“Society makes us believe that homosexuality is a lot more common than it actually is…” or
“Society would have us believe that pornography is harmless when in reality it is a drug…” or
“Society has created gendered expectations that women play with dolls and boys play with blocks.”
When I was younger I remember thinking the word “society” was some evil person in Los Angeles working for Hollywood scheming up all the ways to make our world a terrible place. That person was responsible for gender inequality, promiscuity, pornography, and the attack on the family. He or she was also responsible for homophobia, racism, the wage gap, and white male privilege.
Darn society! I’m going to post on Facebook and tell everyone how terrible society is because that’s how I’m going to make a difference! (Ironically I’m writing a blogpost about this so…)
It’s not like there’s this entity out there that defines society. We define society, and only we can change the status quo.
In a world where Donald Trump is actually running for president, people are being shot senselessly, and #KimExposedTaylorParty is the most important thing on people’s minds, I have to remind myself that there is only so much I can control.
When these terrible things are happening, I want to ask, “what can I do?” My mind draws a blank, because all that I know how to do is write and sympathize. All that I know is to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to suffer half of the things that populations and groups of people are experiencing, but I can mourn with them.
I also know that I cannot blame “society” when we ARE society. I can’t help but think of the classic Ghandi quote of “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When I see society filled with despair and lack of hope, I see individuals struggling to see the good in the world.
As each of us individually changes our hearts slowly to mourn with others, listen to each other’s struggles, and love openly and nonjudgmentally, then maybe this “society” that we hate so much will actually start being a society that we want to live in.