A little while ago. I posted the following thoughts to facebook.
How sick are we as a country, (not metaphorically but actually sick) that we need a drug advertisement EVERY commercial break. Wait... maybe it isn't about your actual health... then what is about then?
I was so happy to see other people who jumped in to respond to the comments. Often times I get afraid that we become so used to things that we don't stop to question them. The idea that every commercial break during this show I was watching had a drug commercial troubled me. I mean really are we so sick as a country that they believe that every break someone needs to hear about this new drug that can help (or hurt them in my opinion). I can't believe we are, so then what would be the other motive.
And who approves any drug where the side effects are suicidal ideation.... WHAT!! Now that's crazy.
People are always talking about polarization of our government and even our country in today's world. However the idea of polarization in American Politics is not new. In fact the very binary structure of our political system necessitates polarizaiton. If I say you only have 2 choices and you choose one by nature you are the opposite or polar opposite of the other. Since our 2 party system has been around for decades the idea that we are becoming more polarized is a distinction without a difference in my mind.
What instead I think people are noticing is the "Hater Mindset". The Hater Mindset causes people to be incapable of properly processing dissent/disagreement. It says that we can't simply be Polar opposites, I have to demonize you for your position so that I can have a sense of internal peace. we have always been polarized but now we feel the need to punish the polarizaiton this is the result of the Hater Mindset in action.
One of the most unique and downright bizzare things I think happens in our culture/society is the stigmatizing and tabooness of periods/cycles. Periods/Cycles are something that 50% of the population of THE ENTIRE WORLD experience not one time, but every single month. And for some reason we act like it is absurd and disgusting for women to discuss it, for us to know it is happening with a woman, or to even let the idea of it creep into everyday life.
I have had women in my family who would be ashamed to let me know that they were experiencing discomfort or even going through their cycles at all, because they had been trained to hide this natural process for the what safety and comfort of men. It is time to stop. If you haven't before today lets start as of today, recognizing that women are a valued part of society, culture, and life and that their natural processes should not be something that causes them to feel ashamed. Of course this could just be me Hating !!
So a few years ago my wife and I decided that we were no longer going to bring birthday gifts for birthday celebrations. I would love to tell you that my thoughts were as well developed then as they are now and that I made a concientious decision. The truth is that we were both in grad programs (her masters, me Ph.D.) and between that the kids activities and school, and other roles we had at our church, work, etc. Time just became a precious commodity and taking time to shop on top of attending the party felt like 'doin tha most (spelling is intentional here)" ,tha most. So we made a choice do we just not go or do we go but not bring a present. We chose the latter. And while time efficiency was how it started, the response that often happened when we did this led to a more principled stand.
Now when I say response, I am not saying anyone explicitly said anything. But it would be the subtle micro-responses. A frown when they see no gift, a "hey the gifts go over there" when we arrived, or the "which one did you all bring" statement to my wife and I.
And while I understand why people were confused by our lack of gift giving it made me think about the concept overall.
What these people were actually saying (or implying) is, "you being here is not enough". If you are here you need to give me, my kid, my wife, etc. something to show value. Show that you value them and that they value you. You see in this scenario the value is being placed on the gift. The object, the material. And that is not surprising in a materialistic, capitalism society. But that also doesn't mean it is right. I think a better object for value is people.
Think about it this way, if a person is at a birthday party with lots of gifts but no people that is a SAAAD BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! But if that same person has 100s of people show up for their party you may not even notice whether they have gifts or not. This is because we know people are more valuable than stuff. But in the midst of a birthday celebration we somehow lose this and think if there is no gift than there is no value.
But if I don't come to your party, then you don't a gift and you have an empty party so why don't we begin to remember an even practice shifting the value from the gift to the people who came to see you on your special day. That to me is a better way to view thing.
BUT HEY THAT'S JUST ME HATING !!!!
Dr. Wes Parham
Next Friday I will be giving the Keyonte at the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City Leadership conference. This is like coming home for me because I worked at MCC for almost 5 years years ago. This is going to be a fun time#ALLMYHATERSKNOW
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a great reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the "BE A HATER" book and movement. After our discussion she wrote up a great article about my thoughts on Taylor Swift and Gucci Mane. Check out the link below. It is in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Check out my new interview on threadinglist.com website. I talk about the books that shape me
Wes Parham: Reading List | The Reading Lists
In this interview, author and organizational consultant, Wes Parham, discusses the books that have inspired and influenced his life and career.
