Friday, 23 November 2012

Exposing Oneself to Vulnerability

Less than two weeks ago I was in English class, when my teacher brought up the topic of vulnerability. Vulnerability is defined by the dictionary as "being susceptible to physical or emotional or harm". Frankly, I think that this definition is quite harsh. I would define 'Vulnerability' as the feeling of being exposed. Yes, people may feel physically or emotionally harmed as a result of their actions and exposing themselves, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes, there are good results that come out of being exposed, for example, if you are a student who loves physics and have just created a bio-fuel cell (scientific stuff), showing your creation at a science fair is exposing yourself to vulnerability. Your are exposing yourself to the world just to stand up for what you believe in. And to top it off, say you win the competition. That would be a positive outcome of being vulnerable.

There are different ways people can approach the "challenge" of vulnerability. The first way, and in my opinion the most common in our society today, is to avoid it. Many people are afraid of being exposed, probably because they only think about the negative consequences of their actions. I still do not understand why they do not take into account the positive consequences. Even if they do, they still remain afraid of what others will say to them. Everyone knows that the human society is not perfect, and that there will always be people who will try to put others down so that they feel a sense of superiority. Now, people should not shy away from exposing themselves because they are afraid of these people. I believe that they should do quite the opposite - they should stand up for themselves (or they could ignore the bad consequences of being vulnerable and carry on with their lives).

Now that brings me to my next point- the second way someone can approach vulnerability. I was watching another TED Talk during this English class about vulnerability (video above). The speaker was Brene Brown, a research professor (PhD) at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She described vulnerability as "A sense of worthiness and belonging. People who have a strong sense of belonging feel more worthy of connection and will thus expose themselves more to vulnerability". People are afraid of vulnerability because they feel that they will lose their connection with society as a result, because people will believe that they don't belong. I believe that people who let go of who they think they should be and fully embrace vulnerability will be more successful and happier as human beings. They will feel happy with who they are, they will feel "I am enough". These people will not numb vulnerability and will feel eager to share their thoughts with the rest of the world and expose themselves. No matter what people say negatively about these people, they will stand by their thoughts. I feel that this is the way that people should embrace vulnerability.

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