In a World of Critics, Be a Creator
by Kelly Hackmann
Politics vs. Super Volcanoes
Do you ever worry about the Yellowstone super volcano erupting and covering a majority of North America in ash, blotting out the sun for a while, and lowering the global temperature?
Yeah, me neither, until I just typed it. Though I guarantee around taco time tonight, my thoughts will be far from apocalyptic. This Honduran guy set up his taco truck near my house and his creations are miracles bestowed upon the earth.
We don’t worry daily about a devastating catastrophe that is very likely to happen at some point. Why do we stress to the point of exhaustion about who’s sitting in an oval shaped office?
“Well you dummy, because we can affect change within politics, not super volcanoes!”
Perhaps. If you have certain attributes you may be able to affect politics effectively. Namely money and power. For us millennials, our sphere of influence rarely extends beyond our own skin and direct interactions.
Action vs. Reaction
For anyone hoping dearly that I am going to analyze this particular election cycle I am not sorry to disappoint you. I see no difference between any of them, and if there is, it’s as much a difference as in the cycle of weather. Colder, hotter, wetter, drier. All we can do is accept and react, right? If you view the world through a political lens then you are absolutely correct.
Politics is a reaction not an action. The people who spend their whole days and eventually their entire lives worrying over politicians like Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders will never cure the disease. I bet you’d like me to try and identify this core malaise. OK then, here we go.
A ridiculously large number of people do not respect themselves.
What’s really perverse is that many will never try to help themselves by honestly and openly acknowledging their lack of self-respect because that may be perceived as weakness. What a tangled mess. The reasons for this catch-22 are varied and mostly inherited through entrenched cultural norms promulgated by institutional structures. In other words, school sucks.
Daring to go out on a limb beyond the perceived allowable parameters of self expression, especially when you are sincerely trying to change yourself, appears frighteningly tenuous. It is hard as hell to shed the feeling that everyone is judging how you dance. Though almost nobody is watching you, you know what? Sometimes people are watching you dance, and not only watching you they are judging you. Your freedom, the truth of you, lies in understanding that the only qualified judge is your opinion. Or in other words, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
The Realm of Critics
Concerning yourself with and accepting the criticism of others is the wound of politics. Lacking a favorable self image is the main disease. From this void stems countless varieties of travesty.
Some attempt to control others to cover their own lack of self determination. Others destroy themselves with exogenous substances. Some try to staunch the outflow of esteem with an inflow of dollars. These are all variations of holding weak beliefs strongly. Not only will the corrupt nature of existing at the whims of others leave you anxious and uncertain, you will never learn.
If you’re goal is improvement, which I know it is or you wouldn’t have read this far, you must continue to learn. Improve yourself by holding strong beliefs weakly. Only when you are set on your path of open truth can you begin to entertain the notion of elucidating ideas effectively. The best path I can conceive of teaching and learning are through sincere logic and open reception.
You will never honestly convince or help anyone through coercion, threats, or because-I-said-so tactics. If you need that explained further, try babysitting sometime.
(Side note: I have a working theory that everyone is still a baby, we just have bigger bodies. Feeding, bathing, sleeping and hugging go a long ways for solving 95% of our problems.)
Create, Don’t Criticize.
The only way to persuade or convince another person or even an entire culture is to create. Millennials need to break the habit of carelessly criticizing when there is so much out there to create! I know it’s tempting and easy to make casual internet repartee, but after you are creating day after day, you won’t have time to be a loose critic, and you’ll realize how hard it is to put yourself and your creations out there.
Critics who do not create are inherently weak and that is exactly what they’re trying to hide. Though the critic uses bold cutting words to take down others, we all see their insecurity.
Politics is the realm of critics, not creators.
I suggest tuning out the critics, take your soul back from the politicians, get in your workshop and start creating. We may have been handed an imperfect world, but that’s no reason to take each other down. We have a culture to work on, and it’s up to us to decide the shape it takes.
The future will be decided by those who are passionate and focused on their work. Help each other, but never tear anyone down. Your reward will be a better world. I can’t wait to see it!