After reading it I started typing away, furious as I was, cause I needed to vent my frustration and share my opinion about society WITH society.
You see, besides being a great inspiration for most of my work, society and all of its ugliness is a very sensitive subject for me.
I come from a family in which Domestic Violence seemed to have a higher priority than raising healthy children. My sister was bullied terribly in elementary school, because, basically, we lived in a little town and she was a pretty child. I have a niece, who is epileptic and mentally handicapped and was always singled out and laughed at for her disabilities, even by her own family. When my Dysthymic Disorder kicked in in high-school, I have had years where I was accepted and years where I was the ‘weirdo’.
After all these experiences, when I finished high-school at age 17, I made it my mission to never be labeled as ‘the weirdo’ again. To give no one the opportunity to ever see one of my flaws. I became the ‘Perfect Human-being’ — according to what I thought society expected of me.
To get the looks, I needed money. To get the money, I rolled into crime, which was the ‘perfect choice’, because crime would also take care of the respect — or, rather, the fear.
After six years, my drive to fit in left me with a drug- and alcohol-addiction, a rap-sheet, a ‘double depression‘, scars on my knuckles, a broken nose, no real friends and a girlfriend who was doubting our relationship.
Although it were my choices that brought me all of the above, I suppose, due to my young age, you can understand my anger towards society.
If society had been a bit nicer with me growing up, I would’ve never been ‘pushed’ to make these choices — of course there’s the aspect of ‘a stable home’, but I didn’t realize that at the time.
He pointed out to me that society reacts to ‘weirdo’s’ the way it does, not out of disrespect or a lack of care, but out of fear.
Example: When a random person passes a homeless person on the street, he/she covers the sight – for what we cannot see, does not exist – and passes by, but in a group, us human beings gather collective ‘courage’ and curse at the homeless person, or, if one is feeling like taking the alpha-role, spit and piss on him.
According to Duncan, it’s the group-dynamic that makes people behave like monsters towards those who differ from what is ‘normal’.
In other words: compared to the 16th century, we might have made giant leaps forward when it comes to technology, we even invented a couple of laws that ‘guarantee’ a more ‘harmonious’ and ‘safe’ way of living, but when it comes down to humanity, respect and open-mindedness, we’re still the same ignorant, murderous bastards we were during the witch-hunt.
The only difference is: we don’t kill anyone — hands-on, that is.
Honestly, I would prefer to live in the 16th century and be burned alive.
Back then, at least it was obvious who was being the asshole and who was the victim.
Nowadays, society burns and executes our mental being, our soul, and the damage they create is just as invisible as our illness.
For what we cannot see, does not exist…
Written by: Daan van den Bergh;
A 28 year old husband and father from The Netherlands. Over at my blog I share poetry, short stories, flash fiction and commentary in an attempt to pour society’s issues into the art of writing. Visit my blog at Daanvandenbergh.com. Follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook.