As biological and psychological infants, we are a bundle of neurological reactions. Our environment determines experience. But what if we were able to experience the stimulus and attach our own meaning as adults? How do we make that transition?
Where does meaning come from? Does meaning come attached, a priori, with the event or experience? Or are you the agent and creator who decides to choose the meaning of what you experience?
Both worldviews offer a very different context to live your life and your ability to create rapport and harmony with your community and the physical environment.
Do you need to protect yourself from the world? If meaning is attached to the event, then our response is either shielding ourselves from unpleasant events or trying to change the world to create a better experience for ourselves.
The extremes of this model are expressed in “microaggressions.” With microaggressions, the “aggressors” need to be reeducated to create a safer world for the victim. In other words, the aggressor creates meaning for us. This is a position of powerlessness.
We have the power to create the meaning we want. If meaning resides with us, then any perceived aggressors lose their power. This is because we determine our own values, and we have every right to walk on the earth with our shoulders back and our heads held high. We create the meaning of what is said to us.
When we stop looking for microaggressions, the world stops delivering them because we are in charge of the of our own experience.