I’m not a groupie kind of person. I’m not a clique kind of person. I’m not someone who throws anyone on a pedestal and worships them (guru worship). I always look for the strengths in any person, place, or thing that I encounter, even the horrid ones. It can be hard in extreme cases, but it can be done. This is why I am amazed to watch people be so critical over such seemingly ignorant and time-wasting things. No one accomplishes anything when time is spent like that. It sucks the oxygen out of the air from those who are doing something. It brings the whole place down. It’s not fun being on the top any more than it is being on the bottom.
When you are on the bottom, at least you have the freedom to be ignored. This liberates you to do whatever you want. The more you climb, the more people are clawing at you, trying to tear you down or find fault — true or not. It’s pretty brutal. I never wanted to seek fame, even when I was a child. I saw this around me and it made me only want to move to a large city where I could be invisible and no one would pay any attention to me. I learned that you have to balance between looking just “high” enough for them to treat you respectfully while also not being too high that they want to tear you to shreds.
It doesn’t matter what your education level is. If you wear clothes that aren’t on the approval list, you will be dismissed as ignorant and dirty. It’s fascinating to watch these behaviors. Same is true with greeting people. In some countries, if someone greets you, they expect you to greet them back — total strangers randomly saying good day or hello on the street. If you don’t do it, they think you are on the “too high” list. In other countries, if you speak to them they feel like you are invasive or rude. They can even go to the extreme of stoning you to death if you are a woman who dared to even look a man in the eye and speak. If you are a man, you may be forced to marry her and they don’t care if you are already married in another country. Women aren’t allowed to speak to men they aren’t married to in some places. Again, “you were too high.”
In some countries, your attire dictates your status. In others, your level of cleanliness dictates your status. Some countries worship education and if you have that, it elevates your status. This only applies if you are also successful by the definition they have for success. This often means wealth. In many countries, you can become absurdly rich by exploiting people, including yourself. People seem to respect that if they just look at your wealth. This of course changes when somehow they are impacted by your actions, then they think you are “too high.” The moral standard is often lacking until this status is achieved.
There are poor who exploit just as much as there are super rich who exploit. There is not one level for this kind of behaviorism. When they spend time focusing on how predators are often the ones at the top of major companies, they also simultaneously ignore the predators that are in your homes and all around you at every single level of “status.”
Managing to be in just the right spot to navigate these waters takes some skill. In my case, I was around so many extremely predatory people my entire life that it became second nature to know what not to say, do, or act. Hiding that I was raped was one of them. Hiding the fact that my child was a rape baby was another (I said nothing until he was an adult). I knew I had to protect that instinctual behavior in the masses to harm based on whatever perverted status system they have in their minds. As I said in my book, “It wasn’t the rape that hurt the most, it was the treatment by society after.” This means the treatment of the mother and of the child. This is also one tiny example of the millions I could give. It’s everywhere.
We have created a society that requires some level of narcissism to survive the abusive narcissism everywhere we go. They have tried to use religion to curb this, but religion also became another narcissistic vehicle. There is nothing on this planet that is exclusionary of this disease. I know what I put out there cannot be accomplished in my lifetime, but education has to start somewhere if we want our grandchildren and those after them to have a society that none of us will ever know. All I know is I have zero desire to be culpable for perpetuating this current abusive behavior. History takes notes. Sure, people can manipulate it (oh hey — narcissism), but there are always those who remember the truth.