Water breaking against stones by the sea

Gatekeepers in our lives

Who is it that gives approval, letting things happen and changing the lives of the rest of us? Those whose decisions, somehow, carry weight. Who are in those positions and how’s their role exercised? Is it done based on individual perspectives and inclinations, or by applying specific ways of thinking in any particular area? Given we all tend to stand within pre-existing bodies of thought, how free or inclusive is this likely to be?

Maybe we’re all simply gatekeepers, in our own corner of things? Within our personal lives and those groupings – family, workplace, friendships – where our views count. Each of us deciding what we’ll let in, give power, or allow to happen. As if we’re all just passing judgement; accepting or rejecting whatever passes before us; forming our own ideas of what it means and if it matters.

At the level of society, we’ve perhaps always had people or institutions in such roles: those shining their light on things while others listen. This sense of societies having places where voices can be heard; and, ideas as to who should be speaking. Although, at this point in time, it’s all just seeming quite set in its ways with positions established, arguments worked through, and little more to say but agree or disagree.

How are we to become conscious of these power structures and the intentions or awareness of those filling them? Because, who’s to say whose perspective is perfect enough to be considered definitive? Who knows enough of everything to truly judge how things stand and what’s for the best? Whose version of reality gets to win out, between these voices?

Increasingly, it’s seeming hard to say what things mean and how much they matter: whose views are to determine our ideas of the realities around us, into which ours are woven? Given such decisions shape our actions, conveying “our” sense of meaning to all those on the receiving ends of our judgement, it’s interesting to imagine exactly where our thinking – or, confidence – are coming from.

Isn’t reality a strangely interwoven web? So many lives and ideas flowing together. Different personalities, priorities and experiences glancing off one another to reflect, deflect or amplify things in any number of complicated directions. This doesn’t seem a simple, linear situation where one-size-fits-all judgements are likely to work. How are we to accommodate or resolve such complexities?

For some reason, it’s also seeming increasingly easy to pass judgement and assume reality should bend to meet our pre-existing ideas of how it must be. Aren’t we encouraged to think that way? To constantly cast forth definitive statements, carving “life” up with whatever lines we feel inclined to draw. While that way of approaching things may “help” in many areas, isn’t it inherently divisive?

Maybe, though, it’s simply where we stand, as humans: our minds being that threshold for deciding how we’ll see and respond to life. In which case, the burden of examining our thoughts and understanding their context perhaps just falls on us all.

Notes and References:

Life as adjustments in meaning
Pieces of the puzzle
Can each be true to themselves?
Relationships & our place in life
Uniting us through a world of fantasy
Ways of being & what’s getting left out
What’s at the heart of society?
Can you be social when you’re alone?
Seeing what things mean

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