A friend of mine once told me how he had lost hope. In the middle of being irked about nothing in particular, we started to discuss the origins of our doubts.
It's like when you're young, you're told all this stuff and you think the world is all orderly and fair...With a God in heaven and Santy at Christmas... And then you grow up and you realise life is actually beyond understanding..Totally unfair.. And dominated by people who just really annoy you..
I agreed. He didn't have to explain why he had arrived at that conclusion. I understood. Though it troubled me a little, I enjoyed the honesty. And besides, the philosophy it bestowed on us was an easy one to live by. Sure we might have been succumbing to some sort of eternal misery, but at least we were admitting it. It shrouded the deeply set pressures of life like pursuing a career, and led us to believe that nothing really mattered. By recognising the fallacy of what we'd been told, we were somehow above it. All we needed to do was doubt. We didn't need all those standards and etiquettes. And if we did, in some small way, bemoan our rejection of conformity, it wasn't our fault. It was theirs.
Them! Parents, teachers, the government, society! All they ever did was lie to us to us about how fair and rewarding this world is. And at the end of it all, we were supposed to nod back smiling. As if we were understanding of why they had built up all our hopes, only to have them shattered by the inadequacies they hadn't told us about. And what? Now we're supposed to conform and repeat the whole process just like they did. Fuck that! I'm the victim here! I don't owe anything to anyone!
Ah yes. The bitterness, the anger! It was almost a way of life. I kept myself busy being angry. In many ways, I still am. Arghhhh!!! Though not as much as those later teenage years. My view was askew. I chose to see things that fed my disillusionment with the way things were. Being 'right' offered some satisfaction. Cynicism, however, is an infectious thing. Once you start looking for the bad side to everything, it's hard to see anything else. Maybe there's something in it. After all, I probably wouldn't have bonded with alot of people the way I did unless we had some sort of common dislike to bitch about. Isn't talking about what we don't like one of the most common forms of bonding? Nevertheless, it eventually came to me that I was probably being a little close-minded. I always felt threatened by people who didn't agree with what I had to say. Sometimes I would stumble upon something worth saying but most of the time I was just spewing anger. I wasn't really contributing anything in particular to anything at all. Like calling myself an atheist, not being able to wait before telling everyone exactly what I didn't believe in. Wouldn't it have been better to come up with something more positive? Something that said what I did believe in. Instead of attacking so vehemently what I didn't.
Now, I've changed! I see the world so much more clearly now. What we need to do is....No, that's not it. My doubt's not finished yet. The truth is that the world can still look as troubling as ever. And trying to change that or even talk about it seems so pretentious. In fact, I have to confess a considerable amount of doubt in even writing this entry. It's so self-indulgent. Talking about myself and my intellectual development as if I was some kind of modern Voltaire. Who do I think I am? I'm only 24 and I write these blogs like I've seen it all. As if I've spent time carrying out rigorous analysis of the human mind. I haven't! It's all just pseudo psychology. Put together from my biased observations of the world, each one complimenting my ego-driven beliefs. Besides, I've been noticing a lot of defects to this whole thing. Like the other day when a friend told me that he had read the last entry on Pride. That was fine. However, we just so happened to stumble into a big discussion/debate/argument about something. Afterwards, I couldn't help feel that the whole discussion was tainted by my previous admission that I sometimes help turn heated discussions into matters of egotistical pride. I felt bad. This feeling was compounded when someone else described parts of this blog as 'preachy'. Doubtful as I am, I suddenly feel myself self-righteous and hypocritical. Like a real idiot. The way things are going, it won't be long before someone tells me what they really think of me and tell me what I can do with my 'blog'. That word. Blog. I hate it. It's so...Western! Who doesn't have a blog these days? It's almost as bad as the 'singer songwriter' epidemic. What? You have a guitar and wrote some mediocre songs and now we're supposed to take you seriously and 'hush' while you play? No, I don't think your heartfelt and sentimental. Ha! I doubt that very much. You're just an insincere attention seeker, clinging to the latest trend to try and make yourself relevant. And what about tweeting and status updates? The Internet has given people the undeserved privilege of having an audience for their stupid observations and half-witted ponderings, as if they deserved to be heard. And if they're not doing that, they're telling us what menial task they are currently engaged in. Why? Why?! Because that's the way it's going now? This is our evolution, is it? The relegation of communication to the most bland and mundane things we could think of. Like anyone GIVES A FUCK. Don't we have better things to be doing? To be finding out? Like how to survive this messy monetarism, in this downward spiral into some sort of economic wasteland. And here I am, joining in, writing about things like Pride and Obsession. Typical intellectual bullshit.
Ok, I think I'm done. Yep. So there it is, my doubt in all it's glory. I have to say, I noticed myself getting a little excited there. I was typing that little bit faster. I felt I had that little bit more to say. Words came easier to me in my state of doubt. There were so many easy targets. I was in such a rush to put everything down. But now, having said all that, I actually feel like I haven't really said anything at all. It was all just a big rant about how everything disgusts me. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing. I don't feel any satisfaction. No gratification or vindication. No solace. Nothing. Empty.
Listening to the radio the other day, I heard a man paying tribute to his father, who had recently reached 100 years of age. Asked about what he thought kept his father in good health, he said something that struck me. Rather than appraising dry brown bread and sugarless tea, he instead communicated that his father could always find the positives in everything, especially people. When someone was out of favour, he would always seek to understand rather then condemn them. I thought of my grandmother, who herself lived until 100, and noted how I had never heard her talk down anyone. Maybe these people live so long because they don't carry around all the begrudgery mentioned earlier. They decide not to ware themselves out with tiresome indignation. They're not looking for the next thing to whine about. They are contented and secure people with no chip on their shoulder. They live and let live. (And die, eventually)
We all have our grievances. At one time or another, we feel as if we've been let down or cheated. By someone or something. It's hard to be serene in a world that sometimes seems so unfair, on so many levels. Of course we're going to get a little distrustful from time to time. But what happens when we bury ourselves in our defence mechanisms? Life just becomes a roundabout of derision, spitefulness and self-consciousness. Why, instead of trying to find the falsehood in everything, don't I look for things that I can relate to? Some kind of common ground. Wouldn't it be much more interesting if we could try and see ourselves in each other? Instead of trying to highlight how we're so different from each other. And how I'm on that side and you're on the other. And that's what makes you WRONG! And me RIGHT! Maybe If I refrained from all that meaninglessness, I would feel less compelled to complain about things that I'm not even sure annoy me that much. Maybe If I gave myself a push and tried to disprove my insecurities, I wouldn't fall into that hostile disposition toward everything else. Maybe. Maybe not. Actually, that's what I doubt the most.