“How come they didn’t see it happening?”
“How could they let this happen?”
“How is it possible that it took place and no one knew?”
“How can they say they didn’t see?”
“Can people really be this blind?”
“Don’t they care?”
“Don’t they see?”
Maybe they didn’t. The improbable is possible. People can be that blind. Even when they care, they may not see.
It is easy to see what one wants, what’s congruent, what matches assumptions or views or held beliefs. It is easy to recognize what one had learned already, to follow perceptions already accepted, ways familiar … easier to understand words that resonate with what does not burden with new challenges or calls for reassessment or brings up shame.
Shame. People don’t like to see what brings up shame.
The very whiff of it can bring on denial. Projection. Deflection. Blame of others. Avoidance. Cold shoulder. Dismissal. Refusal. Minimization of the pain of others to avoid feeling one has done wrong, seen wrong, is wrong.
Shame tugs along with hate and violence, in words or action or both. Inflicting pain on others might get justified or explained away … A way to keep downtrodden what one thinks should stay unnoticed, un-make-wave-able, quiet, under rugs, buried. Unseen.
It takes time, heart, and bravery to crack and drain shame.
It is easier to blame. To point fingers. To make “an other” to scapegoat or distance from. To claim misfortune due to one’s abilities, affiliation, religion, political leanings, nationality, age, gender, race, vocation, location, possessions or lack thereof.
To yell “false claims”, “exaggeration”, “attention seeking” or the newest term: “fake news.”
Shaming is a weapon of pseudo self-preservation for those who need to ensure the pain of another remains unseen and one’s own comfort can stand unprovoked.
Unspoken words of wounded children
Pleas of disrespected women
The worlds of the oppressed, belittled, turned against them.
The desperate, the lost … unanswered. Unaccepted. Unacceptable.
It does not need to so remain.
To face what was already there but eyes were closed to, is the first step to unmaking shame. To healing pain.
May we find ways to see. May we take heart to act. May we become for others what we need or needed them to see in us, to do for us, to hold with gentleness.
May the unseen become the visible.
May shame be drained.
For The Daily Post