A couple of books on Indigo children dredged up some buried (negative) memories for me recently. The hype around Indigos is no longer as prevalent nor commonly put down; frequently those who do know what it means have taken it as a matter of fact, while those who don’t know will at least concede that “kids nowadays” are different–though they may think this is a bad thing.
Teenagers where I live have been in the news lately for blogging against propaganda, demonstrating, speaking, and publishing videos that are either critical of the local political figures, or asking (rightly) for more transparency and accountability. They have put themselves forth where other adults around have feared to tread. What’s been discouraging are the adults who have called for their arrest (for expressing their opinions in “disrespectful” ways), or advocating physical violence on these young ones, including castration, rape, death, and eternal damnation. The ruling party shut their eyes to the threats of violence, and ruling party loyalists have been so emboldened by the biased carriage of justice here that one of them accosted a 16-year-old video blogger right outside the court building to deal him a hard slap. This was premeditated assault–the attacker had approached at a brisk pace, dealt the blow, then taunted the victim (“sue me”) before running. It is a lucky thing that weapons were not involved.
The hardest thing to witness in this local drama is how so many adults and parents have come out to praise the assault on the unpopular teen. Child discipline is still confused with child abuse, and brute force and coercion still seen as the way to “fix” things and ensure conformity–in a Disneyland country that only loves to laud “diversity” in its tourism copy, but can’t stand it in the arena of independent opinion. The press here is not free, and political blogs can be handpicked by the government to register and jump through hoops to keep on publishing. The majority of people here are easily swayed and controlled by fear, propaganda and threat of force.
The most successful police state is the one where the people have been taught to police everyone else around them, and recent events have demonstrated this close to home. To write this down now is like pulling out a dagger in my heart–I have to acknowledge how much this has hurt to witness.
Holding different opinions, or verbal “disrespect” should never be justification for violence and violent threat. There is no justification, not even for the backward Asian idea of “child discipline,” to physically attack another. There is a contradiction–a hypocrisy–in decrying war and bloodshed but accepting or even advocating child abuse. Hitting another when one has failed to tolerate or understand a different viewpoint only shows the failure of the abuser to contain their shadow.
I have always hated Confucius, and I don’t say that lightly. In Chinese culture, he is cited whenever there is a conflict between generations. In “Confucian values”, the elder is always right. It does not matter if the elder is a bigot, racist, fascist, bullying authoritarian leech upon the earth–good Confucian Chinese would argue that he should still be heeded, even to their own detriment. (All this said, Confucius may not have directly said all this, but his fans loved to attribute such rules of “harmony” to him.) And whether it was Confucius’ fault or not, public officials have not been seen as public servants here, but as demigods who must be Respected as our parents. At least, this is the warping of Confucian values I’ve watched around me since childhood.
The deification and worship of abusive external authority is directly at odds with the spiritual call to step into our own power–of discernment, self-actualisation, and free will. Children–and now, more and more of them–know this call naturally, until in unfortunate cases, it is snuffed out by parental or societal conditioning. Some quite literally have their unique sense of self beaten right out of them, “for their own good”. We are poorer for these children losing their voices and their trust in society. Children do not naturally lie. Some learn to do so if circumstances teach them that it is desirous to do so, once they discover the difference between stories that are invented for certain aims, and stories that simply are.
Yet there will always be children for whom the truth is always paramount. They’ll speak their truth no matter how much it starts to hurt them. Or they’ll hold to it silently, when they need a break from the persecution and isolation. But you could not make them say or believe something that is simply “untrue” to them. There is no stick or carrot large enough to make them deviate from what they know to be true from their own observations and in their heart.
They are challenging the adults who lie, and who cling to pretense.
Not out of spite, but because that is all they can do. Possibly what they came here to do, and that needs to be done.
I’ve never wanted the “mantle” of being an Indigo, but I fit in the time period, and always felt at odds with society and the adults around me. I asked questions about traditions, beliefs, and contradictions in beliefs as well as behavior. I learned the word “hypocrite” really early, learned about bullying, social and emotional manipulation the hard way at age 10. I felt victimised by the education system, “taught” by English teachers who claimed I made up the word “millennium”, and by Mandarin teachers who thought me willfully stupid. The hardest, most brutal thing about these lessons and experiences: No one seemed to care or understand how alone I felt in it all. It would be a decade and a half before I found people who understood and who were like me.
The benefit of time and experience (and learning about birth charts) is that I can finally see what those painful experiences gave me: Affirmation and practice for my bullshit detector. Paradoxically, I still gave people a lot of the benefit of the doubt, because, having read so many books featuring smart, caring and courageous protagonists, I wanted to believe that such people were common. (They’re not. But what’s nice is that they are more common among book readers.)
The other benefit of my experience is that I recognise the children and teenagers going through what I did. In different ways, of course, and some of them in more extremes, but I spot them very quickly. And I know what the damage is like, that comes from physical punishment, ostracism or demonisation for what comes naturally to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s over political opinion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
When we isolate them for being “deviant”, “malformed” or under all, being more insightful, intelligent or honest than the others around them, we impoverish ourselves and the society we live in.
There is more wisdom in a child with an open heart and open mind, than in an old man whose heart and mind are closed.
I don’t know what to do, except to speak and write in the support of young wayshowers, and to show them love when I have the opportunities to do so.