Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance


Should I sit or stand
mi caah bother
speak well
look well
be well
you are your own master.
hustle
hustle 
hustle
got to stay in the race.
to be a tough rock or a tender grass
"oh what a rat race, yeah!"

"Got to be true to myself" - 
but be like everyone else. yes?
Got to get up 
when told
so people will see
that I am good at taking orders.
I will be free but maybe...
maybe to much freedom is dangerous?

I must cry!
I must scream!
I must set the place on fire!
I must whisper or whimper
Spit my Seething displeasure
vomit up howling disappointments.
Be calm and say nothing - 
remain respectful
all the time...

I am hurt
healed
I am a monster
beautifully made
imagined
real
blinded by a light
that makes me see
clearly.

regurgitated slugs hang suspended
mouth ready to devour
spare a prayer...

scabs at all stages
congealed
across picket lines...

Ineffable
incandescent beauty
illuminates Gossamer
A web of lies
fleeting 
like a butterfly's fragile wings.

"Oh what tangled webs we weave"
until we have no silks to hypnotize
but regrets borne from grieve.


Pretty Lies, Ugly Truths, You Choose.

We all care about he aesthetics of things. Though we are often told that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, we all like to be surrounded by things we and society deem beautiful, even lies. In many instances we have allowed ourselves to be led, to see false narratives as the truth, untainted, because it pleases “me” to do so. We are quick to see beauty in things that have been made to look so, an optical illusion that hides many many ugly truths. The truth is too real and too painful for too many and so many are willing to cover it, stifle it or kill it in order to live lives of lies. We accept the unspoken rule that some things should never be spoken because they are unpleasant and too many turn away from the ugliness right in front of us to stare at mirages that spring from our imagination.

Lies become beautiful, seemingly harmless nuggets that attract the sensibilities and lull us into a false and piteous sense of security. You see lies hold prominence because so many want to be convinced of them, they want to hold tight to them and so they are whispered time and time again until they are in grained in many psyches. However, they are fools gold that rust easily when correctly challenged but many of us are not brave enough to look the ugly truth in the eyes – many of us would not survive such exposure. This of course does not stop many from flirting with those lies, because they are so tempting, many reflecting and aligning with many of our desires.

So, on one tables lies a buffet of tempestuous lies, disguised as very tempting morsels that will delight the palette and beside this are only the bitter pills of truth that may hurt and cause acid reflux; Which will you choose. Whether we spread them or we believe them sometimes lies are hard to reject because they have become the basis for how we exist in this world. Each day, each lie that we accept makes it less likely for us to understand how far we have sung in a web we may have helped weave to trap ourselves in. But, we must be willing to finally break free from that web, to be honest enough to see things for what they are and not what we always wished them to be. “The truth will set us free” they say. There is nothing more freeing than not living within the bounds of pretentious smiles and fake interests. From returning the cult membership of being on trend with the lies we tell ourselves because we want to fit in somehow.

Now, what will you choose? Will you choose to embrace those pretty lies that may lead to more complications down the road – but not right now of course – or, truths that paint a realistic picture with all the gore and grime that lies never truly erase, but instead covers for consumption later, much later? Each day we have a choice to make, to go along to get along or be the truthsayer and disrupt those false narratives.

Dream…

Dream

Close your eyes
close it tightly.
tighter
a little tighter -
now dream.
Dream of the happiness you want more of.
Now dream.
Dream of the you you want to be
because it can be
not because you wished upon a star.
Now dream.
Dream about the things you have to do
things that need doing
things you were meant to be doing.
But these are not fantasies.
Not lost in another reality.
These are real buds
buds that just need to be pruned - 
watered with real tears
real blood.
They will grow and flourish 
but only because you made them so.

So dream
dream of peace, love and prosperity - 
not of this word but really real
fully ready to be plucked
really ready.

when the leaves have fallen
rotting all around.
When the musky scent of that refuse
assaults your sense
dream.
dream of a spring blooms a=with blossomed hope
true.
Wait for it.
Wait for the lazy summer days.
Days when you can fully reap the harvest - 
pluck miracles out of your baskets.
Dream, wider than your reach and hold them
to your bosom.
Let those dreams flow everywhere
bringing you to life
keeping you alive
fueling your very soul.

