Free flying minds.

By Isis Win

It is rather amazing and interesting when we assess our standards through the years. What we believe at age 20, may entirely change at 30 or 40. And it is not because we’ve changed that much. Of course we change through our experiences. We mature through our personal “testing” of things. But for the most part, we develop a new sense of judgement and set of criteria mostly based on the information we’ve gathered through all that time. Such information changes depending on several factors, such as the location  we live in, our background, the times we live in, our abilities to deal with all sorts of experiences and a few more.

But there is one factor that impacts our criteria much more: the filters we learn and develop through all that. Filters? This refers about how we process any information. For instance, Political Correctness is a filter. We learn about the results of our actions and how they can affect us in certain environments or situations. We learn it is a No – No to burn any bridges in life, that we should not, because even if we disapprove of something or somebody, we may end up needing that connection. Politeness is another filter that often comes along. We simply avoid volunteering our true opinion for the sake of not bothering someone. These two are an excellent example of how our perception and processing of information changes through aging.

In our early years, when adventuring into the hard times of the conglomerated(?) world, we realize that the diversity in our world broadens everything that we possibly ever imagined. We adjust by default and along with those adjustments, we change not only our approach to relating to it, but as well, our own opinions. However, we are more open-minded and free when young than before middle age.

Take, for instance, the Flower Generation. During the ’60’s and ’70’s, people under the age of 20 to 25 years old related to the world in a rebellious fashion. The Flower Generation challenged all established order and train of thought. That became almost two decades of freedom of thought and action to most of the youth.  But when we look at them since the ’80’s and beyond, their attitude changed, along their views. Instead of being open-minded, they adhered to the old fashion established order, almost like their previous generation. Their children grew with almost the same filters that the Flower Generation observed during their growing years. And in the same way, their children received opposition in regards of their concept of freedom of expression and action. Flower generation parents exert a quite similar muscle over their kids and the kids rebel against their control.

If we broadly summarize the ’70’s, we can say the minds of the youth opened not just a window, but all the doors to their perception and acceptance. Today, we can see that youth almost are as open as the Flower Generation. But this phenomena is not as radical and strong as it was then. Among them, openness remains in their personal world, while in the presence of the grown ups, they conform to what is expected from them. The ultimate effect of this is that freedom of mind is not moving along with the actual times.

As an example I want to cite homosexuality and the recent issues resulted from the public opinion in regards of either accepting and supporting it, or condemning it. The latter is the predominant force, but the interesting fact is, that for the most part, young people are able to remain unbiased to this. They are able to accept their gay friends and see them just like another human being. Of course, the rule of “exceptions to the rule” prevails. Nevertheless, the bullying of the ’50’s is not equivalent to today. Once again, this depending on location, social and educational status. Statistics show, in rural areas and the Mid-West, abuse and crimes of hate are more common than the rest of the country or cosmopolitan areas.

Today, even the hippies of the past are against Same Sex Marriage, gay couples’ adoption, removing the Don’t Ask policy for the military, homosexuality (but they act for the most part Politically Correct) and Transgenderism. We can see in many states where referendums were created to override these ankylosed concepts and attitudes, the referendums were overcome by the power of the ballots. In fact, it goes much beyond this. Several organizations gathered massive amounts of money to club the media with antagonistic propaganda. For instance, in CA, the conservative mainstream overwhelmingly won the Proposition 8 battle. The reason is rather simple: Gay and Transgendered groups are among the minority of the minorities. If the ballots would be skewed to represent correctly this problem, likely the results would be different. But not only is this is not the case, as well, the amounts of cash used to change the public opinion differ in both ends by several millions of dollars.

