On Twitter, Orange is the color used to raise awareness of the campaign to end violence against women around the globe (https://goo.gl/Co2oIQ
). It is strange that, so far into our technological evolution, when we are openly thinking of the practicalities of colonizing Mars (https://goo.gl/cJ118u
) and our media is exploring the question (https://goo.gl/rXyEf2
) and looking at some of the obstacles (https://goo.gl/HflRMU
), we still find it difficult to deal with what amounts to approximately half the population on the planet without resorting to violence (https://goo.gl/t0FL1R
As you probably guessed the causes of something so pervasive and persistent are multi-factorial (https://goo.gl/g0AC2W
). That means that dealing with it is a complex task that travels right down to the roots of our gender-based identity (https://goo.gl/9oEeKd
). Because it often stems from a basic drive it is hard to deal with logically (https://goo.gl/Mqln0z
). Yet, when there are entire nations where to be a woman who is pretty and young is to be unsafe (https://goo.gl/V0NczR
) and when violence against women becomes culturally systematized (https://goo.gl/ULpDpS
) we need to find the strength of reason necessary to address a change that must, also impact, the question of who we are designed to be (https://goo.gl/qeCA1C
) and what we want ourselves to next become: https://goo.gl/cJYdQr
Taking charge of ourselves, becoming better versions of who we are is part of our ability to understand ourselves and reprogram the ‘software’ that guides us to become both different and better: https://goo.gl/u0r3f7
. That is not an easy task. It requires a deep awareness of where it is exactly that we fail (https://goo.gl/I7I4ja
) and then find the pathways that lead us to making better choices: https://goo.gl/uuZDuh
. More than that, it requires the conscious cultivation of soft skills like empathy and emotional intelligence: https://goo.gl/g2XH5j
. The acceptance that it’s harder to be non-violent than its opposite and yet more desirable (https://goo.gl/sU4rYI
) if we truly want to reach the future.
When women contribute to such a massive extent (https://goo.gl/uK45jY
) in just about anything you care to imagine (https://goo.gl/AxWVDm
), a fact we acknowledge more and more (https://goo.gl/8qv0QD
) the question often becomes how can we then, as a species, be truly smart? Develop skills and approaches that give us a headstart when it comes to actually curbing the worst excesses of our primitive behavioral drives? (https://goo.gl/28W0QX
As so often with issues looked at on this column, the struggle is between the ancient self residing in us, the un-nuanced caveman who looks at a massive threatening world and despite his own fragility and short life span, dares to think “it can be mine” and the beings we are today who are more nuanced, more aware and perhaps more fragile than ever before.
In successfully navigating this mine field of the self the tools, again, are familiar: awareness and knowledge (https://goo.gl/6DVLO4
), coupled to a willingness to take charge of who we are (https://goo.gl/3ThzpS
) and use our superior tools of social connectivity to not just work smarter but also think smarter (https://goo.gl/mpTRBL
Can we truly have it all? (https://goo.gl/OCI02S
) Can we become who we aspire to be or are we doomed forever to fall short? Michael Kimmel argues that our rethinking of the issue can lead to some surprising mutual gains (https://goo.gl/IEldqQ
) that elevate us all.
That actually is one of the deepest issues we have to date. The still disconcerting lack of awareness that in an interconnected world our personal gain is intimately tied to that of others, that zero-sum games work only in silos where we compete for limited resources against entities every bit as constrained in their thinking as us. In the open, connected world of today our fears are almost always predicated upon imaginings on things we don’t quite understand and our wins almost always come from our ability to get past the outer limits of our comfort zones and reach out and connect.
We are all designed by evolution to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. The mental circuits that process figurative discomfort, for reasons of evolutionary economy of scale, are the same as the ones that process physical discomfort (https://goo.gl/tGqKh
). So, here we are. Flawed in our fears and imaginings that the brain makes real for us (https://goo.gl/IU9Gfl
), caught up in real pain that stems from imagined ills, responding like apes caught up in a panic, when the present requires we become something different. Be different.
The very fact that we can real all this, think and respond bodes well on our ability to overcome, adapt and evolve. We may live in dark moments or even dark times but the future is brighter than we might surmise (https://goo.gl/ASBIQT
). We just need to embrace the discomfort and never stop striving.
I hope you didn’t just cop out and went for a minimalist approach to coffee, donuts, croissants, cookies and chocolate cake. With Christmas being not that far away right now it is important to have a routine that makes Sunday a truly special day. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are.