Here’s a thought I had:
In grade school something interesting happened. I call it the “D affair” (“D” referring to the first letter of the last name of the girl involved). This affair shows how easily misled we can be by other people, especially as children, and begin to believe in things that aren’t true. For years I was misled by what people said but I now know what really happened:
It was in late grade school that I became fascinated with different qualities people had. Some people had qualities that were almost mesmerizing. It was often things like a mannerism, a way of speaking, an attitude, or even just a look. This fascination could last for a couple of day, or weeks, or months. In some cases, it would appear and vanish overnight. This fascination with the different qualities in people began to appear, it seems, in about 3rd grade, or so, and lasted into 7th or 8th grade. Typically, the people were boys my own age but, sometimes, it would be girls. Other times, they could be teachers or just people I see here and there.
I tend to feel that this is a natural tendency that we all have. What we are doing is “finding qualities in other people that reflected an aspect of me”. In this way, we do two things:
- We discover innate qualities about ourselves.
- We establish these qualities in the society.
What it does is help to establish our identity, both as a person and socially. Perhaps we could call it the “reflected self experience”? This is because we are seeing our self reflected in other people (the social situation). Everyone goes through it, at least to some extent. Most people forget it or are not aware of it though. I think this is because it is only a stage in the process of identity, one just “passes through it”. This makes it easily forgettable. I would have forgotten it had it not of been for the “D affair”.
There was a girl, “D”, who had a quality I was fascinated with. This was, I think, in 4th or 5th grade. The quality she had which fascinated me was this calm, composed manner as she sat there in class. To me, it was quite neat and I often watched her for this reason.
One day, I remarked to a friend of mine that I really “liked” her. By “like” I mean that fascinating quality of hers. But that’s not how he interpreted it. He went around telling people that I was in love with her and that I wanted to marry her and such. It caused something like a little scandal at school. Many of my friends, and people I knew, told me it was a “crush” and that I was feeling “puppy love” and all that. Being a kid, I believed them.
Why should I question it? What do I know . . . I’m just a kid?
As a result of this, I actually thought I was “in love” with her and actually acted the part, feeling “feelings of love” and so on. I actually believed I had a “crush” on her. What I was doing was following what my understanding of what a “crush” was in order to “play the part”. In this way, I was trying to conform to society and, in so doing, establish my self in society. This is quite natural as, remember, the “reflected self experience” is involved with social identity and is trying to place ones self in the social situation. As a result, it tends to make a person try to conform to what one believes society wants. But, in so doing, one tends to become alienated from the quality that instigated it. Or, to put it another way, one goes from discovering an aspect about ones self to being strangled by it. This often happens and is part of a dilemma that is inherent in the “reflected self experience”.
- Discovery – Seeing a quality in others that one doesn’t know one has
- Personal Identity – One begins to feel that quality as ones self
- Social Identity – The example set by other people establishes the quality in the social situation
- Conforming – The social example becomes the model of how one should be regardless of whether it reflects the quality or not
- Alienation – One ends up doing what the social situation demands but it does not reflect ones self
The path from Discovery to Alienation can happen very quickly and unknowingly. It describes the conflict between personal and social identity. Some people may struggle with this problem more than others. For other people it can be a lifelong conflict. And other people are not bothered by it at all.
But its all based in a natural process. Its really just a question of if it gets out of hand, or not, that determines if it creates problems. I did this same natural process when I was told I had a “crush” on “D”. I was trying to fit it into the social situation by the use of social example (that is, what I believed a “crush” was). In so doing, I began Conforming which actually Alienated me from the original cause for it and I lost a hold as to what it was all about. As a result, I believed I had a “crush” on her for years but really didn’t.
But doubts appeared through the years. For example, when I saw her some months later I had noticed I had no interest in her but pretended that I was in love with her. Even then I could feel a discrepancy (that is, one part of me said this, another part of me said something else). The next year I didn’t even notice her. I saw her walk by and said, “oh, wasn’t that the girl I was supposed to have a crush on?” As years passed the “crush” theme started to fade. When I saw her in High School I recall seeing her walk in the hall and I thought something like, “I remember her, she had that neat calm way about her in grade school” (notice how I did not mention any feelings of love). As time went on more of the truth sort began to surface. I began to realize that it was not over love and that I did not, in fact, have any “romantic” feelings over her.