But  
never stop dreaming.
fight against the disease of dreamlessness.
a gangrene triumph that eats away slowly
 at the core of your essence. 

It’s Fun to Generalize.

I think we enjoy generalizing, because it’s fun.

It is also easy to do and therefore we are more tempted to do so than not. If we had to take the time to consider and admit that “everyone doesn’t do the same thing”s, not “everyone think s the same way” and not “everyone care about the same things”, then we would have less of a concrete argument for some of the assumptions that we have.

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It may seem that I am pointing the finger, and I am. However, it may comfort you to know that it is also pointed at me too, because we have all done this (or am I generalizing?). Sometimes we do it subconsciously and sometimes we are very deliberate about it. When we do not want to consider that there may be another side or some other reasonable explanation we sweep all doubts aside by generalizing. At this point we are unwilling to listen and we don’t care much about the truth.

So, we go around, sometimes not knowing that we are the hosts to faulty and over generalization, until we are forced to unmask it hiding within us. By that time, as is often the case, we have caused some direct or indirect damage to those who have to content with these generalization, because they have developed into prejudices and discrimination. And poor us for not knowing that using those sweeping generalization would result in a language of hate and sentiments of division and “othering”.

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Also, can you imagine thinking that because someone is from a specific place or does a specific job, that you are better than they are. Only to find out, years later, that while you have been dangling on your last shoe string, they have been happily and successfully going about their business. That’s the irony of life, when we get caught up in the lies that have become truths in society. Many miss out on the opportunities because of what they thought of a place or of “certain” people!

I came across this quote and I think it is something that we all need to think on:

we cannot all become geniuses [and] we cannot all reach the same level.

The Joke’s on You:

I was talking to a friend who asked a students a while ago, how he would feel if he and the garbage collector got the same pay, if he was able to get the material things we’re told to aim for, such as the best car, a grand house and so on. The student was adamant that he would not accept that, because he and the garbage collector should not be getting the same pay, because he is more academically gifted. But then my friend also made the point that some bright or even brilliant sparks who look down on persons with technical skills, will never achieve as much as those persons. He further made the point that the act of looking down on persons for perceived shortcomings could be their way of addressing their own sense of inferiority.

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Sometimes in generalizing we feed the us- versus- them complex. With this complex people are vilified, and their very complex and real problems are distorted because we refuse to accept that everything is not black or white. No one is completely good or bad and often times the most interesting accept to a person, and the part we need to pay attention to the most are the grey areas. However, many dismiss the possibility of grey areas in favor of half the truth or no truth.

These ideas are supported all around us. in the exchanges that people have on a daily basis. We see it in the archetypal, good guy versus bad guy. Then we perpetuate these beliefs in our interactions with others. We look for certain signs and wonders and deem those to tell the story of who a person is, until we are presented with a puzzle. But instead of interrogating our beliefs we deem it an anomaly and continue along in our faulty assumptions and generalizations.

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But, we should also never forget that while we may not make generalizations about ourselves we buy into them. Based on how we look, what we have achieved and where we are from, we have accepted and live out a certain image of who others may think we are.So, not only are we prone to generalizing others, we also can become co-conspirators of our own generalization, without realizing the damage it has done to us.

I think that is why I love novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech, “The Dangers of a Single Story”, so much. It was listening to this speech that make me really question what I do not know about people and places. And while there is much that I still do not know or understand, at least I am more aware of this. Therefore, when I hear about such things as Ebola, I do not assume that all Africa is affected and when I hear about Haiti, I do not only visualize temporary tent camps. Live is complex because people are complex and you can never fully represent everything that is life and every person in your telling, even in a story that involves them. There isn’t enough time to consider all the facets of a person or situation and you can never fully complete the story of someone’s life. Something will always be missing.

While it is hard to prevent ourselves from always generalizing people places or a situation, we should never accept those information as the truth. We should never be complacent in making authentic the injustice of reducing someone’s humanity to a single idea. A single fable.

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Who Can We Trust?

It is increasingly difficult to answer this question. However, trusting anyone is a risk you will have to take. If you want to form strong and lasting relationships, you have to trust everyone.

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No two persons are the same and everyone carries around ideas of what is best for them. Therefore, we cannot think that at all times we can rely on everyone.

