Ever since social media rose, its painted quite an unrealistic picture of how people should be acting and feeling. The more time goes on, it slowly becomes a bigger platform where narcissists can shine, and articulate and genuine people hide in the egotistical shadows of what society views as 'successful'. People applaud when the latest instafamous model preaches feminism, but we have the genuine feminist who actually dedicate their life to advocating for women's rights through writing, poetry, public speaking ect who are disregarded. Who dont have a bigger following even though they are more sincere and genuine in what they are advocating for. I want to point something out that caught my attention the other night when watching Triple J's Hacks Live Panel. I took something from the show that you can see happen right in front of you in every day life.
Its very rare these days in this society to find people who are doing selfless acts to help others rather than to self empower themselves. You will find majority of the people are striving to be one up. Be a 'better' person then those around them. So lets just say you are standing on a platform with society. You are viewed as a minority so you start at the bottom. You slowly creep up the platform through helping others. Then you have someone starting on the same level as you who comes from a well privilege, social status background. You see them hop straight up to the platform without a blink of an eye. They have 1,000 people following them and admiring them. Your following isn't big. To majority of people, the person with more admiration and the one who hopped straight up there, would be viewed as 'empowering' and 'successful'. Then there is you. Working from the very bottom as a minority, and reaching your goals step by step. You may only have a few hundred following you, but you have helped changed people's lives and views along the way. What has the person with a large following done and who is on the top straight away? If you look at it on a deeper level, nothing. They didn't work hard at all to reach the top of the platform. They need that validation and admiration to make themselves feel empowered. Its superficial empowerment.
What you will find about superficial empowerment is at the end of the day, they are in it for themselves. I am not saying the life they are leading is wrong as such. Its just a very shallow way to live. It paints an unrealistic view on how as humans should be living. Instead we arent encouraged to share the most rawest of ourselves, the deeper core of our values and morals. People are more admired for the beauty on the outside, instead of the beauty within. There are people out there who are so insecure that they are leading a life that is probably false to the deeper core of what they really want. We all would rather be sheep in society so we aren't outcasted.
I was outcasted for a while. I tried to be someone I wasnt to get someone to fall in love with me. I went against my morals and values because somehow through this relationship I was convinced the way I wanted to live my life on a deeper level was 'dumb' and 'shameful'. My partner at the time made me feel shame for wanting to live by the core values and morals I had set for myself at a young age. Instead, I saw myself talking like the group I was hanging with. Doing things that would make me fit in with the shallow lifestyle majority of the group were leading. Ever since I put that behind me and stayed true to what I know and can teach people by sharing my lived experience, its made my life a whole lot brighter. Its made my life have meaning and purpose. Something I lost for a while there.
Power is good in moderation. It is powerful to be in control of your own values and morals. But as soon as you try use empowerment to boost your ego and self esteem, that is when you can really lose yourself in the process. The most powerful thing we can do as humans is come together and help one another by being open minded and displaying elements such as compassion, empathy and love. There is nothing powerful about being egotistical and ignorant. If you strive for empowerment through those characteristics, the mask will slowly slip off. You weakness will be exposed. The strongest thing is simply to be yourself.