Discernable® News and Editorials

It's Not Always About You

2min 20sec

June 2022 was a tumultuous month for western culture. ‘Pride Month’ delighted some, enraged others, but in my estimation revealed a sickness in our minds and souls: the agrandisement of the ‘self’. In an effort to counter the shame experienced by the LGBT community society reached for the opposite force and mistakenly grabbed on to ‘pride’ (which is certainly not the opposite of shame).

Confusing self-esteem and self-worth the terrible sickness of pride, we raised flags, emojis and profile pictures to celebrate a cancer in the modern world. Pride is an unhealthy preoccupation with self and manifests in both the haughty and the self-pitying. The true opposite force – humility – is much more difficult to define but it has been said that ‘humility is not thinking less of yourself…it is thinking of yourself less’.

Hot on the heels of Pride Month was the US Supreme Court leak and subsequent overturning of Roe v Wade, unwinding the judicial activism of 1973 and returning abortion rights to the democratically elected legislature of the states instead of unaccountable justices. 50 years of case law, policy and culture was violently thrown out the window and some states immediately legislated restrictions or bans on abortion, whilst other states increased access and lowered the bar of entry to abortion services. Corporations piled on to declare their financial support of any employee needing to travel interstate for an abortion.

Protests erupted with cries of ‘MY choice’ and you know what? Maybe it is ‘their choice’ but even if that were true, are we all so blind as to miss what is happening to our society? Every viral new technology, every marketing campaign in business, every new convenience, every new law, every preacher in a modern church…EVERYTHING is targeted at satisfying the self. Improving the self. Protecting the self. Rewarding the self.

Myself, Myself, Myself. Me, me, me. I, I, I.

To even mention that old virtue – denial of self – seems antiquated and unwelcome in our world of ever fragmenting identities, broken family units, and empowered individuality. As mental illnesses explode in our modern world we offer ever more myopic and prideful ‘solutions’ to a population already sick from an overdose of pride.

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate this self-harm we inflict, and chart a new course to a healthy society of interdependence, not independence. To be dependent on one another requires great humility and the laying down of prideful mantras like ‘I am _____; affirm me!’ and ‘I have the right to do _____; respect me!’.

Let’s resist the propaganda of self and swim against the current. After all, ‘He who turns back soonest is most progressive’.

This excerpt of Jordan Peterson is from a video on his ban from Twitter: https://youtu.be/UYfKWQqvFac