posted on Oct, 3 2015 @ 12:34 PM
I have not really read up on this particular event and person. Everytime there is one of these mass shootings though, I find myself thinking about the
way I found my culture influenced me to be so focused on the individual will, that I learned to ignore and cut myself off from the signals that are
less than conscious - in others, and myself. They are not what counts. The body language expresses desires and needs, but if the awareness of the
individual does not acknowledge and "own" them, it is useless to respond to them.
So I learned to ignore that part of the communication. (the metacommunication)
A few weeks ago I was struck by this when my grandaughter (who is four years old) got out the pool. It was time to eat, I wanted her out, everyone
else was getting out, but she was not happy about ending the pool play session and started crying and complaining. I was holding a towel, and offering
to wrap her up in it, and she was refusing saying she didn't want to.
I did what I usually did with my kids - they had a right to choose. Okay. You don't want to be wrapped up in the towel and dried? Fine. No problem.
*shrug* Your choice. I was often of the POV that (if the potantial consequences aren't too risky) that they'll learn there are consequences to their
choices, and it will teach them to think carefully before choosing this way.
My husband finally said, under his breath "She does want it, she's cold. Wrap her up."
I realized that even while she cried and said no, she was inching closer and closer to me, shivering - all her body language was saying, I want, I
need, your comfort and warmth and embrace. The wierd thing was, on a certain level, I was aware of that, but was putting it aside to focus on the
This provoked thought in me for days - not only how I will tend to ignore the non-verbal communication, but can become detached from my own - I say I
am fine, but don't feel so inside and my body probably expresses that. But my mind can get so wrapped up in it's judgement that I SHOULD feel fine,
that even I believe I am fine.
Luckily, I have a mate who is the opposite of I and tends to pay more attention to the body language than the words, and he actually brings my
awareness to my own internal states.
What I am trying to illustrate with that anecdote, is the problem of focus upon individual will and conscious awareness as the most valuable part of
who we are, which cuts off some of our awareness of our most basic physical and emotional needs as social animals.... and those of others!
Empathy finds it's source in these emotional and physical non-verbal exchanges. People who feel the need for bonding, acknowledgement, and sense of
belonging, but have beliefs that they should be independent, need no one, be completely self reliant (isn't that the ideal american?) can cut
themselves off from awareness of those needs and from others.
Regardless, the social animal within persists and exists, and often can end up submerged in the need for human contact and affection and
interdependence that is unfulfilled. Maybe more sugar and salt, caffeine and alcohol, can dull that cry in temporary ways, but yeah....I guess in some
cases, the social animal goes rogue.
My husband will be transporting Martin Scorsese in his checker cab at a festival in a couple of weeks, so we talked about the film "Taxi Driver" this
morning. The concept that a lonely and struggling person can become so eaten up by their need for recognition, respect, and love that they snap and
become warriors of justice in their own mind is something I think more of us would be capable of than we'd like to think. I suspect what we think is
just a part of who we are... and the other half is, in some cases, capable of a revolt and coup.