The Human Condition….
It’s been snowing here in Denver and boy do we need it. There is a beauty to new fallen snow and the sun peering through naked branches that give you a sense of renewal. The subzero air cracks and that is just fine. The fireplace is blazing. The world is a pretty good place.
By the same token it probably is a bummer to many. Grumblings about the thermometer, slick roads and walks to be shoveled are part of a litany to be recited by a certain breed of cat. Same picture. Just looking at things through a different lens.
I always get to wondering if either side is built that way. You know the old half full, half empty gig. It would seem to me at birth we have to look on the bright side. Taking that ride from belly to lap, almost being strangled by what is supposed to be a life line and then the ignominy of someone whacking you on the ass to get you started. It’s got to get better.
The journey begins. Some are swaddled. Some are hugged. Some are loved. Some are praised. Some are cursed. Some are abandoned. Some are just ignored. A wonderful gift or a horrible inconvenience. And all the time that tiny babe just wants to feel like they are loved…that they belong.
That need for affection never drifts far. As a son or a daughter they want their parents to be proud. As a sibling you just want to measure up. As a member of society you always wonder what your place is. As a future mate you are always on the lookout for someone who will think you are special. Worthy of their love all.
As I ponder the imponderables I wonder how people go wrong or is it even fair for me to say? I still don’t know whether good or evil is inherent. I know which one I am rooting for. But events not only of the past few weeks give me pause.
There was an altercation at 4:30AM in Las Vegas where someone got annoyed. They proceeded to pull alongside the offending car and just blew him out of the water. There are mothers and fathers that kill their young. There are lovers that kill each other. Monsters that shoot the masses and then themselves. There was a beautiful 17 year who committed suicide a day after a glorious day of skiing with her father. Are they really built this way?
I think life changes people but it starts with the parents. Is our love genuine or does our fawning produce a false sense of security? Do we prepare our kids for life or do we depend on the streets to do it for us ? Do we treat them so harshly that the resentment grows and grows? Or are they shielded from any sense of reality? Good questions. Don’t know that I really have the answers.
I think many of us cop out on life or maybe that is too harsh. What I really mean is that we don’t really dig deep to find out how this all ticks. We get so wrought up in our own problems we fail literally to see the forest through the trees. There is a big picture but we only look at our own closeups. Are we living in the world or just trying to manage it?
The outgrowth of this narcissism is that we cannot accept change of any sort. We are so threatened by new ideas we hunker down. Thinking outside the box is derided and we pray for failure of these upstarts lest we be proven wrong. “That’ll never work” becomes a mantra.
The human condition is also the human spirit. It craves acceptance and yet at the same time it wants to cut loose. It has all these great ideas looking for a home. And we shoot them down. We razz. We insult. We bully. Toe the line. When someone says you don’t understand them, maybe they are right.
I don’t think grouches, malcontents or even killers are born. By some quirk of fate or unfairness of life they became that way. But like any other modicum of behavior it has been acquired and I believe that habit can be broken as well.
Whether it is politics, religion or just life in general let’s look at things as a snowy morning. The sky is Colorado blue and the slate is clean. Yesterday and all its travails are long gone. We are going to make it. But we have to think and act a different way. Not as hard as you think. Remember getting born was the tough part. Let’s enjoy the ride. Embrace the change.
Ted The Great….
My Human Condition: Half full and climbing.
People are prone to depression and mental illness. It’s life. Some more than others. It is called dysthymia or a proclivity towards negativity. Genes and environment have a huge effect on our mind state. It can be changed.
Over half our population will face some sort of mental illness in our lifetime. Fully 20% at any given point in time.
Suicide does not come on in an instant. It is the result of an acquiescence to life. That struggle which many times is not manifest has taken years if not months of torture to finally end.
The absurdity of life is that if a mass killer or suicidal person spoke up they could be treated. But life puts such a stigma on this “coming out” they never want to risk exposure.
Our society today with such an emphasis on achievement and accumulation of things at earlier and earlier ages will only exacerbate the problem.
Sequestration..The Catholic Church. Too easy this week. Stay tuned