Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Article Submitted to Me: Finding Peace: Or, Where We're Going Wrong..
A reader of my blog, Helen Bootle, sent me the following article that she authored. I wanted to share it with all of you.. Thank you, Helen. Love and light-
Finding Peace: Or, Where We’re Going Wrong
Humans have historically been an optimistic species, but somewhere along the line this message seems to have become diluted out of being. We’ve talked before about sinister ways in which the media and advertisements can affect our happiness, and how our jobs can sometimes feel like a lot a fanfare without much reward. What, we should really ask, is the price for shelter, food, and water, the most basic of human necessities? It should not be forty hours of work a week multiplied by forty years. Many are convinced of the virtue of their labor by seeing themselves part of human progress, but progress is a misguided term. We’re not progressing if we’re killing ourselves and the planet, and wiping out unknown numbers of other species, just to further enhance the arbitrary figures of money and economic standing. Progress is overrated.
How Bad Is it?
You don’t want to get caught up in the idea that everything is terrible in the world, because it isn’t. We’re safer and more accepting than virtually every society there has ever been. So it’s not all bad. But it isn’t great, either. We could be doing better. The numbers make sure we know that. Around the world, 350 million people live with depression. This number will grow over the next twenty years to make depression the most common illness in the world. 100 million people suffer from other mental disorders.
And that’s just the beginning. Thanks to war, terrorism, and violent attacks, traumatic events are also on the rise, leading to a sharp rise in people exhibiting signs of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. This response to trauma might not be an inevitable product of war, either - it might be a modern response to trauma, a subtle difference. After all, there have been plenty of wars and tragic events over the past few centuries (the plague was no picnic), and there has always been depression too, but we’re currently seeing tragic events happen less often than in the past (they really are!) and depression and other mental health issues on the rise.
A Call To Arms: Where To Now?
We can’t change the entire world, we can only change ourselves. It’s time for us to give up our ridiculous notions of a career, and what it means to be happy. In some cases, we might even have to let go of what we think it means to be a citizen of a particular country.
Above all, we are all human beings. Our needs are simple: we need shelter and sustenance. Everything else is for our comfort; we don’t need them. Somehow, and in our own special ways, we have complicated life to such an extent that we’re unable to receive the simple joys it gives us each day. Laughter, conversations with friends, children, animals. How often do we all wish that we could go back to our the simple innocence of our childhoods? Don’t we all admire the innocent joys of a dog rolling in the grass? How did we lose it?
It has been taken for us. We’re all part of this society, yet only a handful have the keys to drive it where they please. Our emotions have been tugged and our insecurities played upon, all in the pursuit of economic growth. We’ve been fooled into thinking we want the things we don’t even want. How many of us have been excited to buy something, only to feel a sense of disappointment once the novelty wears off? Yet this is why we all work so many long days.
I’ll say it again: we are human beings. You, me, the guy delivering your post, the homeless lady on the corner. There is no right way to live. We can choose our own destiny, create the rules we want to live by. It’s time more of us stood up and relinquished the control marketers and advertises have over us.
You are not your iPhone. You are not the size of your home. You are not the fashion label on your shirt. You are not the trauma you’ve seen, nor the the depressive episodes you have. You’re a wonderfully complex human being, on a beautiful rock, travelling through the universe. Act with this grandness always in your mind and you will do brilliant things.
at 5:44 AM