I started listening to this TED talks podcast that NPR puts together. It’s OK, I guess. Basically, they pick a theme, like “What’s Up, Creativity,” or “Check Out Space” and pull clips from multiple TED talks that touch upon this theme, and then the hosts will go on to do side interviews with some of the TED presenters. I say it’s OK for two reasons: one, because sometimes I would like to just hear someone’s full presentation instead of four disjointed minute surrounded by a lot of uninformative chit chat, and second, because it kind of feels like they’re trying to be RadioLab, and I love RadioLab, but we already have a RadioLab, so let’s have this be something different maybe! ANYWAYS, I was listening to this one episode last week and they were talking about the universal experience of “shame,” which exists in every culture, and how shame is the overwhelming fear of being unworthy of human connection, which I thought was a really interesting way of phrasing it. That everyone basically has, or has at least had at some point, something in their life that caused them shame, which was a moment or attribute that they felt, if discovered, would cause them to be denied human connection, that they would be considered to “alien” or “less than” to get the one thing we all need. What the doctor lady then went on to explain was that one of the major solutions/work-arounds for shame was simply being open to one’s own vulnerability, and finding strength in your weakness. Something like that. What the doctor lady did NOT explain is what happens when you do such a good job leaning into and accepting your own vulnerability that you flip your shame inside out and make an entire video about overcoming your hatred of your own asshole. WHAT THEN, DOCTOR?!
We all need and deserve human connection, the feeling that we are not alone in an otherwise disinterested world, and that our hopes and fears are shared by others, that we are human beings in a world of human beings and that this in and of itself has value and meaning. But, like, THERE’S GOT 2 B A BETTER WAY!