I can't keep doing this,
I gave you everything that I had
My car and my gas,
my wallet my cash,
everything that you asked.
And all I wanted was to be
so tell me
Why are you so stingy....
The example that came to mind for me was my first car as a teenager. When I was 15 years old, recognizing that I would soon be driving I set out to secure a vehicle. My first car was a 1991 ford Taurus that I purchased from a family friend for $200. All of the windows in the car including the front and back windshield were broken out. The battery was dead and the engine needed a lot of work. But I knew that I had to get the car running. Not so that I could use it for transportation, but because I had purchased two 15-inch speakers and a 600-watt amplifier that I wanted to get wired up into the car. I was going to pair it with some internal lights that flashed when the bass played. And that way everyone would know that I was coming from a block away and see that “my ride was fly”. I had adopted this mindset because this was the approach that my friends and peers at the time had. A car was not for transportation it was for display. You had to show that you had one. As a lower income teenager, having a car in itself was an accomplishment, but having one that was “laid” was a win. I had to show that I had the money to buy the car and “lay it out”, because money’s purpose was to be spent. This lesson was never formally taught to me, but the conversations of my friends and peers at the time had subconsciously shaped the way that I viewed money and specifically my car. Fast forward to me sitting in a room years later listening to my colleague discuss the hidden rules of money. I looked back and recognized that for several years now I had not thought about spending money as something that is supposed to be done with money. In fact, I hated spending money. I no longer thought spending money on a car was cool. I thought not having a car payment and instead paying your car payment to your savings account was cool. The purpose of money for me at that point was to be managed not spent. Spending was a necessary evil, not a preferred way of utilizing money. It was far more important to save money or to figure out how to decrease expenditures. These were the thoughts that I now had. At that moment I recognized that I had not been formally taught these ideas and beliefs either. I had adopted them just by nature of them being the prevalent ideas in the discourse and exchanges that were happening around me. I myself was impacted by the hidden middle class rules, silently, implicitly, and without my consent. I was “inceptioned”.
Let me begin by saying that this is not like the typical letter you receive. I know that you may be hesitant to read this letter because of the abuse, scorn, and downright meanness that people have displayed to you in written letters like this one. But let me assure you that is not the purpose of this letter. This is a THANK YOU NOTE.
To be clear I am not thanking all of you. I know that some of you are truly hateful individuals who want to bring down others. And to you I will have to write a different letter. But this letter is for those who have been labeled a “hater” for dissenting. It is for:
- The mother who was called a hater for not wanting her child to date an unqualified bum of a man or an unsupportive, manipulative, unambitious (or wrong ambitions) type of woman
- For the sports fan who is called a hater for explaining why Jordan (or Lebron if you are under 25) is the best basketball player alive
- For the person who dared to say they didn’t like another persons shoes and were called a hater for it
- For the person who wanted to eat somewhere different from the rest of the group.
- For the person who held their ethics when everyone else wanted to cheat
- For the person who explained why a plan won’t work after everyone else decided it would
- For the person who doesn’t like spaghetti
- For the person who dared to have a different political party from their friends or family
- For the person called a hater for not liking a musical artist
- For the person who said that Big Bird is cooler than Elmo
To all of you I say THANK YOU!! Thank you for your dissent that leads to Janusian Thinking and creativity. Thank you for your disclosing observations that stop negative information cascades and tyranny. Thank you for your caring heart. Caring enough to express to those you care about where you differ. (Check out Be A Hater: A Polemic on the Hater Mindset for more). Thank you for being… well …A HATER (since that’s what culture calls it).
I know that in today’s world this has been hard for you. In this world where people can’t stand disagreement or dissent. Where to them these things are as bad as hating. So in this midst of this crazy world, let this small letter from one hater to another serve as encouragement for you. I see you hater. KEEP DOING YOUR THING J
For More on Haters check out
BE A HATER: A Polemic on the Hater Mindset