Posts tagged life
Posts tagged life
my social studies teacher once told us “human beings are the most selfish of all. even when someone dies, you shed tears only because they are no more around to provide you with whatever they had been for so long”
and it has been 3 years since she said this and this is still what i think about at night
Fuck your social studies teacher. If someone twists your compassion or empathy for another human being into a self indulgent display of selfishness they are a manipulative piece of shit. It is not wrong for you to desire a mutual bond (whether it be platonic or romantic) with another person
Please don’t let this be one of your demons, you deserve to be happy, you deserve love from another human being
The statement given by that teacher is exceptionally broad and sweeping, presuming on the emotional content of many, many, different people’s minds. Always be wary of people who want to tell you how everyone thinks. Given the social and political complexities of the world, it should be more than obvious that not everyone thinks alike.
And even if what they say were literally true, it only follows reason that the things we miss most about someone who has passed away would be the ways in which they impacted our lives, especially the good things they did for us. These are the things we know of the other person. It is how they are etched into our minds. We saw them only through our own eyes and in relation to ourselves, because we have no other viewpoint from which to experience them.
In any case, it is not selfish to miss the things people once did for you, deceased or otherwise. It is only selfish when the sorrow turns to resentment or anger. People, especially those close to us, become a part of our lives, like a piece in a puzzle and when they disappear, that piece is suddenly gone and like an incomplete puzzle, it will leave a hole in our lives. With luck we can find a new piece for that puzzle, but till then, it will be noticed and that is in no way selfish.
I have come to realize that, if you live on your own, there is nearly unlimited value in have a few boxes of different quick-bake bread mixes in the kitchen cupboard.
Because, living on your own, there will come a late night where you will be sitting around feeling a bit glum and aimless, probably not much exciting in the fridge except some eggs and maybe a bit of milk (because, living on your own, you don’t do much extensive cooking) and you’ll find yourself wishing for something wonderful and something to distract yourself from the glumness of a sleepless late night by yourself.
And then you remember the Pillsbury Banana Bread mix in the kitchen cupboard and the fact that all it requires is oil, water and eggs and some time in the oven. And, since you are going to be sitting up feeling a bit glum, you might as well be doing it while baking some tasty banana bread.
But the past you that bought that mix was clever, for, you see, there is a magic property to baking. If you bake, you cannot feel bad. No, seriously. You may wind up rounder than the Goodyear blimp, but all the uppers in the world cannot compare to the delight of fresh baked goods. Even the most cheating quick-bake mix will provide an immeasurable mood lift.
So buy yourself some bread mixes, keep them in the kitchen cupboard and the next time you’re feeling a bit glum, just break out the baked goods and happiness will ensue.
More than a few times I have been told that I need to “Live in the Now”. Meaning I need to stop thinking and “just live” whatever that means. Usually this is followed up with a comparison of life to a train and how “now” is the leading edge of the train… or something. Honestly I never quite grasp what they mean.
Here’s the thing: “Now” isn’t a real thing. By the time one is even aware of “now” it’s already over. It has no shape, no form, no solidity. It is at best instantaneous. And as any good H.G. Wells reader can tell, a thing that is instantaneous, that has no duration in time cannot be said to really exist. Therefore “now” does not exist. It is unreal. It is impossible to live in “now”.
There is also something worrying about the comparison of life to a train. Trains are set on a single path, from begging to end, immutable and unchangeable. True there are some rail lines that have switches, but those aren’t very common. The comparison gives the image of life as set thing and the person as merely a passive observer in it, with no control or power over their path. To me this is not only depressing, but downright horrifying. That life should be a single, uncontrollable drive from birth to death over which we have no power or will.
But personal experience tells me that life is not like a train. Perhaps it is more like driving a car. There is a fixed beginning (birth) and a fixed end (death), but between the two there are many, many intersections. And so, like the driver of a car, we must be alert. Awareness must be given to what is coming and what has been otherwise we risk running into an obstacle unaware. That is not to say one cannot admire the scenery, but diverting too much attention can be harmful.
Ultimately life is about balancing between awareness of the present, understanding of the past and expectation of the future. No one is better than the other two and all three are required for a full life.
I may not have done everything I set out to do today, but I have done a fair bit more than I have in recent weeks.
I’ll call that a success.
ixthil said: Though quick aside, there may be only one fixed point soon-ish: birth. Death might go away depending on various things about how you feel about the singularity or just modern science and such. Anyway not disagreeing with life not being fixed.
Well, for right now there are two fixed points. I’m not sure how I feel about eliminating death, though. The singularity doesn’t hold much promise to me, because I believe that the brain is responsible for our consciousness and no matter if we copy ourselves to another thing, the we that is here, this us that is alive will still die. It may be possible, with very careful and clever work to make the mind immortal without breaking continuity with the organic brain, since a person can lose a significant portion of their brain and still retain continuity, but that’s still a large hurdle to overcome.
The longer I live, the more I realize that I am fundamentally incompatible with other human beings. Save, perhaps, for a select few willing to understand me without judgment.
There’s nothing quite like that sudden sinking feeling when you realize your furnace hasn’t come on and it’s less than fifty degrees out.
Except perhaps the elation of finding out there’s a reset button and having your furnace come back to life with a gift of air from it’s lungs.
Words to live by :)
I need to learn more about working on my own car