing it is bad for our health.
If you’re struggling with watching what feels like half the world, dehumanize each other, this article by Brene Brown, on dehumanizing, will help.
Get yourself the perspectives you need to stay calm in the chaos. Arming yourself with the explicit intent to not dehumanize regardless of anyone else's big feelings, is empowering.
I mentioned some great perspectives above already. Start reading Rumi, listen to Simon and Garfunkle. You might like some of my other blogs, such as "How Feminism F'd up" (on equality) or some of my articles on Linkedin: "Exposing Corporate Wellness" (on healthcare) or "The Three Wise Women". (on resisting racism)
At some point, all of the truth spoken by these modern day prophets, sages and wild souls, that I have mentioned, will build up to a resonance strong enough to help us get back to our essence, and then we will remember. We just need to remember because we already know these things. We just need some help knocking down the walls that our culture, upbringing and life experiences, built around them.
I'm not saying anything new, I'm saying all things old. These thoughts and insights are not mine, they are ours, we just need to remember them.
When you start voting, with your time, attention, dollars, and your choice to not dehumanize another person, the world changes.
It's always darkest before the dawn.
Hello darkness, my old friend:
Sonia Funk is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Corporate Wellness Strategist. She has travelled the world as both student and teacher, gathering as many perspectives as she could and trying her best to integrate them all. She doesn't have all the answers, but she's pretty sure she has damn good questions.
Sonia has just released a new Corporate Wellness-Recovery Series called "Food and your Mood" and she is now accepting individuals back into her practice. She currently has a Wellness Coaching Program for Women and for Execs & Leaders. You can sign up for her email list at the bottom of the page at this link, to get the details on new programs coming up.