But it also shows another aspect to this phenomena – the effect of people and society. What basically happened is that people and society misled me. In other words, the social interpretation of ones qualities isn’t always right and can even lead one in the wrong direction. In this case, it followed this path:
- I felt a common feeling that people feel (in this case, the “reflected self experience”).
- I mentioned it to someone.
- It was misinterpreted by them and by other people and society in general.
- I was misled into thinking it was something else.
- The tendency to conform made me believe it.
I think this scenario happens far more common than you’d think.
Interestingly, the year before the “D affair” I had a friend called Mike. We got along really good. We had a lot of fun at recess and I really grew to like him. I particularly liked him because he had this quality about him that fascinated me, an easygoing fun-loving quality. In a conversation with a friend I said, “I really love Mike”, or something similar (meaning that I really liked him). My friend said something like, “are you gay?”, as a joke, and it was forgotten. Can you imagine what would happen if a kid expressed something like that nowadays? My God, everyone would probably of said that this shows I have homosexual inclinations. Not only that, I could see this liberal society, nowadays, actually pushing me in that direction. In the end, they could of convinced me that I was gay . . . and I probably would of started to believe it. Even worse, I could very well of started to “play the part”, with all the mannerisms and such, similar to my acting “in love” during the “D affair”. In this way, it could of dramatically affected and altered my life.
Thank God I’m not a kid nowadays!
The “D affair” shows how I was misled into believing that I had a “crush” on a girl. Do you think its possible that other people are also misled to believing similar things? Personally, I think this is true, that many people are being misled by people and society by showing a quality that people and society too easily misinterpret. I think that we are seeing a lot of this in what I often call the ‘pseudo-gay’ or ‘acquired homosexuality’ (see my article “Thoughts on the new “pseudo-gay” or “acquired homosexuality” – another sign of the dehumanization of the modern world???“). This is when people believe they are homosexual without actually being homosexual. I think its probably particularly prevalent with people who claim that they are homosexual at a young age. I have always questioned this (see my article “Some thoughts on gay teens“). I think kids are too young to know if they are homosexual. I don’t really believe that even teenagers have sufficient knowledge of themselves to know this or not. From my observation, it seems that many young kids, nowadays, are being misled into thinking they are something that they aren’t by society.
It seems to me that the liberal thinking of this society, in particular, tends to promote this type of scenario. More than once have I said that “many people’s lives are being destroyed by the liberal thinking of this society”. It seems like it is misdirecting people in the wrong direction in life. In this way, it is adversely affecting peoples lives.
Liberal thinking, particularly what I call “70’s liberalism” (see my article “Thoughts on liberalism, with remarks about “70’s liberalism”“), tends to promote anything that goes against societies norms (such as homosexuality) as some sort of a political cause and all “in the name of freedom”! In so doing, it exaggerates and distorts many things because its part of their cause. In this way, it promotes many lies. In some cases, this can go so far that it can make peoples lives a lie, in my opinion.
For example, if a person shows (or appears to show) something like homosexual inclinations (which is not “accepted” by greater society) then liberal thinking will tend to do things such as:
- They will emphasize that they should “embrace” their supposed homosexuality.
- That they should display it with “pride”.
- They may be pushed into it and encouraged to believe it (perhaps even forced in that direction).
- They will be treated as if they are homosexual.
- They will be “open” about it and only say good things about it.
- That they should “fight for their right” to be homosexual as a “righteous cause”.
Things like these tend to end up making people start to believe that they are homosexual, even though they are not. And this is all done, we must remember, to make a political point! This means that it is done in great seriousness and as if it is some sort of a cause. This political aspect gives it a particular quality of a “force” in this. This is seen a lot in liberalism. They profess “freedom”, “free choice”, and all that but they tend to do a strong “subtle forcing” in much of what they do. I tend to see it with “gay youth”. In fact, for some liberals I’ve seen, “gay youth” has become a “pet project” that they promote as a political cause. Its like some of them relish the idea of a “gay youth” because they can now, through them, promote their political ideology.
But what I find revolting about this is that it is actually nothing but a deliberate misleading of people, all to support and promote their political ideology. In other words, its not about the person . . . its about the politics. People are nothing but a medium or puppet for their political ideology and theory. People are used and manipulated to promote their political views. This tendency is one of the examples of the damaging thinking of liberal thinking.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen