What do you believe?

I’ve become distracted. Been in a hell of a mood lately, largely because my back hurts. Lots going on in life right now. Relationship turmoil. Trying to find my next car in a hurry. Busy workweek with crazy hours. A great deal on my mind. And of course, there’s the perpetual gripe about how many assholes exist in society (myself included, sure, to an extent, but damn! Some folks seem like all they want to do is fight and insult others, especially online.).

I’m just tired, more now than usual, but it’s not a new feeling. What the fuck do I believe in? I don’t know. What should I believe in? What is there to really believe in anymore? I believe in my loved ones, which isn’t to say that they’re always 100% honest but that their love helps tie me into the game of life. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. Nowhere good.

Next I believe there’s more to this life than we humans will ever understand. Some shit is just beyond our comprehension. Nothing wrong with that. We experience what we’re able, even if we can’t usually clearly convey our experiences to one another. What’s beyond our comprehension is also necessarily beyond the scope of our languages. I’m fine with all of that and take it as a given, and what that helps serve to do is to create a reminder of our human limitations. Nothing wrong with cutting ourselves back down to size regularly — our tendency is toward arrogance otherwise.

Now, what else do I believe? I believe most folks are both good and bad, not mostly good as so many like to assume. No, I recognize us for the opportunists we are. We are also very often hypocrites, especially now that relative anonymity makes it more difficult to fact-check in a sea of strangers. And we’ll never eradicate our rough and deceptive tendencies, because they serve dual functions — that is unless someday we wind up genetically re-engineered in some “Brave New World”-sort of fashion (long after I’m dead and gone). But back to dual functions, because that’s important. Much as we like to divide everything into black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and vice, the reality is much more complicated. Welcome to human life — that’s what it’s all about. Shades of gray, some darker or lighter, but all on a gradient.

We very often have a tendency toward cowardice as well, hence why heroism strikes us as so exceptional and commendable.

Men and women do differ, but individuals break down to their own unique combinations of traits, predispositions, environmental influences and experiential input. This need to reduce people down to clumps and groups that we can speak so generally about to where conversations unravel into nonsense — it’s doing nothing for us. Just contributing to all the clattering, making noise, stoking the embers of hostilities in one another.

Look, I’m in a bad mood today and will just spell it out. We’re driving one another fucking crazy. If people are fine with that and still think the benefits outweigh the psychological and social costs associated with maintaining a bullshit status quo, then I’m on the wrong planet or was born in the wrong era. But whatever. When I say people are going to do what they’re going to do, it may come across as defeatist, but it’s true. People don’t want to talk about what’s going on today — they want to blame and point fingers and throw around statistics they’re barely acquainted with just because they appear to bolster their own pre-formed beliefs. Humans are terrific rationalizers, that being one of our species’ specialties.

At this point, what is there left to do but dream? I do my best to pay as low of taxes as I can since this war machine is paid too much already. I speak up at any opportunity to declare bullshit on so much we have going on the U.S. I’ve refrained from having children, lightening the load for myself and others. (Just think, you all dodged a bullet on having to deal with whomever I managed to screw up. You’re welcome.) Been trying to make sense out of my life experiences and come to terms with where I’ve personally been in the wrong, much as I continue to make mistakes, but how can one avoid doing so? New experiences equal new opportunities for mistakes and learning. That’s just how life goes.

And I’ve vocalized my frustration with what movements I have dabbled in and am in the process of trying to share what tidbits life has been teaching me. But what do I know? I’m a malcontent Luddite apparently. Obsolete. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s a reality that it seems I must come to grips with and accept.

People want to scream over one another, forever clanging their pots and pans and trying to drown out what they perceive as their opposition. Bunch of noise. What is to come of it other than driving one another nuts? What do we hope to accomplish, if anything? I want to know, but people won’t say other than by tossing out vague terms like “equality” and “egalitarianism” and “humanism.” But what do they want to see? Most, I believe, want to see something similar to what is already in place. And I suppose if that’s their dream, then so be it, but I don’t share it. And I don’t know what else there is to do right now but to focus in more on my own life and matters that are my responsibility or where I have power.

Is it just me, or does the world feel too big?

Back to my cave now.

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One Response to What do you believe?

  1. Stream Angel says:

    I like this. It expresses a lot that is similar to where I feel I “am” with all this at the moment. Perhaps many people seep down feel similar (I don’t know) but don’t express it publicly. I engage in internet discussions about “social” issues, but I’m fully aware that to a degree, some “rough edges” need to be papered over in order to present a simple point. Equally, when one decides to engage in “political activity” with others, in order to get results -- even more “rough edges” have to be papered over. Typing it out like that, it doesn’t sound “right”., but perhaps this is the difference between what one allows oneself to think in moments of private pondering (which nobody is going to seize on & deconstruct in order to paint you as “the bad guy” -its not being presented in the context of “political discourse”) & the kind of thoughts one expresses when trying to get an idea across into the wider world.
    Ultimately though, my conscience won’t allow me to support deceit & self-censorship. However, it becomes very hard not to slip into this, when too many arguments have slipped into the “pick a side” conundrum. In many cases, I feel that I am essentially MORE on one side than the other, & want to support their “argument” (because its based on a good moral principle, such as “men shouldn’t rape women”), but feel that there’s still a lot of essential “holes” in some of the fine details. I’m not very good at “sitting on the fence” (& also, an argument could be made that too many people “sitting on the fence” results in no progress).
    Everybody has their own answers to how to negotiate these contradictions. I am constantly trying to balance all this out & think about it.
    I’m glad that other people are too. “Doubt” is a very hard thing to write about (in contrast, any fool can write a political slogan such as “Male Violence + Racism = The Patriarchy” or whatever). I’m still working out how I can write about these thoughts myself, so maybe I can take a little bit of inspiration from this.

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