I open my front door, and peer out at the “world” around me: I see a serene suburban street, pretty quiet with but a few cars passing now and then. It’s drizzly out, everything is coated in a thin wet veneer, and somewhat sparkling as the sun cascades softly through the mild cloud-cover.
I hear birds chirping, see beautiful green vegetation all around, flowers blooming, and feel a soft, cool breeze carrying the scent of a fresh spring.
Seemingly, my world is perfect for this weekend. Yet somehow, I still find myself unable to shake this nagging depression.
They say that your view of the world is but a reflection of yourself. That may be true. My view of the world is somewhat dismal– I seem to always focus on what’s going wrong. Not just in my own life, but in the world at large. It’s as if I can’t be happy unless everything is perfect.
The Buddhists would tell me that I’m not focusing on “what is”. They would tell me that I’m too distracted by what I think the world “should be”. I would tell them: “Duh.”
It’s great for those idealists who have found inner peace by calming their minds and accepting all of reality exactly as it is– but if everyone just did that all the time, nothing would get done. After all, why change anything if you accept the way it is? You would have no drive to do anything, if you just accept everything. My problem is the opposite extreme: I don’t accept anything (except, seemingly, my own excuses to procrastinate).
I can’t accept the “Greed before Need” paradigm that we seem to live under, in North America. I can’t accept the notion that ignorance is the superior (i.e. happier and dominant) mode of life. I can’t accept that I’m not the best at everything I do (despite knowing that I seem not to be the best at anything I do). I can’t even accept my own death, despite knowing that there’s nothing I can do to rebel against it– so I’m rebelling in the only way I can: idealistically.
I once wrote a post on social media that we’re all just zombies clambering our way across life until we turn to dust and blow away in the wind (to paraphrase). I still hold that idea to be true, but in the mean time I can’t seem to let go of this idea that we shouldn’t be making ourselves suffer so much while we’re here. Building a ladder of skulls to climb to the top of Mt. Success seems like a horribly unfulfilling expenditure of one’s time and energy. Everyone I know of who’s done this seems to confirm that notion.
So I think to the other zombies: in third-world countries, even in places that aren’t so bad, but are worse than where I am. I even think of people in my own country, homeless, hungry, or even doing fine but were just orphans; I think, “Why should I get it better than them? I don’t deserve where I started. What can I do to help?”
. . . and sometimes, I get the fire of passion building up inside me to the point I can’t contain it anymore, and I rush off to my next Social Justice Warrior (now a pejorative, apparently) project. Eventually however, I encounter the resistance. Ignorance. Greed. Self-loathing which manifests in the form of indignant judgment. It inevitably wears me down. Sometimes, I let it wear me down so badly, the very thought of facing it douses my flame, and I just go back to playing video-games to live out the rest of my un-dusted days in escapism.
Hey world! You’re so beautiful today! I think I’ll go lie down and ignore you until I die.