Appearances and Mental Health
I think that we live in a society that puts far more energy and effort into appearances than truth. That most of us are insecure within ourselves but are not open to accepting this. As such we put up fronts to protect our inner state of being.
However to my mind this is just manifesting a deeper and more dangerous level of insecurity. It is much about loving appearances rather than loving people and ourselves. The more we do this the more we are manifesting an intimidating and competitive world.
Put yourself in the position of an insecure person. They enter a room feeling vulnerable and then sense tension in the environment. However from what they are seeing the other people are all confident, strong and secure. This just has them feel that the tension and feelings of weakness is solely their issue.
The person in this room would become intimidated in the group due to their own feelings of inadequacy. However if individuals within the group were open about their own insecurity then the person entering the room would not feel so intimidated. I see this played out much in the public forum. Politicians and many celebrities often project an image that belies their inner state of guilt or vulnerability or need.
Further when such people are exposed as being vulnerable they do all they can to put a spin on things to protect their reputation or position. However if people on the society pedestal were prepared to be transparent about their own short comings they would encourage others to also be more accepting of themselves.
Humans have an enormous capacity to understand life and communicate such understanding. However for our history we seem to have used our communication to block rather than promote understanding and knowledge. The desperate need we place on protection and reputation has far outweighed our inclination and ability to get to the true depth of life.
I see that this is also a great influence on our mental health. Depression and mental illness continues to grow whilst transparency and open communication is increasingly restricted. I believe that the people who have the ability to sense the deepest are the ones most challenged by the lack of depth and honesty in society. They are the ones who sense the insecurity but are bluffed by how well society presents itself.
The solution as I see it starts with each individual. If we wish our society, peers and leaders to be honest and trustworthy then we need to be responsible in being accepting and transparent with our own issues.
Whilst one person may believe they cannot make a substantial difference the growth of the internet has given us more reach to influence others than in any other time in history. It is our choice how we wish to influence. Will we use our online profile to protect and manipulate or to be humble and transparent.