It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Most days are filled with me being too tired to see left from right, others are just me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But in every step, I have carefully, thoughtfully, and creatively planned my moments. I make decisions based on where I think I’ll be next. That, in itself, seems to be a lost art.
I think on things that might need to happen, but also on things that are not yet formulated in the front of my mind. I find myself making possible decisions down the road, in happenstance that my first, fourth, fifteen, and forty-fifth thought don’t come to fruition. Although this seems extreme, many people don’t go past the first two.
I’ve noticed in my world that many people do not think about things. And then when you admit to it, they shame you with the same disdain they would receive from a doting parent or beloved person they looked up to. That happens to me and it confuses me: Why should I accept your shortcomings as fact and my own as mere neglectfulness?
I think that people do this to make themselves feel better. If they can’t understand you, or your thought pattern is too far flung from their own, they make you… convince you… how wrong your train of reasoning may be. “It doesn’t align with my own,” they may say. “My thoughts are more reasonable [to me], so your consideration… your explanation… as to why we should even go with yours sound like complete and utter babble. I disagree. I disagree because I’m scared. And what I’m scared of is you being right, me being wrong, and not seeing at all how you could be right ahead of time. Or, at all. That, would make me feel dumb. And I don’t want to feel dumb. So I will get to you, first.”
The anger, the sheer embarrassment that one must feel could be surmounting. I know this feeling because I had it. As Randall Munroe said in Thing Explainer, he used “big words” because he felt like he needed to prove to people that he was smart. I’ll take it even further to say that they could be used to prove that one was far beyond the typical person. I know. Because I felt the same thing. This book opened my mind to me, and I hope it does the same for others, but I digress.
The point of this post is to explain why I didn’t want to be in a place. And that place depended – hinged – on my multifaceted thinking. Now, let’s get out of the minutiae of inadequate feelings and progress heavily into the socioeconomic pressures. Most people are aware of the segregation that happens with minority peoples in this country. So, how does that play in the ability to think down the line?
I’ve noticed that the majority culture doesn’t have to. They don’t have to think. Let’s start at that – Level 1: The High Subconscious. At this level, people don’t need to really plan anything. It’s laid out for them to follow, much like the lights of a landing strip for airplanes. They only need to let their natural instincts guide them right between the lines of lights and they’ll land perfectly with room to stop, turn around, and depart the strip… while being attended to for fueling, maintenance, and whatnot.
Level 2: The Role Fitters. They’re the ones making sure that even though they may not be quite Level 1, they fit into the globular structure of what’s expected of them. So they may not be the top airline, but they have plenty of concourses, and maybe even their own section. They complain about Level 1 and their complete need to be taken care of, but they cannot see that they are receiving the same/similar care, just of a lower grade. And… more than the next levels. Significantly more.
That brings us to Level 3 through Infinity: The Detailers. These are like the airlines that struggle for a space on the runway, are often the last to take off (often being bumped by a higher level), and share concourse space with other lower levels. With each lower level, another layer of pride is stripped. The further away one is from Level 1, the less they’ll receive and the harder it will be to understand and comprehend what it’s like to be working on a subconscious level. Their moves are pre-planned, almost to perfection. Every step becomes more detailed and intentional. If one were to go to their time schedule, it would be broken down into minute sections, whereas the Level 1 would almost not even have one… it would be more of a general rules of thought landscape (emphasis for irony).
The hard part of being anything other than Level 1 is that the world, society in general, is not designed to teach, grow, or cater to any other level. People born into the lower levels won’t receive the same outcome given the same material. Socioeconomic status lessons will have to be passed down from other non-Level 1s in order for them to survive. Otherwise, they get swept in the systematic belief that they didn’t try hard enough to succeed and that is why they haven’t received the same gifts and treatment as the Level 1s.
But there is a problem. Those lessons have stopped for the lower levels. There’s a gap in information. The sharing with non-1s is halted. Either the people who could teach/pass the knowledge to them are taken away, or a new system has confused the design of disseminating this information and thus breaking the chain of progress. This break expands exponentially, starting a whole generation of people from scratch, and leaving them with the belief they deserve – and will be – treated as equals.
When it comes to race, gender roles, misogyny, and sexual orientation, each one has it’s own Level. And even within that level, are more levels – First Class on down to Coach. Overall, we need to see those Levels in order to fix the problems with them. The hardest part is admitting that there is one.