This post is an exercise in macro-psychology. It is a situation is fashioned from my perspective of larger events and attitudes that are in the news, condensed down into a metaphor of individuals.
It begins with a girl who has a very abusive father. Not overtly abusive, but subtly abusive. Constantly putting her and everything she does down; not directly, but always finding a way to diminish everything around him. This is where it gets tricky, because her father is not a mean hearted person and he does try to be affable, but he suffers from a deep insecurity that makes him look for ways to belittle everything around him. This is the contradiction that his daughter has to deal with; that he is putting her down, but she knows that it is not a personal attack. However, no matter what she consciously understands about her father, there still is a deep resentment as a result of never getting any positive support from him.
The girl grows into a woman, gets married and has children. All of the people that she grew up with and around, family and friends, know her well enough and they have all adapted to each others behaviors in a complimentary manner, as all people do. But, when she gets married, she inherits family members who are not adapted to her and her family’s behavior patterns and things begin to rub the wrong way. Once in a while, she would look for an outlet for her frustration and begin to antagonize members of her family. Over a few years she instinctively learns that her brother in-law is the easiest target. Everyone else in her sphere of friends and family had learned to let her antagonizing pass untouched. They unconsciously knew that she was trying to create an avatar to unload her pent-up frustrations on, and let it pass as friends and family are known to do. Unfortunately, the brother in-law was stubborn in his ways and that made him an easy target. He would get frustrated with her antagonizing and then display behaviors that reflected her father’s abusiveness and she would unload on him all her pent-up accusations, frustrations, and anger. Then, the first and only people to rush in with offers of advice and solutions to the conflict are the parents and family who measure everything through their established and understood behavior patterns; which are all laced with the same inherent abusiveness that only act to repress and reinforce both of their frustrations. And the scene play over again… and again… and again. In the end, the thing that she never realizes, was that the reason her brother in-law was so stubborn in his ways was because his mother displayed the same subtle abusiveness as her father, with the only differences being what could be considered as cultural in nature.
What does the brother in-law do in this situation? He cannot tell his sister in-law of his perspective of her father, because she would be defensive and only see it as an accusation – an assault on the part of the brother in-law. And, he cannot tell her of his perspective of his own mother, because she would accept it only at that and place all the blame on him and his mother. From my perspective, the best solution for the brother in-law would be to explain the larger story to her and hope that she could suspend judgment until she grasped it in its entirety; both sides at the same time. The solution is for the woman and the brother in-law to find their own common ground. And this, I would argue, is the path to peace in this country and this world. Not for the parents (governments/ corporations) to find the common ground, for their solutions are founded on their own abusive behaviors designed to hide their insecurities. But, for the children (citizens/ consumers) to find their own common ground and release their frustrations and resentments and grow together,.. hopefully without creating conflict against the parents.