Aaron Huq, Contributing Writer
Invasion of privacy- first thing that comes to my mind is someone trying to gain more information than needed for them to know. They might use it against us, or gaslight- valid reasons for which we shield our vulnerabilities, things that other people should not know.
But then, some people are just too nosy! It makes me feel uncomfortable. As a product of this capitalist society, my personal life is only for me to see. I show my “strengths” to the outer world- I’m productive, intelligent, driven. I hide my “weaknesses”- my emotions, thoughts, reflections.
Many might think that what I am calling weaknesses should not be defined that way. “You have the right to feel that way! Show yourself some love! You are strong!”, you’re listening to that as you’re sitting in your therapy couch. After an hour goes by- “I’ll see you next month!”
Why can I not just speak out my mind to the coworker I see every day? Tell my professor that I’m mad at someone? Why can’t I reply to a casual “How’s it going” with, “Good, I think I’ve figured out what life is!” If we are allowed to feel, and think- as we say these days, “deep” thoughts; why do we hide it? Why get into a waitlist for a therapy slot to open up, just to talk about it for an hour?
Or, are we allowed to think, or feel, or exist at all?
When we don’t want to invade others’ privacy, is it out of respect as it seems to be? If we do not want to know what an individual is going through- does it not seem that we do not want to acknowledge their existence? A classmate doesn’t show up to class for several weeks- it is just an empty seat. Friend doesn’t show up to lunch- they are having their moment, let them be. You go see a doctor- you are just a patient with records and charts. I see a dead squirrel on the side of road- it is just a dead body. We strip every aspect of existence from an individual when we look at them, because that is the most time efficient. I don’t have time to listen, to care, to stop and ponder what the last thing was that the squirrel saw before death. The circular limbs of an industrial demon? What did that little being feel? Amazed by the progression of human society? That humans don’t even need an intention or reason to kill these days?
But still, we live with them. As much as we shut ourselves away, we still experience things that we are unable to think through. Introspection turns into distorted thoughts.
If anyone refers to this article as the one about “mental health”, then they are the victim of this vicious system unfortunately. Why do we need to privatize our inner selves- and label it as mental health? If people only see some aspects of us and never the full picture- then is our wholeness a lie? Is there something inherently wrong with being fully human and showing it to the outer world?
Amidst all this chaos, I don’t want to think about my rights being taken away. “Abortion rights is people’s rights!”- I say, but I distance myself from the “people”. I cannot live with this horrific truth; I cannot show my constant state of fear to others. I mind my own business.
But maybe there is someone who wants to be in your business. Do you let them in? That someone is not happy; they are mad. They are rebellious. They want to tear it down. Do you join them?