You Owe Yourself a Do-Over

 

You Owe Yourself a Do-Over

 

— Opinion by Bass Manski – SHARE if you agree —

To those of you who find yourselves in factions of society pitted against each other, because opposing labels have been assigned to you by persons unknown with motives unknown, I offer this simple advice from an old soul who’s been there and done that and has outlived any need or desire for worldly gains.

Judge not by appearances and labels, for you deny yourself the pleasure of discovery and, most importantly, the opportunity to restore your faith in each other.

Face To Face

Back in 2011 while on a plane to Oregon, I was thinking about the struggles that adolescent girls face in today’s somewhat-messed-up culture.  Having daughters myself, I was thinking that we as a society seem more responsive to trying to fix people after they’re broken than we are in preventing disorders before they take hold.  So, I had this idea for a “boot camp” for young girls called Face To Face that would purportedly enlighten and prepare them for life’s land-mines.  I never finished the outline, but for what it’s worth, I’m sharing it below.  It was meant to be a non-profit attempt to somehow make a difference, but I never pursued it or gave it legs.  Maybe it’s a dumb idea, or perhaps already been done.  I don’t know, but if anyone out there thinks it has merit and wants to run with it, please do so.  I claim no intellectual copyright provided it remains non-profit and altruistic.  Peace, love, dove homies.

Face To Face – Slide Presentation

FACE TO FACE

See yourself

Be yourself

Love yourself

(slide #2)

  • Teen suicide
  • Negative thinking
  • Body image
  • Media distortions
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Peer pressure
  • Bullying
  • Date rape
  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolation
  • Self abuse
  • Self destruction

If you are an adolescent or teenage girl,

please consider this question:

When you look in the mirror,

do you see the person you really are?

– a strong individual with positive self-esteem

who can rise above the influence of others?

Or do you see someone who is trying to be

the way she thinks others want her to be.

Someone who is trying to look the way

she thinks others want her to look.

Someone who is afraid and sensing that the self

she knows and loves is somehow slipping away?

Our daughters, sisters and friends are attempting to navigate a culture that’s like treading water in a lake filled with sharks.

Face To Face is a life-raft intended to help them make it to the other side.

Face To Face is

a 12-day, 24/7

educational,

psychological,

and spiritual “boot-camp”

intended to give our girls a fighting chance.

Face To Face is

non-profit,

non-political,

and non-theological,

and prepares girls for a life that is beautiful

and a culture that is, at times, treacherous

in a way that classrooms and even

families are not equipped to do.

Girls will learn to see themselves for the beautiful people they are on the inside without the pretense and pressures of     make-up, fashion, cell phones, social & other media.

Girls will learn to recognize and respond to society’s traps and prevent the pitfalls of negative thinking and self abuse.

Girls will benefit from 12 days of educational, physical, and spiritual training facilitated by professional psychologists, recreational therapists and athletic instructors.

A trained female therapist or chaperon will be present at all times.

Girls will bunk two-per-dorm-room with trained adult female hall-monitors always in ear-shot.

Guest speakers include professional celebrities and sports figures who espouse a positive life style with a positive message.

Cell phones, PDAs, I-pods/pads, lap-tops, etc are surrendered each morning and returned each night in time for daily “free time”.

Facilitated and highly interactive, evening group-discussions encourage girls to personalize and discuss with each other the day’s subject matter and activities.

Girls will learn that they are not alone in their thoughts, views and fears, while discovering alternative perspectives and learning to employ new coping skills.

Face To Face – Preliminary Notes on Curriculum (only just begun…)

Awareness and Self-Defense

  • The Psychology of Bullying
  • Standing Up to Bullying
  • The Psychology of Peer Pressure
  • Standing Up to Peer Pressure
  • The Science of the Brain
  • Impact of Alcohol on the Brain
  • Impact of Marijuana on the Brain
  • Bulimia – Symptoms, Causes & Cures
  • Anorexia – Symptoms, Causes & Cures
  • Depression – Symptoms, Causes & Cures
  • Anxiety – Symptoms, Causes & Cures
  • Deprogramming Society’s Conditioning
  • TO BE FURTHER DEVELOPED

Self Discovery

  • Values, Beliefs & Prejudices
  • Make-Up versus Mask
  • Fitting In, While Being You
  • The Psychology of Cliques & Labels
  • Reality versus The Movie In Your Head
  • The Media’s Bamboozling of Body Image
  • Seeing the Wonderful You
  • Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Parents Are People Too
  • Fear and Courage
  • TO BE FURTHER DEVELOPED

Basic Life Skills & Knowledge

  • Personality Types & Relationship Building
  • TO BE FURTHER DEVELOPED

Health & Recreation

  • Marshall Arts – Basic
  • Marshall Arts – Intermediate
  • Self-Defense – Basic
  • Self-Defense – Rape, Mugging
  • Yoga
  • Mediation
  • Low-Impact Aerobics
  • Singing & Voice Techniques
  • TO BE FURTHER DEVELOPED

End of preliminary notes on FACE TO FACE…

Broken

How far out there will you go? To make a point, to break a cycle, to take a risk, to save your integrity? When is safe no longer safe? Do you know how ice cold honesty feels? Are you courageous enough to face and live with the consequences of doing the right thing? Performing a role and lying to preserve the “act” are ingrained into society’s operating system.

Who among us is not broken? Who among us denies they are broken? If you believe nothing else, believe this: There are as many versions of reality in this life as there are creatures with brains. And they ALL judge. How can you possibly escape from the judgments of people who don’t know you? And the ones who do know you; do they really?

I grow evermore concerned about the growing plague of mental illness in our country, especially amongst our young. Addictions, depression, suicide, bullying, isolation, eating disorders, perfectionism, and sociopathic tendencies, to name but a few. The world of human carnivores is far from perfect; in fact, it is and has always been broken. We know this, so why not be honest about it, and ourselves? Our children are force-fed a diet of illusions and expectations never to be realized. They start off holding their parents on pedestals only to be disillusioned when they learn we are broken. They play with perfect Barbie dolls and watch perfect people on TV and magazines and advertisements, only to realize that they don’t look that way. They are coached to be happy, to get straight A’s, to never fail, to be wealthy; and then, when they become sad and hurt and abused and begin to observe failure all around them, they cannot reconcile it. It doesn’t add up. What to do?

I can’t pretend to know the answers. I am probably more broken than most of you, but I would suggest we need a paradigm shift. Treatment is good, but prevention is better. Early on in their development, let’s educate our youth in Ugly World 101. Yes, there IS beauty, happiness and fulfillment in living, but there is also failure, imperfection and brutality. Why not teach pre-teens about the psychology of bullying, or the deceit behind advertising, or how Mommy and Daddy are doing their best but they are not perfect, nor is anyone.

Who among us is not broken? I for one am willing to scream “I am broken! But it’s ok.” Alan Watts said that you can’t fix yourself, because the part of your brain that is trying to fix you is the same part that needs fixing. I agree. So, let’s stop trying, admit we’re broken, exhale, and let the healing begin. We really are OK. Peace, love, dove homies.