Can you find true inspiration on social media?

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#Goals

As a writer, inspiration has always been something I chased after. Ever since I can remember I’ve been searching for it everywhere.

It started as a child with the usual people watching, which shouldn’t surprise you. People watching is an universally known trademark shared by all writers and philosophers. Deep thinker types. Not that I would describe myself as a deep thinker, but I wanted to be thought of as a deep thinker.

I was the quiet child, buried behind a pile of books, peeking over once in while to watch the commotion of life happening around me. My mind somewhere between these two worlds. I liked it that way. If my life was halfway into fiction, it couldn’t ever get so bad, could it?

Around the time everyone’s life gets a little more tumultuous, I found the most amazing thing ever. You could people watch without even leaving your bed. From then on, I was obsessed. In every way possible I wanted to catch a glimpse of other people’s stories.

I became part of a tight knit community of french bloggers. Everyone shared their lives openly, it was this great never ending story that I could read every day. It didn’t take long before I did the same. My life was a great never ending story too. It went on for a couple years before the site shut down.

At that time, social media wasn’t a thing yet. Facebook was barely on the map, it certainly wasn’t popular. (yes I’m that old)

When the time came to choose a path for my life, I naturally turned to psychology. I’d be a psychologist. I didn’t want to just see people’s lives unfold before me, I craved to be let in. I always wanted to help people but those who had the courage to bare their soul especially. I knew that’s where true inspiration had to be. In those instants of connection with another human being that is just doing that, being human.

Good stories are based on what happens when the masks come off, aren’t they?

It turns out, faced with the raw unedited life stories of people who suffered so much that they forgot they could be anything other than vulnerable, I couldn’t bare it.

Yes, I have a degree in psychology that I don’t use. I don’t want to see firsthand day in and day out that life is much worse than fiction. 

What then? Is there inspiration to be found elsewhere?

Have you ever searched for true inspiration?

These days, it seems that everyone is searching for it in the wrong places.

People watching has turned into going through facebook feeds, instagram posts, youtube vlogs.

The possibility to connect to each other as humans and get inspired is greater now than it has ever been.

The need for inspiration is also at an all time high it seems.

The infinite supply of people from all walks of life sharing their lives with the world, from gamers, food bloggers, artists, activists, nomads, fashionistas, fitness models (the list could go on forever) wouldn’t exist without a demand.

You and I, or any human really will always look up to those who are at the end of the road we are searching for.

As if connecting our own story to theirs will somehow get us there faster.

It could and it should but the line between inspiration and distraction is blurry. At least, it is for me.

I’m sure I’m not the only one stuck on a quest for inspiration, only to get caught up in having so many #goals that none of them are bound to happen.

Social media is great to feel inspired, not so much to actually, you know, do things.

Do you agree or disagree?

I’d love to know your thoughts on the topic.

 

Live=evil?

Everywhere I turn, it seems that humans have it backwards. This morning I feel the need to ask you, do you live or do you evil?

I’m largely an optimist and I believe that most people are inherently good. However I can’t go a single day without being faced with the fact that everyone around does evil at least three times a day.

How does that work?

Evil people do evil. Good people do good. As a kid, we learn that there’s good guys (heroes) and bad guys (villains). You are one or the other.

As we grow up we realize it isn’t quite like that. Or maybe this is news to you. Either way, I’m here to bring you:

The psychology of evil

If you don’t have time to watch a video, I’ll sum it up for you. Good people can easily be swayed into doing evil. 

Yes, you. Yes, me. Even more so can we watch passively as people do terrible things.

I read about holocausts, the einsatzgruppen during WWII, saw the horrible movies (I literally had a class titled The Holocaust in which all we did was read/watch/study material about it). I studied social psychology for years. I knew all about the psychology of evil, Zimbardo’s Standford Prison Experiment, Milgram’s study. Yet, I participated in the largest scale Holocaust in the history of humanity during this whole time.

I didn’t even know it was happening. More accurately, I didn’t know it was an holocaust.

It is still ongoing, pretty much everyone I love is actively involved in it.

It is a criminal offense in many countries to deny the WWII Holocaust. It is however normal to deny the largest ongoing Holocaust of all times in ALL countries.

Why?

Because it is an animal holocaust.

Not only is it normal to deny it but it is controversial to say it exists in the first place.

Comparing human suffering to animal suffering can be considered an insult.

In a world where it is easy for humans to be swayed into torturing, humiliating and even killing other humans, do other animals stand a chance?

In Stanford’s prison experiment, it took normal college students less than a week to start causing severe distress to their own colleagues. This was in a situation with no prior existing oppression.

Animals are brought into a world in which the entire population is taught from birth to disregard them. Most animals are born solely to be killed. That says it all.

This is a fact that most people can easily live with. Society has built an entire system to make sure we know that we should be okay with it. It is what social psychologist Melanie Joy calls carnism.

The day I ceased to be a carnist, I became a deviant.

I would argue that you don’t become vegan the day you decide to forego all animal products. You truly become one the first time you maintain your decision in a social situation. The kicker is you have to do it all over again every day of your life.

To me, being vegan is Zimbardo’s idea of heroism x 365 until you die. Heroes are ordinary people who have learned to be deviants. People who act when others are passive.

It will always be uncool and controversial to go against social norms.

Standing up for what is right means standing alone, away from the crowd.

If you are not ready to, think about it, which choices do you have?

As for myself, after looking in the mirror and seeing that I EVIL I had to make a change.

Again, I have to ask you, do you live or do you evil?

You will never be ready

Here I was, waiting with my soapy hands. Exasperated.

“No! I’m not ready!”

For the fifth time, I tried to coaxed her.

“It’s time to wash your hair. You can play as much as you want after.”

She kept ignoring me.

As it turns out, 3 year olds are really bad at delayed gratification. If you have kids you probably already know this.

I stayed quiet for a while. Looking at her and searching for the perfect thing to say, it hit me.

You will never be ready. 

More so, will never be ready.

 If you never get to hang around kids, I tell you, you should. Kids are a sobering mirror to look into.

I have been a nanny for over 6 months now and it only occurred to me last week, I am no better than a 3 year old child.

In fact, if your answer is yes to any of the following questions, you are in the same boat my friend.

Have you given up on your new years’ resolutions already?

Have you ever checked instagram or facebook for hours in the last week?

Maybe you are better than me, which I hope for your sake. This post is for the rest of the population who, like me, are constantly fighting with their 3 year old inner child screaming “I’m not ready!”

We all have dreams. Few of us have projects. Fewer of us have finished projects.

Even if you are successful and a typical go-getter, it is likely that there is at least one thing you’ve been putting off. Who doesn’t?

We all know it comes down to priorities. If you don’t do something it’s simply that you’re not ready to do it.

Deep down we want our dreams to come true. For some elusive reason, we’ve decided that we’re not ready to go after them.

So like a child, we play with our toys, screaming at the top of our lungs “I’m not ready!”

That was me for the past 25 years. This is still me.

I’m never going to be one of these people who preaches, pretending to have it all figured out.

To be honest with you, I’ve been trying to finish this post for the last 3 weeks. The fight with my inner child is real. 

The point of it all is, we will never be ready.

This year I’m doing everything I’m not ready for. I hope you will do the same and come on this journey with me.

In the end, I washed her hair while she played with her toys. She didn’t even notice.

Don’t get me wrong, you will get exasperated, frustrated, impatient and will want to give up but it’s worth it.

You can’t give up and let your 3 year old rule you.

*picture courtesy Christian Schnettelker http://www.manoftaste.de/