At the core of my writing and the main focus of all that I do is in the hope to highlight the obsession with valuing people based on their physical appearance or physical abilities.
Its so endemic in our culture that often we don’t even notice how these messages are perpetuated but they are there everywhere you turn.
What we look like. How sexy we look. How physically fit we are. How often do we work out? How much we earn? How famous we are. All dependent on our physical appearance and abilities. But is this the main reason we should choose friends, partners and employees?
Does character, intelligence, spirit, honesty, imagination, commitment, loyalty or experience mean nothing in this world anymore?
You only have to turn on the TV, read a magazine, watch a movie, drive down the street and you are bombarded with images and messages of how physical abilities, physical perfection and youth are the only prized possessions in this world.
And what do we have to show for it?
Elderly people feel forgotten, unappreciated and abandoned. Young people with eating disorders and suicidal. Chronically ill pushing themselves beyond their physical abilities and not taking their medications. Marriages breaking down when physical abilities or financial conditions change or suffer. Absurd obsessions with celebrity and fame are fueling the most outrageous and dangerous behaviors. People are being pushed to the extremes in their working careers so they have no family/life balance, all for corporate profits, and then they are discarded when they can no longer meet the physical demands. In short, I believe that what this society values brings us closer and closer to destruction and decay than any other force or apocalyptic event. We are shaming, self loathing, competing and undervaluing ourselves out of existence.
My writing, my efforts, my constant hope is that little by little we can change this thinking and I am under no illusions how difficult a task this will be but I think our very existence depends upon it.
When I think about all the things that I value in my partner and my friends, its not their physical looks, their ability to run marathons or their chances of making a fortune. All the things that I treasure are qualities well below the surface.
A prime example of this is Professor Stephen Hawking. Whilst he is physically handicapped and does not look like he will start a modelling career in the near future, his mind has enriched this world and our knowledge of the universe more than any centerfold, music star or corporate CEO has. And there are so many others over the centuries, countless millions who have added to the human experience with qualities which lay well below the flesh. Art, music, language, story telling, science, knowledge and love are all treasures which lay inside anyone, no matter how physically attractive, able bodied or wealthy.
I hope to keep writing this message for as long as I can, in the hope that my little blog, my little wish and my little efforts might be shared and encouraged more and more, and that one day every life and every body (no matter how old, healthy, wealthy or small) will be valued and respected for all the things inside of us; After all that’s where the love is.