Between extremes of competition, world overpopulation, and ranking systems, people who are marginalized struggle to survive. If you are sensitive, you may feel like one of those people who is largely invisible to the world as if you have been erased.
The Experience Of Feeling Erased
Being marginalized means a number of different things and has a number of different effects:
- your reality is not reflected back to you, so you experience a kind of self-doubt that does not come from your abilities, your work, and merits. How do you get on the “good side” of the world if who you are is not seen to exist?
- your language is different. One way to be labeled different is to speak from a reality that is not reflected in the reality of those around you.
- your value is not the value sought by others. For instance, if you are a creative person and those around you require warrior or mechanical skills you may be out of sync. For sensitive people, our sensitivity to nuance is not reflected in the awareness of many people and can be devalued when offered.
- your agenda may not exist in the minds of others. Your dreams, needs, wishes may exist in an alternate reality also and you may not know how to find a pathway to turn your dreams into reality.
- you may be taken over by the agendas of others including their short-sighted wishes. You may become the cleanup crew for the messes of others, which will make you even less visible.
- you may not be able to have needs of your own or feel like you can have problems because you do not think you will be supported.
- it may be difficult for you to set effective boundaries because your reality is discounted.
How do we change embedded patterns of perception? How do we stand our ground when our ground is not considered real? How do we get support for our lives and dreams when our reality does not exist?The truth is that there is no easy fix and no one size fits all to make changes.
The capacity and receptivity of individuals and groups to needed change make a huge difference. Receptivity to change or an incentive that makes change attractive is essential. Think of it as finding the fertile ground for change. As we all know that is not so easy since embedded resistance to change can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. Modern marketing will suggest making one’s desires “attractive” in order to be listened to. So those needing change often have to market the desired change. For the marginalized, needing to market change may be very uncomfortable when trying to create change because heir standing has been diminished or erased by being marginalized.
Often change requires a critical mass of support, or alternatively, there needs to be a perception of negative consequence if change does not occur. When that is the case, there can be less resistance and greater mutual support for creating change. Sometimes, especially with entrenched patterns and habits, it takes group pressure to change ranking systems that mute the voices of the marginalized. We are currently seeing a lot of such group pressure as marginalized groups, average citizens whose needs are being denied, and even nature is reclaiming its voice from a world that commodifies everything.
When trying to create change there often has to be something in the nature of the individuals involved (empathy), and groups (the capacity and desire for effective stewardship) that bridges differences and welcomes unique perspectives. Barring that, economic or other advantages that a marginalized group brings to the table can at least open the door to receptivity.
So the first step in seeking connection and change is to look for attitudes and values that help you create common ground. If you have a positive history with an individual or group you can draw on established goodwill to seek change. Becoming unerased means elevating your value in yourself and then making others aware of it. Value does not go away just because someone is different just like a tree does not stop being a tree just because someone does not recognize it as such.
Most People Are Good
It has been my experience that most people are good and try to be constructive. Nonetheless, it can be challenging in a world with few safety nets for individuals to always rise to the occasion when graciousness and constructive actions are needed. Sometimes, we cannot get what we need because realities interfere. Furthermore, no matter what we are trying to accomplish there are always tradeoffs in any choice or decision. Therefore, the wisest problem-solving and bridge-building strategies recognize these realities and take tradeoffs into account. When we seek to obtain something and we can show how we are making life better for everyone it is easier for others to be receptive because we are then net contributors and creating our inclusion based on adding value not because we feel erased from our social world.
We are fortunate to be living at a time when those who have felt erased for too long are raising their voices, seeking inclusion and demanding that neglected needs and priorities be addressed. The rights of all people need to be considered and the rebalancing of neglected rights is beginning and will continue for many years. While this rebalancing is progressing, sensitive people can serve the world’s humanitarian transformation by offering their gifts for the benefit of all.
Yes, we need to build bridges, and sometimes it is easier than others. This could not be a better time for sensitive people to restore their value in the world. There are new possibilities opening up and the world is much more receptive to those whose voices have been sidelined in the pursuit of economic agendas.
It is time to erase the erasure of sensitive and other marginalized people. I hope you will seek ways to include yourself and at least some of the time, you may find the world is ready to include you.