Feeling Better vs. Getting Better

“On some level it all comes down to Feeling Better versus Getting Better. Repressing information about ourselves or our friends, creating scapegoats as a way to avoid our problems, using shunning to unite a clique and create group identity – all of these make people feel better because it makes them feel superior. But the only way to truly get better is to face and deal with each other, sit down and communicate. And I think the difference between these two choices is determined by what groups (cliques, families, nations) we belong to. If we are in groups that cannot be self-critical and therefore punish difference, we will join in on the shunning, excluding and cold-shouldering. But if we are in groups that promote acceptance, intervene to create communication, and recognize that people have contradictions, we will be able to face and deal with the true nature of Conflict: that it is participatory, and cannot be solved by being cruel, spreading rumours, enacting laws, or incarceration, invading and occupying….I feel that if I could talk to people who are projecting their anxieties onto me, some pressure could be reduced.”

Sarah Schulman – author of Conflict is not abuse

3 Comments

  1. “We try to discover in things…the reflection of what our soul has projected on to them; we are disillusioned when we find that they are in reality devoid of the charm which they owed, in our minds, to the association of certain ideas.”
    — Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

  2. Participatory EVERYTHING! In my experience projection and scapegoating is not even participating with ourselves! Waste of a perfectly miraculous incarnation….the miracle of love.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote, even though conflict is sometimes difficult for me. I recognize that I am not the only one for whom this is the case, but that many have this difficulty in different ways and I am understanding of it in myself and others. If we cannot look honestly at ourselves, we can’t see others clearly, nor can we be accepting of either. I strive to be both and I don’t always succeed. And I accept that too.

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