In our history classes we learned about how one country colonized, expanded and exploited another through out time. There’s always a bad guy in every story. So in history the bad guys were the ones who held most power and occupied most land. and ones who got occupied and exploited were the smaller countries, who eventually lost confidence in their own identity and gave in to becoming part of a larger more overpowering country.
Does any of this behavior sound familiar to you? it sure does to me. This type of behavior is also common in human nature. People who have self- esteem and power issues tend to control and bully others. Which leads to the victim loosing their self esteem and giving in to the over powering oppressor. Now, there are a lot of parallels between countries going through oppression and how they fight it and people going through abuse and how they try to resist it. Both countries – economically and people – emotionally go through a rough cycle of experiencing pain and recovering (hopefully) from it, In this post we are going to dwell into both.
Lets start by looking at some common features of the behavior from start to finish and its impact on a countries economy and a persons emotions. In the beginning when a country gets occupied or colonized, It hosts an overpowering country whose intentions are Politically and Economically malicious. If we take colonization for example, most of the countries economies that were colonized were in its infancy.The colonizer does its homework of what natural resources to take and gains political control, Which leads to the colonized country becoming dependent and looses its economic and political power. But eventually once the country gains independence it takes a few decades for it to stand on its own feet, My focus is on those years as that’s the “recovery” period. These are the decades where the country unlearns everything and regains its political and economic structure, rediscovers its self worth in the market and reconstructs its identity. Which happens overtime with sometimes outside help or implementing new fiscal and monetary policies.
Naturally, I took India as an example to study the effects of this recovery period. India implemented many reforms – trade and foreign exchange restrictions were removed, Industrial licensing system were revoked, a more recent example of outsourcing which allowed Information Technology services to pop up in major cities and attract/develop talent as well as supply skilled labor to countries like the US. I created a scatter plot in R of India’s GDP Growth from 1970 until 2010, which is almost two decades after India gained independence. As you can see it’s an upward trend which means India is doing a pretty good job of “finding itself”.
Now that we’ve talked about economic recovery, Lets turn our focus to emotional recovery. When an individual becomes close to someone that’s toxic to them but continues with the relationship or the environment, it effects them negatively. First they start to internalize the negative comments and eventually start to believe them. which gets hardwired in their subconscious mind and affects their behavior, that is when it starts to become apparent to the outside world that this particular person has a low self esteem and can use help. The traditional recovery process to overcome this experience is therapy but we also tend to rely on cheaper options like yoga, going to the gym, close friends etc.
I’m going to stick with yoga. Besides the awkward poses and fifty minutes of contortionism, it has pretty therapeutic effects. Yoga is known to reduce stress, skeletal pain and create emotional well being. It allows us to reconnect with ourselves and focus on our emotional and spiritual strength, to understand our inner conflicts. once we become in touch with our true self and accept who we are, we stop hiding and trying to fit into other peoples constructs of what you should be. This leads to gaining confidence and allows the person to join their social circle as their true self – celebrating parts of them that were stolen by negative environment and people.
In this recovery period, both an individual and an oppressed country relearns what was lost, allowing oneself/itself to reflect and grow their potential. The universe celebrates one that is different and provides value to humanity, And you cannot do so if you haven’t taken a deeper look into yourself from your own worldview which has not been painted by someone else’s constructs. I am not advocating for separation, but separation from what is negative and harms authentic growth.