But most importantly, folks shouldn't think he was any super-hero or anything, he was just living his life as it unfolded
Treaure said: I respectfullly disagree, Jen. He in my opinion, made heroic choices. Yes, he lived as life unfolded, but he could have chosen very differently as circumstances unfolded! Certainly, there are many who go unnoticed---many nameless, numberless people who quietly live and make heroic choices every day too!
I agree he made choices -- hmm, how to do this and stay on topic. I do see comparing and idolising others as creating a sense of separation, envy and fear in folks, false expectations and judgements outside of our own experiences. I do think this 'comparing' adds to a sense of either suffering or exalting, of something being 'wrong' with our experiences and/or our responses. Outside of experience we cannot know the moments of it, building one on the next on the next increasing capacity, awareness and willingness to respond - choose, in any way.
For me the notion of hero or victim are both flawed. Yes 'victim' is flawed, and also yes 'hero' is equally flawed.
Both notions 'separate' another from ourselves, we compare and make 'better or worse' of people and situations based on our non-experience of their experiences, as the bloke in the original link has, our perspective and perception and what we tell ourselves is flawed. So then, what we are basing our choices on, is flawed.
EG the original link guy saying you are not depressed, you're selfish
- The only thing any one can take from his essay is if he
in his current state of mind & capacity, were to behave in the manner that he's experiencing his family members behaving HE would have to (in his own range of capacity, awareness and willingness = responses) behave 'selfishly'. Because that's what it would be if HE behaved that way.
What he's likely verbalising is the effect of insensitivity that is based not on aware selfishness and rudeness, but on lack of capacity and/or awareness to consider the effect of behaviours on others. So to the family member they are just doing their best with what they have in this current experience. I understand (not saying I agree with him, but I do understand his limited capacity) the original quoted guy's perspective because I too have previously been exhausted and frustrated by the impacts of these sorts of behaviours and felt imposed upon until I grew in awareness and realised they are not doing it 'on purpose' or with our capacity, awareness. They are doing it as a fluid choice in response to their experience within their ability in this situation/experience. Which is why telling someone to pull them self up by the bootstraps is flawed - they don't even have bootstraps!! (capacity).
We grow capacity, through experience, which is why labelling hero or victim is flawed.
I think Frankl discusses this well when he discusses the liberation of the last camp, and the kindnesses within situational restraints that those in the experience of captors had to struggle with. The situation did not just 'capture' & restrain & influence the realistic choices of the prisoners, it also impacted on the realistic choices of the 'captors'. The joy and gratitude of the commandant in being freed from the restraints of his role, the enacting of bitterness or guilt staining life outside the barbed wire for prisoners who survived to be freed. He also discusses the notion that there were always good and evil on both sides, there were sadists and sociopaths on both sides, and for them their range of capacity was limited as well.
I like to separate internal and external notions of response in situations - response ability is internal making conscious choices based on capacity, awareness & willingness, responsibility is externally imposed notions either that one thinks they 'should' do, be able to do, or what others think one 'should' do, be able to do. What one can
do, is totally influenced by awareness, capacity and eventually willingness.
Many of the situations and experiences we find ourself in we don't have the 'capacity' to accept the reality of the limitation on our choices yet,
we are in the process of growing it and growing into it, through the experience - that's actually the part that hurts, and may be the part where one falls in a heap with the weight of it - the expectation to reality journey, across multiple dimensions of a situation. What I noticed is that Frankl had a healthy balance of notions of freedom / responsibility, and that these took on more meaning in his experiences, PLUS, and likely because of his psychiatric training and experiences, he accepted the capacities
of others and himself. Accepting capacity stops one from banging their head or heart against the brick wall of reality, but it's our capacity, learned by our capacity to do so.
The guy in the original link, he likely has pain in experiencing the exhaustion of his capacity for selflessness, which is why he's viewing the behaviours of others as 'selfish'.
I'm not for making 'victim' of anyone struggling to accommodate their reality at odds with their expectations; I'm also not for making 'hero' of those expressing their greater capacity to do so. We all got to where we are, with what we've got and how we've experienced life.
If the greatest thing a person can achieve in this moment, is to put one foot in front of the other and remember to breathe, that is enough. If the only 'solution' a person can see is to end their mortal suffering, that is their reality, within their capacity, awareness. It stands to reason that one who is not capable of being rational, is unable to make rational decisions. The flip side of this is that one who is making rational decisions does so through capacity.
I figure with the guy in the original link, the irrational behaviour is scaring the crap out of him, because he is growing his own capacity to cope with his own expectation ~ reality journey.
I understand that too, I've already made that journey, at times one foot in front of the other and remembering to breathe.
Aware that that's okay too.