I was briefly apart of a discussion about two recent incidents recently, one a murder suicide and the other a murder of a woman. In both instances the men were the perpetrators. In the discussion the question of whether or not you can really know someone came up. Can you really vouch for everyone you trust and do you really know everything about them?

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At the end of the day we each have to decide who to trust: just make sure that you are trusting the right person with the right thing and for the right reasons.

I think the greater question too is, what can you trust people with. There are many different things that we value, can we trust everyone with them?

While we cannot trust everyone with everything, we can choose who we trust with what. You need to know enough about someone to determine what you can trust them with. If someone threatens you or abuses you, can you trust with your life? If someone is careless with their possessions, can you trust them with your own? If someone never or hardly ever make time for you until they want something, can you trust them with your friendship? If you try to speak everything into being but never act, can you trust yourself with your dreams?

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Blame The Game

Blame means responsibility for something bad or something that has gone wrong. The thing or person blamed always comes out looking bad and voila, you become the victim – poor you.

It’s easy to point the finger at someone or something else. Not only does it get us off the hook but it makes it easier for us to walk away from the mess we actually make.

Let’s Cast The Net wide…

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So, today a lot of us make the most of the blame game and can find a thousand reasons why things are not the way they should be. You’re not where you want to be, then you had a rough childhood, nobody loved you, no one helped you or you did not get enough time to do whatever you wanted to do.

Then there is the more ridiculous: you have a headache you blame the weather. You’re in a bad mood, someone put you in a bad mood, or you eat too much and naturally you may put on some unwanted weight, what do you do? You blame the food for tasting too good! Also, you are late, you blame the traffic, even though you got up late and did not leave out in time.

There are many ways in which we try to blame others for why things may be going wrong in our past or present situations.

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The fact is when you do this, you do not address the real elephant in the room. You.

I’m sure sometimes we do not realize we are doing it, because it has become so common place. Let’s say you make a mistake. Instead of acknowledging that you did and try to correct it, you may spend a couple of minutes trying to explain why you made the mistake. Also, that why could have a longer time than a couple of minutes, and actually waste everybody’s time!

But consider if you keep doing this, you cannot escape you and whatever problems you face now from doing this will only get worse.

Instead of casting the blame for you mess, stick around and clean it up.

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It Gets Real Ugly

Well today was the day to smell some ugly truths – not very rosy at all!

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The smell of reality, you may call it. It was a reminder that some people, irrespective of who they are can be really ugly in their intentions. I was reminded how dishonest some are and that people can really fool you, if you let them.

With a smile, a kind word and a gentle voice, they can lull you and then rob you blind; this is something that can be traumatic for us trusting souls. You can live your life being the world’s most optimistic persons alive, but there are some people who will always try to steal your joy and tempt your ugly out of hiding.

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But the ugly truth is, not everyone who stands by you, will be for you. Some are just there for the show and you know this because when the games up, it’s back to regular programming. They leave for a five minutes intermission they take lasts for five months or more – depending on whether the mood strikes to be a casual observer. It may be a hard pill to swallow – and some may even choke trying to deny it but there it is. We may do good things and choose our friends with some amount of self interest in mind -whether consciously or unconsciously. We just need to know what we will tolerate in the relationships we pursue.

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Do you think this is true?

We have to evaluate our own intentions, but remember that while you are doing this, someone you are blind to, will be ready to make use of your distractions. Then again are there any pretty truths – who knows! After all the truth is the truth no matter how you spin it.

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Remember, bad things will always happen to us, life is not a fairy tale – I mean, we should all know this by now. Its all a part of Murphy’s law: any thing that can go wrong, will go wrong. But when it does, it’s hard to remember that things will get better; and when they do get better, we then forget that something else may fall a part. Life is a beautiful thing!

The ugly we experience and the ugly inside of each of us, will not always last- this is only if we don’t want it to last.

We should not always expect people to say good things behind our backs – that was the day you were born and will be the day you die. Also, people will not only be dishonest with you but also with themselves. And while you’re at it, remember that people will disappoint you, especially those closest to you, just don’t let your emotions rule the day and kill meaningful relationships. You see, people drift in and out of your life and that’s OKAY, that does not define the kind of that they are and that you are.

If we are willing to embrace the reality of life, then when we are faced with the ugly truths, our world will not crumble around us.

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