You may look at the heading and think “Oh Cawd” what on Earth happened to Edward today? On the absolute contrary to what you may be thinking, I actually had an awesome day.
What got me thinking on this ‘negative’ viewpoint was too odd experiences I had on the way home. I am sure both were accidents, however it did ‘Trigger’ me into a defensive type of thinking.
One was in Sydney CBD. About 9:30PM at night, grabbed a Hot Chocolate and someone knocked my backpack quite hard from behind. I was a heavy tap and I instantly turned and gave my usual ‘Federal Agent’ look and it was an asian guy with some friends who gave me an apology in broken english.
As I walked home (in Parramatta), a group of guys were coming my way and one didn’t see me, I moved out of the way and this guy bumped into me pushing me onto the road. He did say sorry, as I moved on quite quickly.
I am sure both were accidents which can happen at anytime, however it did trigger me to think about experiences in my life where people intentionally oppressing me and putting me down.
From experiences of being used, not being paid, having people backstab me to clients (with intent to steal them) and even a bit of good old racism directed my way – it got me thinking about how myself (and many of us) deal with oppression in our lives.
Firstly, what is oppression? It got me thinking and I had to visit Wikipedia on this one:
Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
Great definition and I like this one! For me, it has actually not been the Government or any systems like that (if anything, especially after I got injured – the Government was really nice to me). It has been people here and there from bosses bullying me to even a recent one of people trying to con me out of paying me for help.
I am sure you have your own stories too in your own life and to me, oppression can hit us in all sorts of ways. Oppression persists when we let it and there are situations where we can’t run away from it. That is, unless we fight it / stop them, it shall keep going.
The first step with fighting any form of oppression in our lives is standing up for our rights. That may be harder than it sounds (especially if there is a power imbalance against us), however I have found that quite often the ‘power imbalance’ exists in our minds. When we stand up, tell off those pushing us around and even push back (be it physically or mentally depending on the situation), they almost always back off and leave you alone.
It creates a great situation actually in that we reclaim our own power, they back off and then we can continue our lives on doing what matters. It also makes us feel stronger so next time with when some abusive twit comes along we can hit them hard and move them along quickly.
On a funny note of irony, after being accidentally pushes and still ‘slightly grumpy’ coming home, my peaceful awesome wife was busy making Poms-Poms from yarn. They were really good, she did a great job – and I told her my emotions and we both laughed at the contrast (e.g. nice kind wife making pom-poms, ex-government husband thinking about fighting oppression).
My advice and thinking? When you get oppressed in your life, my first instinct is to back off and protect yourself that way. When that is not an option (or say someone weaker needs your protection and help), deal with the bully committing the oppression anyway you can.
The sooner we stop them is the sooner we make the world a better place. Also, the bully will think twice next time against an innocent victim.
So there you go! I am not so ‘triggered’ anymore after the two accidental pushes, so time for me to go to bed and smile as I sign off at 10:56PM.
Thanks for your fine support, love your work and defend yourself in style!