| There is not a person in this world that is immune to the detrimental effect which mainstream culture has on one’s self esteem. Even the tyrants who themselves destroy peoples self-esteem by violently imposing their will on others live a life of mental discomfort because they are demoralized by their own actions and the world that they create.

From the first day that we begin to observe the world as children, everyone around us seems so big and intimidating that we give their opinions and beliefs way too much credit and way too much power over us. Since our early years are so vital to our mental development and the formation of our worldview, we carry this tendency to unquestionably submit to authority throughout our entire lives.

When all of us grew up we were subject to daily, if not hourly, judgments on our value in the community and our moral integrity from various figures of so called authority. These authority figures at home, at school and in society are constantly working to undermine the self-esteem of the general population, by making these judgments and treating those in their care like second class citizens. It is not necessarily the fault of the individuals who end up in these positions of authority, as they are merely passing along the oppressive cultural norms that were forced onto them at one time or another. That’s not to say they aren’t responsible for their actions, because they are, but at the same time they are not the cause of this trouble, there are merely a symptom.

In a world where we are constantly forced to engage with people who have complete control over us, especially from a young age, it becomes very difficult to develop any self-confidence and the idea of being independent in any way can seem absolutely horrifying. The rise of centralized government schooling in the past 200 years has accelerated this process by treating people like toddlers well into adulthood, causing them to develop with immature and dependent personalities in many cases.

In school we taught how to conform to the majority, regurgitate meaningless facts and submit to authority but we really don’t learn anything of value. That which is valuable and taught in public schools can obviously be taught and learned without government involvement, centralized control, and the overall oppressive form that these indoctrination centers have taken. It is this structure that is maintained by government involvement which is responsible for the dumbing down of our society and for totally destroying an entire generations self-esteem.

For the most crucial years of our development we are constantly getting the message that our thoughts, ideas, desires, fears and disagreements are completely unimportant. We learn that our needs and our opinions are secondary, to people in authority who are not to be questioned and who have the ability to punish or exile you at any time. This is an incredibly scary and traumatizing situation for any child, even if they don’t realize it. These are scars that are carried into adulthood, and eventually create very serious problems in the real world by causing people to act violent and irrational or at least just make them completely miserable and obedient.

These are legitimate traumas that need to be recognized and worked out by everyone. All of us were born into a primitive culture where we were subject to expectations and standards that we should not have had forced upon us. In most cases these expectations are completely impossible to fulfill, and in many cases completely pointless. Realizing these simple facts is the first step in repairing one’s self esteem after being beating down by an authoritarian, soul destroying culture.

Far too many of the world’s people feel inadequate and insignificant because they don’t match up with the unrealistic and insane expectations that are set by the mainstream culture. Forget about those expectations and forget about those standards, they are no good for anyone and they are not a true measure of your worth. Using arbitrary traits like wealth, status and appearance as social measurements is a recipe for disaster as it degrades human beings and destroys their self-worth. You really can’t gauge the value of someone’s life by external factors at all, but if someone must be judged it should be according to their actions and how they treat those around them, not the superficial standards of the mainstream culture.

Extracted from the pre-released book Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion by John G. Vibes.