Are we really okay?
Everything’s okay. There’s a concept like this. Do you recognize it? Sometimes it’s very tempting to believe it. It’s an attitude, one might say a worldview, according to which “everything is okay”. Yes, yes, everything’s okay.
We’re okay. By we, I mean you and me, those who are “okay”, we’re just fine. When we look at the “others”, it is absolutely clear that something must be done, they must be taken care of. They have a problem, but we’re okay. I think most of the adults in this sick world believe this.
But it’s not true.
If I may, I, for example, am absolutely not okay.
True, I have a lovely home of my own, and an amazing wife and three wonderful daughters, and I have a job that excites me and gives me joy and I even have a yard. But I’m not okay. True, I am not hospitalized in any kind of institution, and I wasn’t injured in any war and I do not belong to any oppressed minority in my country, but I am still really not okay.
What about you? Are you okay?
According to this enticing idea, we must correct the disturbances and take care of the “others”, those who are not okay, and then… then everything will be great. Sometimes we need to take care of the others with the army, sometimes with the courts and the police, and sometimes we believe that it is suitable for some government office to take care of them, sometimes they should just relax a little and sometimes we wish they would just go to a psychologist and get fixed already. But we’re okay.
Totally okay. All right, of course we should improve the cash-flow and invest in the education system; it would be very helpful, of course, to raise awareness, to take a vacation once in a while, to develop a new hobby, to read the right books, to see movies and take courses. It helps. It helps a lot.
We of course wish for the day when other people will understand, when everyone will understand as we have long known, what is right and who is right. We wait and wish for the time when everyone will want peace, learn a lesson, stop dreaming, and understand that there is no chance for peace, understand that love is preferable to violence and cooperation is better than war, but we’re okay. Totally okay.
This is an illusion.
And the truth is that nothing is okay. The truth is that no one, no one at all is okay. The truth is that we are all screwed up in the head. Sorry to be rude, but I’m trying to be precise. I mean this literally, without anger or frustration. I suggest that we are screwed up—as in damaged; in the head—the body part that is supposed to help us collect data and reach conclusions that are helpful to us. This is not a punishment or a curse, there is a purpose to this screwing up and there is also a cure, but we must first start with the facts.
The first and most important fact is that all of us—me and you—
Are screwed up in the head.
This is a fact.
We’re not okay.
Like a computer that’s been attacked by a deadly virus that makes it do things it’s not supposed to do, forget things it’s supposed to know, we, too, are all infected. Except that among us it is customary to say: “Me? I’m fine,” and keep living with the virus, act as though it is a welcome and legitimate operating system.
This is a very smart virus. It knows how to make us believe we’re okay, so that it can keep secretly managing us, so it can keep doing its work quietly. We also speak for it, and we “infect” more and more small people, more and more children, with this virus, and it can keep expanding its operations undisturbed.
It does wonders, this virus. It can make us think, for example, “It’s true that I’m part of a culture in which it is totally accepted for people to imprison their children in a place they don’t want to be, but I’m okay.”
“All my friends and I are mostly unsatisfied with our lives and unhappy, but we’re okay.”
“Most of the people in my nation, including me, draw our reason for existence from staring at a big, loud plastic box with no heart, but we’re okay.”
“Most of the people in the culture I know, including me, are usually fighting with their spouses or their employers or their employees or their clients or their competition or the fans of the competing team or the employees of the competing company or the people of a different nationality or religion. We are almost always fighting but we’re okay.”
“I am part of a culture that takes uninhibited advantage of those who are weak and poor, if he is from a different nation and looking for work, but I’m okay.”
“I prefer to be in a closed apartment with artificial heat and a television, more than to be among trees and rocks and the clouds outside. But I’m okay.”
This virus is amazing. No, I have not fallen victim to a weird conspiracy theory. I see it, this virus. I saw it working yesterday morning. A girl in my daughter Sita’s class was crying because she didn’t want to leave her mother. The teacher came to help. She said to the four-year-old girl: “You shouldn’t cry. You are a big girl and you know that Mommy needs to go to work.” The virus was caught. When both the mother and the teacher who love her so much are standing next to her, both of them agreeing that she shouldn’t cry, she is big and she understands, the child’s immune system is cracked open and the virus can penetrate. The girl can no longer get rid of the virus, and within her the understanding begins to spread that she is okay when deep inside she really doesn’t feel okay. Yes, yes, this virus has refined and sophisticated ways of entering our operating system.
The virus is called, “forced maturation”. The fertile soil on which the virus flourishes is called the imposing approach, the right parents reserve to not listen to what the child is really asking, and instead impose on their child what she needs according to their knowledge and their needs.
On this soil, the children’s opportunity to simply be children, to ask for and get what suits them, and to feel like children, vanishes. This way, they are denied the opportunity to feel that their dependency is a gift and not a punishment; they are denied the opportunity to know with certainty that their dependency on their parents not only doesn’t hurt them, but allows them to grow slowly, at the right pace, until at the right moment, of their own free will, they can provide for their own emotional needs and become adults.
The virus spreads because of more and more children whose bodies matured but their psycjes are still childish, people whose childhood was taken from them, those who function in this world as adults—writing books, leading nations, fighting wars, developing technologies, developing theories and ideologies—and all this from a childish aspiration to receive something from someone big and strong who loves them most of all. Someone who really listens. People who in turn create their own families, which is also part of an effort to receive something. And at a certain point when the excitement of having a new child wears off, they begin to impose on her as well. They pass the virus on, to the next generation.
Our culture is not corrupt because of materialism, competition, violence or political corruption. These are the thin outer layers. The illness that shapes our world is the way parents relate to their children. No one is okay but no one will write about it in the paper. The virus sees to that. It programs us to believe that what is important is what goes on “out there”. Because of this virus, we are accustomed to believing that “reality,” “real life,” is something that happens in the world the news anchors review, something dramatic and extreme, something outrageous and fateful, “like in the movies”.
Every child asks and asks and then demands of his parents in every way possible to keep being a child. When in the end his request is not answered—he gives up. And then he also turns into a carrier. Like us. And he grows up to be an adult who passes it on, to his children. The programming is easy and simple, because on a deep level, when it comes to the motivating beliefs that create his identity in the world, in the end, after he gives up, a child receives everything his parents transfer to him.
Education, enhanced quality of life or spiritual messages will not help here. Parents who really listen to their children will. Parents who dare to listen and to hear this simple message from their children: “I am a child, and I ask to receive from you, Mommy; and from you, Daddy. To receive. Simply to receive. To be a child, to receive more and more without understanding your side, without being considerate, without giving anything back. Simply to be a child and to receive the supportive space to be a child from you. That is what I ask. That, to me, is love.”