Firstly, what is vulnerability?
Each one of us could attach our own meaning, our own context or both. It is clear to me that the word and the energy expressed through the word has a duality. One context is that it implies a weakness, often a weakness that can be exploited. I prefer to listen to the radio while driving around and what I noticed was that the information that is prevalent at the moment is that many of us are financially vulnerable. We are financially weak; our savings are low or do not exist. This situation often begs us to be like the proverbial dog and to get kicked while we are down.
In nature it is the physically weak who are eaten. Ask any lion if it is safer and better to graze a baby (vulnerable) impala or to take on a young energetic buffalo?
It does appear to me that we have financial strengths and financial weaknesses. Most likely not at the same time? Yet they could be a day apart. If creditors perceive me to be financially weak there is a good chance they are going to act with strength and use all their muscle available I.E. legal and other resources to squeeze me. There is a strong chance that when this happens I may go into victim mode. My behaviour may become passive aggressive. The aggression will be my protection mechanism so my dignity is not attacked while my vulnerability is exposed.
My experience shows me that money is directly linked to the well being of many people. It is linked because we place so much power in this symbol of exchange, unit of store and unit of accounting. The world has financial flu at the moment and you may have caught the bug? There does not seem to be a pill to cure this one, at least not as a quick fix.
Does having this “flu” make you and I a bad person?
Should there be so much judgment and down right condemnation around this issue?
It is a national issue, and it is an infection on our national self esteem. We are at war with ourselves because of our learned attitudes and perceptions of people who hit a financial wall. The creditors are like modern slave traders and are holding many good people as ‘slaves’. A slave does not have an individual or collective right to speak out.
Is there truly a problem if someone is financially weak or vulnerable? In my business career I have had times of financial vulnerability. It stands to reason that everyone would have a vulnerable flutter regardless of the individuals wealth. This is a vulnerability that most of us do our damndest to hide. Our western society praises and adores hero’s.
We love a strong athlete and many of us aspire to be one, even if it is just in thought.
We praise financial success, even if we do not know how it was achieved. To many, Lolly Jackson was a hero. Was the praise and admiration false and based on fear or dependence? So, was he weak or strong? Was he a saint or a survivor consumed by fear? Was he different from me?
For me, vulnerability is true strength. And this is the context I choose for myself.
It is an ability to place another person and their needs before my own. It is a willingness to appear weak or even be weak to allow others to be strong. It is a willingness to be wrong, when I am wrong and to learn the lesson from being wrong. It is a willingness to see a big picture and to be in service of a situation or of the people with whom we interact. It is the ability to have a strong value system and recognize that perhaps I am not in control and to be OK with that.
This is strength.
This is hope.
Vulnerable people to me are people who are taking responsibility. The weak part is where there is no consciousness attached to the vulnerability. The strong part is an authenticity and truth and the responsibility and conscious actions I am taking. The weak part is being dominated by fear and not wanting to be judged. It is an attack on my self esteem. The strength of vulnerability is to allow others to be, or appear to be, strong without compromising my strengths.
The strength of vulnerability is unconditional in its love and in its special attribute called trust.