Sunday, May 16, 2010

the culture of manipulation

how much of our identity is truly who we are, and how much is a product of experience?

i can really go off on a word rampage with this topic, but i'm going to try to stick with body image and how we perceive ourselves in general. excuse me while i play squash with my thoughts for awhile.

in our society, i find that there is so much geared towards "optimizing" who we are as a human being. this reminds me that the brain can be your best friend, or like an automatic firearm if lead astray.

be aware of your thoughts.

be kind to yourself.

i believe that who we are naturally is who we are supposed to be, and it's much of the outside influence that skews how we view ourselves and our expectations is where we tend to go wrong. it's bothered me for ages that we are, even if inadvertently, being taught to follow impossible standards.

set your own. awareness is your only defence against so many things in life.

don't get me wrong, i'm definitely not saying that we shouldn't always strive for excellence, but first we need to figure out what that is. it must be a healthy goal.

during our lifetimes, we are constantly bombarded with all kinds of information. whether we choose to be or not, it's there. even if you decided that you wanted nothing to do with this, packed up and moved away from everything.. soon enough, a blimp branded with some giant logo would float by and your plan would be foiled.

it's everywhere.

i see so much emphasis on beauty, not enough on health. physical and mental health go hand in hand, how can you have one without the other?

what would the world be like, if we were bombarded just as aggressively, but the general message was that health IS beauty? that being who you genuinely are is the most beautiful? you don't need any products for this..

oh, wait.. the money thing. okay. gotcha..

so, i've already stated that it's near impossible to avoid being constantly subjected to many different things specifically designed to manipulate you. even if you are perfectly aware of it, how do you know you're not being influenced, in one way or another? but i still stand by the fact that it's better to know about this manipulation. again, if you want to have any form of defence against it whatsoever, like with many things, being unaware won't help.

the lifelong journey to attain overall health starts in the mind. if you accept yourself first, i feel you are in a better position to make healthier choices that will lead to true happiness.

we are designed to evolve, and we should strive for excellence.. but please, live up to your own standards, and try to be aware of doing so. why live by standards that someone else creates for you?

yeah. no, thanks.

lastly, i just have to say that if our main focus was survival, i doubt we'd be so self-obsessed in general.. perhaps these issues are the product of too much comfort.