Last week I discussed why I believe this generation is faceless and some ways in which individuals can alter their perspective to understand who they are and where they’re going. This week I want to explore how this impacts your greater social circle. If I were to describe why I was doing it this way, I would direct you to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. It is one developmental psychologists view on how children develop, but I also believe that it applies to how we can influence those around us.
Bronfenbrenner explores the impact that an adult who is crazy about the child can have upon their development. I would take that a step further and suggest that we can have that same impact upon those around us. We have discovered who we are, so we now have a responsibility to help others understand who they are, and the ripples begin to flow outwards from us.
The purpose of this system is to work from inside ourselves into our wider community and hopefully begin to see change in our world. There are major injustices in the world, and we can’t begin to address them until we understand who we are. The next step is to help others understand who they are. If everyone spoke to four of their close friends or family about their identity and who they could be, then it would begin to spread. This is the psychology behind viral Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter posts, videos, etc. This is how a movement starts. A movement to stop being faceless. A movement to begin changing the world. Our generation is lost, but that’s not a bad thing because it means that our generation has so much potential energy. The amazing thing about potential energy is, that the more potential energy there is, the more kinetic energy it gets translated into. If our entire generation began to move towards a common goal for greatness, there would be no end to the good that could be done.
The question I want to explore today is whether or not our perspective can change those around us. I personally would say that it absolutely can, but only if that perspective ties back to what they already believe about themselves. People have beliefs about themselves and others. Whether these beliefs impact their worldview or not is a moot point because they always will. So how do we change those beliefs? By showing them a different perspective. It may take a while, but a belief can always be changed because people are highly flexible and adaptable beings. The beauty of the human mind is that it can retain a multitude of different things and translate these into ideas which are more than just a chemical signal.
In short, if you can help a person to believe something different about themselves then they may understand who they are. A word of caution in this though. Words are powerful. They should only be used to benefit the person. There are people who have been subjected to emotional pain beyond what many of us can understand or even bear. No one should ever take advantage of the pain, emotional or whatever, that someone else is going through. There are already people like that out there and it is damaging, both to the person doing it and the person being subjected to it.