Tuesday, October 26, 2010

#9 Being Critical

Herman Hesse wrote, "If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us."
     A lot of things bother us. The more we learn about the world, the more things we are aware of to be critical of. The most talented (and lucky?) among us become professional critics. But it seems to be de rigeur for most critics, even creative and brilliant ones, to not produce many, if any original works. Why should that be?
     All the intellectualized hatred of other things obscures the underlying problem: we hate ourselves. Why?
Like most "phenomenal" things, this goes back to upbringing. If your parents (primary caregivers) were mostly critical of you, you adopt that warped view of yourself. To you, there is something essentially deficient with someone who, for example, doesn't eat with proper manners, isn't American enough, etc.
Even when you later learn how do do those actions, you view yourself as acting, but still deficient underneath (this ties in with the problems spelled out in post #1). You try as hard as you can to do these behaviors to fit in, but that does nothing to combat the rejection you felt, and internalized, from your parents. Usually, you become super-sensitive in perceiving these things. That allows you to detect it in others way before anyone else could, and even in minute quantities. (Some even become obsessed with this, adopting a belief that this is their 'mission'.)
    But destroying others does nothing to build up your own sense of self worth, your 'self-esteem'. Eventually you realize this, hopefully before you waste too much time deluding yourself.

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