It is so hard to believe that it has been 20 years already since we welcomed a new millennium with all of the Y2K fears that never came to fruition. This brings to mind all of the things that we face on a daily basis where we are afraid of everything that is about to happen. We fear outcomes all the time be it something like layoffs or poor treatment at work or waiting for the results of our latest cancer tests or even being afraid to go anywhere because of what might happen in public places these days. And the saddest part about this type of thinking and worrying is that this is something that we were taught at some point in our lives.
“I want to help others who find themselves in those truly negative situations to have the courage to find a way out to a better circumstance…“Barbara Jacoby
For as long as most of us can remember, we have been controlled by fears of negative outcomes. As kids, if we her fooling around or making too much noise, we were quieted or settled down with promises that we were going to hurt ourselves or would get into trouble and be disciplined in ways that would take away privileges or restrain our behavior on some level. Of course, this carried over when we went to school and were constantly controlled by a series of rules and regulations that would be administered with threats of punishments for infractions that not only were administered at school but again when you got home after your parents were informed about what you had done. The focus was always on negative outcomes in most arenas of our learning years.
By the time we moved out into the world on our own, the same mentality reappeared in our relationships and in our workplaces. When one started dating, you were judged on whether you were attractive enough, had the right credentials, made enough money and fit into the world of the person in which you were interested. If not, you were expected to change to make yourself suitable and to be what someone else wanted you to be or you were discarded. So you worked to please another person for fear that you would not measure up and be treated negatively in the future because of this poor reputation that you had acquired in social circles.
The workplace was no different. You were expected to do exactly as you were told in what you did, how you did it, when you did it and with whom you did it. If you did not do so, you were given poor performance reviews, demotions and even fired for reasons that could be manufactured at so many levels. For many, that would be under the guise of not being able to work with others or not doing as directed by superiors if you reported abusive treatment from a dictatorial boss. After all, the fear of loss is greater than the hope for gain in so many situations in which we find ourselves these days. And now this even includes personal choices like politics, religion, sexual preferences, etc.
Personally, this landscape of fear and loss and negative thinking and behavior is so sad. We have learned to follow the leader who wants to control the rest of us with power and money and teach us to believe that we can’t trust one another or love each other because there is always an ulterior motive in doing so. We can’t accept each other for who we are because that is scary. If your ideas and beliefs are different, there is something wrong with you if you can’t conform to the norm as we were all taught we should do. So, it is only ever acceptable to do as you are told to do by people who try to tell you that their direction is for your own good because they know better and are smarter than you.
Therefore, my resolutions for the New Year are a bit different than those of many others. I want to do something each and every day to encourage another person to think for themselves, to follow their dreams, to treat themselves more kindly, to be nicer to someone else and/or focus on ways to be a more positive person and just enjoy the day. I want to find ways to help others to appreciate all of the good things around them in the people that they know and the places where they live and work. And I want to help others who find themselves in those truly negative situations to have the courage to find a way out to a better circumstance with the knowledge that if they have had the strength to endure all of the negatives and are still standing, they certainly have the power to change their circumstances to ones that are positive and safe and loving. And it is my fondest hope that I will find others along the way who will also do the same so that we can make the new year and the new decade the best one ever. These are my New Year hopes and dreams and wishes for all of you!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.