A Note On Sensitivity

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Since we were kids we were told to “grow up!”, to “stop crying”, and to “be realistic.” We were also told that if we cried at the end of a movie we were sappy and if we cried because someone hurt us we were silly. As we grow older we are told that if we want romance in our relationships we are too dreamy. If we love birthdays, then we are too self-involved and if we are sad about the loss of a loved one, we are weak.

In fact we are made to believe, with time, that caring is a curse when in fact it is the one emotion that makes us human. It is the one sentiment that sets us apart from other members of the animal kingdom and sensitivity is an important part of caring. But sadly our lives are programmed so that we stop believing in our emotions,  because the minute we show any feeling towards a situation, we are told that we are too sensitive.

Within such a social framework as ours, where even an intimate relationship like marriage is sometimes reduced to a mutual agreement between two families, open expressions of feeling become harder with time . After all, we are surrounded by media, movies, and songs that tell us that feelings are good. Yet in real life we are told to steer as far away as possible from feeling anything.

We learn to believe that it is ok for an actress to cry when she is met with sadness on the silver screen Yet, we are not to do the same if something sad were to happen to us. We would be mourning the death of a loved one while worrying about crying too much in fear of sounding or looking weak.

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It is perfectly fine for a singer to sing “I give you all of me and you give me all of you.” Yet, it is not ok for us to expect that kind of love in real life. We are told, “this is not a movie.” the minute we announce that we are looking for real feelings, real friendships, and even real relationships. We are taught that love conquers all in literature, but in life love is something silly that shouldn’t be a factor in any decision we make.

It is our social standards that drag us towards being emotionless blocks, so  that behind walls of sarcasm, a cynical side and tears only shed in solitude we hide our true sensitive souls.

“You are too sensitive!” is a statement we will hear if we let that sensitive soul slip reveal itself in public.  However, sensitivity is often misinterpreted as an accusation thrown at us the minute we express our dislike for any situation. So yes, if sensitivity is defined this way dear reader I am sensitive and it is ok for anyone to be. It is ok to get hurt when someone shouts at you. It is ok to  take it personally when someone decides to behave in a hurtful way towards you with no real explanation. It is ok to get hurt when someone sends you a mean message infused with insults. It is ok to be hurt deeply when someone accuses you of not having good intentions when you know your intentions were good. So, if this is the society’s definition of sensitive then I think we all should be sensitive, maybe then we would all think hard about being the best people we can be.

Sensitivity isn’t all tears and sadness. There is a beauty to sensitivity because it is the sensitive people who will find pleasure in the little things. They  will find beauty in the  sunset . They will stare for hours at the amazing shapes clouds make. They will enjoy being the center of attention on their birthday, because the kid in them is still ok with loving  birthdays. They will love celebrating the birthdays of those close to them. They will lose themselves in music, movies, a good book, or any other passion. More importantly they will take all their interactions with other people seriously. If they hurt someone they will swallow their pride and apologize because the sensitive side of them believes that it is their role as decent human beings to not intentionally hurt other people. Because they are sensitive, they will be the people who are honest in all their intentions, and because they are sensitive they will not betray others.

 

 

They will be kind because they are sensitive. They will care because they are  sensitive and they will help because they are  sensitive and unfortunately they will get hurt too because they are sensitive but they will always be honest human beings with honest feelings.

So I guess being sensitive, is not a curse. It is what makes us real people. It is what makes us feel.

 

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