One of my favorite things I do is to cut something out from my life and see how the ripple effect works. For example, my senior year of high school (2012), I denounced soda from my life. I never really indulged in carbonation before, but it’s been six years now since I’ve last had one.
Other guilty pleasures haven’t been as easy to cut back on. Last summer, I swore off ice cream. Ice cream is the nectar of my life, so this was beyond difficult. I completed the challenge, but filled the ice cream void in my life with cookies. Not exactly the desired result.
*Ice cream is my entire life.*
All that to say, I’m ready to start a new challenge. Anything that looks down or dehumanizes, degrades, or demeans other people, even jokes, is exiting stage right of my life. Any type of casual degradation of humans is no longer gonna fly.
It doesn’t seem too hard, right? I want to keep my eyes on every detail.
I realize these issues can run deep. However, it’s the humor and the making light of who somebody is that I’m done with. Hiding behind “It’s just a joke, chill” isn’t enough.
As a lover of music (who doesn’t love it?) it can be hard to find music that isn’t downright degrading women, sexual orientation, minorities, etc.
More personally, as a minority in the Bible Belt, I’m not longer going to carry on or support humor that belittles me or others. I’m aware that I’ve even brought it on myself at times, and I’m ready to cut that starting now.
I even want to be more mindful of the books and articles I consume, the shows I watch, my thought process when I encounter other people. I want to note everything and do better. I want to stay away from falling in line and finding those who produce creative arts in a similar vein.
I understand that it can be part of the culture, just how the entertainment industry operates. This isn’t a 2018 thing, it’s a thing that’s existed in culture and in humans throughout my entire life.
I want to push back on that, not for others’ benefits necessarily but for my own. I’m not complaining about the state of music and art because it’s my crusade to change the culture and other people, but rather I want to see how I act and feel when I’m not subliminally listening and consuming casual degradation of others.
This is hard for me, because not only do I exist and breathe in a casual degradation culture, but much of my own personal jokes come from self degrading humor.
While I laugh and joke about myself and my insecurities, I know I do so because they bother me. And I try so hard not to let others know it bothers me that I’ll make fun of it before you do (did I say I was insecure?).
I’m ready to be a better version of me. One that doesn’t only avoid consuming too much casual degradation, but one who also doesn’t breathe it back out into the world.
Let’s see if this goes more like the soda, or the ice cream.