Max Weber, a well-known early sociologist, warned about this coming doom as societies convulsed under the pressure of the Industrial Revolution. He spoke of the "iron cage" that stifled humanity's inherent glory as systems took hold. He was right. I often feel sadly inadequate when trying to help students and clients sort through the maze of rules and regulations they often confront. Their glazed-over expressions conveying a sense of indentured servitude are heartbreaking. Just as Archie felt a loss of control over his own destiny at having his insurance inexplicably cancelled, these folks also sense a loss of autonomy at not having a say in how they are treated.
So, it becomes ever more important that we affirm each other as individuals and as human beings worthy of respect and dignity. Regardless of past behaviors and choices, we all deserve the right to be treated with courtesy, compassion and love. We can never dissolve the systems that we've created, but we can resolve to improve their efficacy so that they do not necessarily dehumanize us. Here is yet one more example in which we share a common bond. Who among us has not been angered by some inane rule or regulation that seems to make no sense? That stranger sitting next to you has, and so has the person standing in line behind you. Acknowledge them with a knowing smile and nod. After all, we really are all in this together - for better for worse.
Be kind to yourself and to others.
© Copyright 2013 Douglas Layer, LMHC