Friday, 2 August 2013

The Fallacy of Altruism

A lot of us were raised on a porridge of self eradication.  Ask not what your country can do for you.  Offer it up for the poor souls.  Other people have it worse off than you.  In other words, suck it up and shut up.  But what are you depriving the world of when you don’t allow yourself to be fully present in it?

Appalachian boreen.  I know, a bit early in the blog this week, but I’ve got a head cold, can’t concentrate and it’s a short cut to what I want to say.  Christmas was big shakes in my family of origin.  Presents all over the floor, decorations everywhere inside and out, cards, stockings, enough food to feed a small village.  So when El Punko, my son, was very young, I relished the lies and deception, the sneaking around and Christmas Day surprises. 

One Christmas morning when he’d grown old enough to think of me as a person, El Punko noticed there were no presents under the tree for me.  He cried.  You see, I was a single mother.  Probably the most important person in his life, and I’d forgotten her.  Or me, as it were. 

If your needs are never visible, you may teach your loved ones that the need doesn’t exist.  You may give them an inflated idea of how important their needs are.  Or you may instil in them a pressure to get it right for you. 

If you’re a writer, you’re denied the experience of receiving love fully.  So how can you write about the vulnerability that is love?  The vulnerability that wants to accept love but may be denied?  The vulnerability that wants to accept love and may actually get it.  And isn’t that the really scary thing?  To find someone who sees you.  How can you write about the fear of being loved, the fragility of love, if you don’t allow it to come out from under the bed and say, Boo!

Being visible in your life, gives you experiences that make you a more full individual.  The closer you come to reaching your potential, the better your life, the better the part of your life you share with others.  Ultimately, the better the gift of yourself. 

No comments:

Post a Comment