So there’s this funny* tendency we have, as humans and that is the tendency for one disparaged group to disparage another. For a group, or individual, under duress to all to readily and quickly turn around and perpetrate the same onto another group.
On the one hand, this doesn’t seem to make any sense… surely this group, or individual, knows what it feels like to be disparaged, denigrated, diminished, disowned, and discriminated against, right? The hurt that accompanies it, the feelings of frustration, the harshness it is to exist under… why would they then do likewise to another?
But, on the other hand, it also makes perfect sense – in the same context. This is the world they (we) live in, this is the world that has been modeled, this is the world that has been taught, a world where if you are to have power and agency, you gain it, at least in part, via the act of disparagement. It is what the “powerful” and “well to do” and “respected” and “right” and “normal” people and groups do. They disparage. It is a hierarchical system, a caste. And so, to be, and to demonstrate you are, in “power”, you disparage. It is the path forward, the path to confidence, security, and self-determination.
Except, of course, that it doesn’t really work. Nor is it authentic. And in the end, if we’re honest, doesn’t leave anyone on any side feeling great. It only perpetrates the precarious anxious knife-edge feeling of precariousness, balancing on that “knowledge” that, at any moment, something may happen that will drive us out of favour and perpetrate our rush to the bottom of that ladder.
No matter where on the chain we (currently) sit, there’s no authentic self-confidence there, no peace of mind, and no self-actualization. And , above all, no freedom or self-expression.
There isn’t much more to say other than the invitation play the game of being mindful and present, and be aware of what the actual impetus is when jumping on the disparagement train.
There are plenty of other trains that lead to far more exciting and heartening places. Let’s travel on those.
* Funny in the cosmic sense, though it is also, at the same time, not so funny at all and cosmically unfortunate.
** Years ago I played in my first LARP (Live Action Role-Playing Game). When I got there, a bunch of the regulars were talking, and were fully embroiled in disparaging this other, particular, fandom. “Yeah, those losers are almost at the bottom of the geek hierarchy chart…” one person proudly said. Putting aside the vapidity of such a chart, the illuminating thing was that LARP players are also right near the bottom of that same chart. This person was using a chart that disparages them to disparage someone else… trapped in the downward spiral in hopes of somehow regaining pride and agency. (It didn’t/doesn’t work)