Saturday, September 12, 2009

social strata

Today I was at the meeting of Association of University Women. It was a room full of ladies that look and dress like me! Amazing experience. Most of them were a lot older and it made me realize that's what I am going to look like - KINDA SOON :)
Right now I am still relatively young and realtively beautiful but that lasts such a short time, doesn't it. It is a good thing I was never a social success and getting attention for my looks. I grew up wearing old clothes of other people, mostly my aunt's, and I never got to look into the mirror to see what I looked like until I was a graduate student assistant and needing to buy some clothes to teach in. That's the first time ever I got to have my own wardrobe, in my own colors. It was clothes from "on sale" but at least it was Patagonia sale. I still remember what it looked like - it was totally me. Green and khaki comfortable pants, short boxey roomy shirts in natural designs. It was very nice clothes, looking sporty and elegant.

Anyways, I digress.
I talked with a woman phsychologist about why girls don't go into math and science. We concluded that they are afraid of being labeled "not faminine" which is a big thing in the USA.
Although USA looks so emancipated, there is actually a lot of pressure on females to be like barbie dolls, pretty and "for playing". The adds with very explicit sex and violence done to women, the entertainment industry, everything.

Then my new friend said: and there is difference between classes. USA does have classes. Higher classes women have easier time, because their parents are professionals, so girls get support and examples and mentoring while growing up. Mid and lower classes women do not.

I said: YES. It made me think about my own past - the factory workers neighbors asking my mother why I was already 21 and not married, just getting old. I was one out of three to go to college out of my K 1-12 class of 60-90 people.

It made me think about the adult women I have been dealing with lately, and the whole layer of society I have been dealing with lately. They are the kind of that mid and lower classes. It struck me already before that somehow I had some roots and some upbringing, and they didn't. Somehow I came from a family that had "something." They seem to come from families that never taught them any discipline or manners or something higher, families that taught them rudeness to each other and grabbing and being mean. They are NOT kind nor responsive. Impressions matter. If they think you are lame, they are mean to you and make fun of you, bully you, show off, etc. That's all like greek to me - completely incomprehensible. I cannot even imagine why they live like that and how it is possible.

After talking with this psychologist, some other things are becoming apparent:

in that "lower" world, people are murky and confused, and the most important thing is their pride and their ego, keeping their turf and lookingn important, and NOT doing the right thing.
In that world, people are fragile. The only thing they have is their own little "me". For example, they never accept any responsibility for mistakes. They cannot handle it, they are weak.

Another thing that struck me is that I am arrogant - I know I am different, I know I am strong, and I don't care for the low stuff. And that disrespect shows.
I need to treat them more like a grown up would treat children - with a certain dose of forgiveness and also discipline, knowing that children must be dealt with in a certain way because they are children and incapable of anything else. Also, such asleep people are quite vicious and one has to be careful not to induce their bullying. They bully as soon as they get a sniff you are "weaker". "Weaker" means "kind and giving."

That forgiveness towards asleep world and letting things wash over and also being able to get things done in this asleep world. That's what I need to master.

Recently I had a good fortune to jump back to my "higher" world and deal with professionals. That is quite a different story. Much nicer, kinder story, story where things get done, on time, well, and kindly. IT HAS BEEN A RELIEF FOR ME. I feel like I am on my "planet" again.

I think there is a very strong correlation between level of spiritual maturity and level of success in life. People who are spiritually mature are more able to give, don't get bogged in worry, keep on pursuing their positive goals and God, and thus are more successful.

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