The irony of the case is that mainstream not only defends their right to an opinion, but they want to force the same on others. They want a country according to their mentality but refuse to allow minorities to have the exact same right. If we would be talking about the family environment, Mainstream conservatives would say everyone has the right to choose how to live their own life, even when disagreement is in place. But when it comes to societal boundaries, the same mainstream voices would say that no woman should have the right to abortion, regardless of their reason to desire such. Similarly, mainstream conservative judgement means that many Gays still remained closeted and far from exposure. Although the numbers had grown, it is mostly because most of the closet gays are fed up with having to keep their secret. Likewise, according to the large numbers in the mainstream, Transgendered people should be removed from the mainstream world and rejected at all cost. We can say that Freedom of mind simply doesn’t prevail, since the Mainstream conservative principle is to exclusively accept and allow what their filters allow.

Thus we can ask the most important questions: What are those filters? How do they come to place? Why force them among upon the rest of the population, if we see the obvious and overwhelming result: a small group of decent people, people who do not harm anyone and contribute to the well-being of others and the nation, simply lack the same rights that others take for granted, and in the worse-case scenario of an obsolete state of mind, doesn’t even exist?

The basic status of well-being of our nation, society, groups, etc, can be clearly defined by the level of contribution rendered by their members and the satisfaction of their basic needs. Those  filters of the mind that oppose and fight for the recognition of civil rights for Gays and Transgender people are violated by those against such recognition and therefore, the possibilities for the  oppressed groups are much lesser, unless they are gifted with a sound sense of self esteem, resources, drive, and can count on support around them. Only a few are blessed in those arenas. Consequently we see rampant suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, depression and total lack of fulfillment and happiness. How could we possibly expect those sufferers to do what others claim to do, contributing to the bettering of our people and nation?

Worse of all, those rights are only hindered because those filters that oppose them lack a true foundation, reasoning, logic or valid justification. Rather, those filters are the result of a lack of sound self esteem, misinformation, lack of proper education to learn how to accept diversity and more importantly: a poor sense of happiness and fulfillment in their own lives. Happy people allow others to be happy and contribute to that pool regardless of what their own preferences/opinions are. They simply allow others to be who they are and as they are and see them as human beings, even if they are “wrong”. Therefore, the minds of such unhappy people are not free and will never take off into the path of enlightening.

Perhaps at the end, we gay and transgendered people are better off when we find that vital sense of self appreciation, love, confidence and acceptance on our own. Because we are working to better our  selves against all odds and that is what we contribute to our world. In fact, if you ask any gay or transgendered person if they feel negative animosity towards those that oppose them, likely you will hear: “That’s their own business, I am not to judge them.”

I hope my blog entices you to reflect not only on this phenomena, but your own sentiment as well. Better, if you care to, share your own view and contribute with my poll!  Your contribution is deeply appreciated

If you share my concern and opinion, please leave a comment with your thoughts and feelings.


One response to “Free flying minds.

  1. Hello, Isis!
    Hmmmm, you certainly did engender some reflections! I will try to distill my thoughts as succinctly as I can . . .

    It seems that youth is a period of lability, flexibility, “mold-ability”. Youthful minds are open, as attitudes, beliefs, and morals are being formed by life experiences. We find, as we grow through youth, what resonates best with our souls. Of course, our souls are being shaped by our experiences, including the upbringing that we are given, and how we make sense of it all, given our physical, intellectual, and spiritual abilities and preferences.

    As we get older, some, if not most of us undergo a solidifying of our identities. We gain a sense of who we are, what is important to us, what are preferences are, what our goals are, what we believe in. Unfortunately, many of us also become rigid, intolerant of difference, convinced that our identities are not only right for us, as individuals, but right for others as well. Many of us come to believe that our beliefs are moral and social truths, standards by which we, and worse, others can be judged. When we give up the flexibility and openness to experience, to life, that we once had in our youthful minds, we lock ourselves in our own prison of rigidity.

    Having gone through that period of self-imprisonment, with its concommitant judgement of others, as well, I know that it is akin to dying a slow death of the soul. Now, I am trying to regain that openness, that flexibility of mind, and soul (even as my body loses some of its youthfulness).

    Your post really helps me see that the mind: our attitudes about ourselves, and the world around us, is the key to freedom!

    Keep flying, my friend!

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