Lately, I have been thinking about people who are in toxic relationships and why they stay. The number one reason that comes to mind is that at least one person does not believe that he/she deserves better. This all comes back to how much we value ourselves and how much we think we are worth.
When someone yells at us or calls us names, we accept this behavior because we believe we deserve this kind of treatment. We may believe that we said something that caused this reaction, we should have left the other person alone, or maybe this person is the best there is because we don’t feel that we are attractive enough or smart enough to do better.
I am not saying anything that has not been said before but I believe it can never be said enough. We need to raise our children to believe that they are beautiful and smart. They need to believe that they should never become the physical or verbal punching bag for another person. We need to teach our kids that walking away from a relationship does not demonstrate failure but instead, it displays an incredible amount of courage, will, determination, and perseverance. Walking away from a toxic relationship demonstrations a great deal of self awareness and maturity. I am saddened for those who stay in these relationships because I see so many broken spirits and so much unhappiness.
For the first time in years, I have taken two vacations in 2013. Not only have I vacationed but I have taken my two ‘grandkids” along. First, we cruised with Disney and then we visited Arizona. Our trip to Az was due to my winning two domestic airline tickets and because both girls, at different times, asked me to take them on an airplane. They are 3 and 6 and it’s very hard to think of places to go that they will enjoy.
My friend owns a KOA campground and immediately offered us a cabin if we came. I did not have any expectations other than the cabin. Once there, I was struck by her generosity. She not only supplied our linens but she also drove us everywhere. She even let us get whatever we needed from her store. When the 3 year old caused smoke to come bellowing out of the golf cart, she didn’t yell at her. The minute that she knew we were awake each morning, she came right over to find out our plans and to see what we were going to eat. She even took the girls with her several times, which gave me a moment to breath. The girls are no trouble but everyone welcomes a moment to refresh. Having spent 4 days with my friend, I have seen a side of her that I never realized existed and I am thankful that we are friends.
The other day, I stumbled upon Quora where people go to ask questions and get answers. After a bit of exploration, I decided it was an app worth using. Today, I was intrigued by this title “Internet, I love you but you need some god damn perspective”. The author, Jaap Grolleman, asked why we care more about who is playing the next Batman than we care about Syria. Well, as you can guess the comments mostly leaned towards the fact that we are a simple-minded society and that the media points us in the direction that we should go.
I too have wondered why oil spills and hurricanes quickly move out of the news while celebrities stay in the news. Is it because paying attention to what celebrities are doing keeps us from having to get involved in the real issues that are happening around us? What about TV shows. I hear more conversations around the office fictional TV shows than I do about about current events.
The Internet has many news outlets if we are willing to seek them. Google will serve as our translator if we ask. So, I am not convinced that anyone, of at least average intelligence, is being forced down a path. I believe that it is easy to follow the crowd, accept what is presented, and move on. One thing that Facebook has taught me is that people don’t like to disagree with what is thought to be a popular opinion.
I do keep up with current events as much as the Twitter accounts that I follow allow. However, I could certainly do more but I will admit that takes effort that I am not currently willing to put forth. However, there are people who do go against the status quo and seek out news and information that conflicts with the popular opinion. I have known many in my lifetime. Unfortunately, they are often in the minority. We choose what how much or how little we want to know about a topic. We are definitely more comfortable when the information that we receive agrees with the mental models that we have created, which reduces the amount of time that we have to spend thinking. However, seeking knowledge and challenging myself to think and question information is an exercise that I enjoy.