Do you ever wish sometimes you could just gather the whole world into your arms and comfort all the heartaches and mend all the broken relationships? If only it were that easy, right?
Wrong. A human life is both peculiar and predictable. Some experiences have such profound impressions on our psyche that it is almost impossible to ever fully recover from them.
A loved one’s passing, an accident that destroyed something, an unexpected betrayal or letdown that came out of nowhere and uprooted our naïve foundations. Whether or not we are prepared for our disappointments they are very much part of the fabric of life. This is because we live in a society where the self is always in loggerheads with the whole. In order to survive and thrive we must learn to be selfish of what we can lay claim on and everything’s value is equally proportionate to what we profit from it. If it’s a job, we are looking for remuneration. If it’s art, we are looking for approval and patrons. If it’s a partner, we are looking at how well they fit into our dreams and ambitions.
There is very little room left in our lives for being open to the unknown. For trying to see the world from the perspective of the terminally ill and downtrodden, or the crippled and mentally insane. Those are not the only types of people we should be concerned about, but they make up a good chunk of the populace that are pushed to the sidelines just because their realities are different.
How many of us would be willing to give up any of the luxuries of our modern lives for the simplicity of living in a makeshift tent and sweeping the roads for a daily wage. I can already see the outrage on your face. You probably want to demand, “Why should I? I have earned and worked hard for everything I have. I deserve to indulge in the good things and benefit from my carefully planned out life.” Yes, of course you do. Nobody is questioning that.
What you fail to question is why your mind is satisfied with following in the footsteps of your forefathers and sticking to the same routine of providing for you sustenance until you die.
Why your idea of happiness has to do with owning property and gathering as much wealth as possible that is insured with enough left over for your retirement.
Why you only focus on what you can gain, instead of turning your efforts on what your real talents could be used for.
Above all, why do you limit your mind to the tried and tested method of being accepted, instead of following your own heart, your own dreams, and your own principles on a path that will enrich the years you spend on this planet.
You might miss out on all the fun your friends are having, you might have to struggle to support yourself and actualize your plans, you might spend years adjusting your approach to achieve what you dream of, but can you imagine the elation when you finally fulfill what you set out to accomplish? There could be nothing better.
Our experiences are what make us who we are. You can learn all you can in school or college, but it is life that really shapes what we become. Psychology might explain why we behave and react in certain ways, but each of us is unique in the effect similar emotions have on us. We hardly have much say in what kind of people we turn out to be, because we are not in control of any of the variables. Some might end up with explosives strapped to their chests, while some are abducted before they could even utter their first word and sold like cattle. Neither of them asked for what befell them, and still life goes on as it does.
Another child is dumped at the steps of an orphanage, another landslide wipes away victims in their sleep, another drone flattens a hospital, another… another… another…
If you could just gather the whole world into your arms and pause everything for just a few seconds, wouldn’t that be swell? Yes, alas, your arms are not that big.