This is something I simply wrote without really mapping it out beforehand, so forgive me if this post makes no sense whatsoever. It’s okay if it is illogical. Congratulations though to those who can find some form of logic in my wild chain of thought…let’s see if I can.
People are strange. We live day by day, striving for whatever ideal we’ve set our mind upon – or whatever ideal we picked up somewhere.
So what do we strive for?
Aristoteles said what we wanted was fulfilment – contentment or happiness – not to be confused with joy.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe what he came up with was that we reach happiness when we become a “good” person – I think there was something about harmony too; all of our good and strong characteristics harmonizing.
Or maybe that was Socrates. Who knows; I had A’s and B’s in philosophy, but I don’t remember; sorry.
All I could certainly conclude from studying earth’s past philosophers, was that none of them really their theories through. Even though they had plenty of arguments to support them, they would never actually work with real people; take Marx and Engels.
They had quite powerful ideas that arose from watching injustice roam freely, but communism – as ideal as it may sound – never works with real people. It comes to life as socialism, accompanied by some form of oppression, which is not what Karl Marx would have wanted.
So, since none of the theories ever actually work for everyone, we tend to live the way it suits us best.
In my perfect world, there would be no losers – but then I guess there could be no winners. “We are all winners” is an interesting phrase.
In a system where there is some form of competition, there have to be losers so that there can be winners. So, if we didn’t want any losers, there couldn’t be any competition. Either that or the rules of this game are made to be extremely flexible.
Which brings me back to everyone living by their own individual goal. But I guess Aristoteles had a point: We want to be happy, generally, except that there is no standard path for happiness.
It’s a scary thing.
Imagine we took away all of the predermined things that society had to offer.
Imagine we did not know about religion – or the law or our own personal idols. If we didn’t have our families or our local traditions influencing us from the start.
Imagine you had to write your thoughts on what path you’ll choose on a blank piece of paper without knowing anything about the world we live in; what would you write?
What if you had to write something?
Not sure about you, but I think that most of us would be a nervous wreck.
But do you know what’s even scarier?
Let’s say you’ve decided on what makes you happy – but then your next step is to go out into a world where everything is trying to find the same thing as you: fulfillment in their lives. But you cannot sit there, overwhelmed, and wait for someone to bring the happiness to you, you have to work hard at achieving your goal that you have set for yourself and so the only person you could blame for failing is you.
It’s a scary thing.
Maybe that’s why we have groups. Not only because we are afraid of being different, but because we’re afraid of disappointing ourselves.
If it is too scary to go and find myself and what I truly want, I will begin by defining myself as female, maybe, or as a brunette or I’ll join a club, a church, because that’s where all the people are.
I suppose you could say we’re a bit like penguins, hugging together to keep us from the cold.
But we would not all stand together in one big group, but as seperate groups. there can be no losers without winners and somehow there can be no unity without difference, it seems.
We share the same DNA and the same planet or that each of us communicates somehow, but that does not seem to suffice.
Maybe, on the way to happiness, we’ve stopped off in these little groups that give us the feeling that we aren’t letting ourselves down, because everybody is doing the same thing. Not sure about you, but I think we’ve forgotten that we’re scared, because we’re too comfortable picking from a selected choice of lifestyles.
Most of us have forgotten all about that blank sheet of paper.
The other day I was watching a stand-up comedian on television (you know, I’ve always wondered what you’d called a stand-up comedian who was seated; a sit-down comedian?) who, though aiming to make people laugh, stated that at one point or another, everything was done for the very first time.
Everything we do and take for granted these days must have started somewhere.
So I wonder, why should we submit to whatever pretermined values and customs that we grow up? After all, it’s not our fault we weren’t born sooner. That was them, years ago, shaping their world. But they were not thinking about us. They were thinking about themselves, about how scared the were of the uknown.
What am I saying? And do my words even matter?
Most probably not, but that’s also what I’ve been saying, I think. This does not have to interest you since you don’t need to live my rules.
No, maybe this is just me admitting to myself and to you that I am afraid of what’s coming; the decisions I have to make and the steps I need to take to achieve what I think makes me happy.