I tend to do this sometimes. It’s a really bad habit, and not just because other people will think you’re a schmuck. In fact, if you’re an even moderately interesting person and any good at all at leading conversations, you’ll probably get away with it most of the time and nobody will know that you’re secretly an ass. The thing is, if you do this, you’ll always miss out on the actually interesting things going on around you. Now, I know that there are times when I absolutely am the most interesting person in the room, most often it’s because I happen to be alone in a given room. I have to always remind myself that no matter what is going on around me, most other people probably feel the same way.
We are social creatures, every single one of us. No matter how badly we may want to live inside that comfortable little solipsistic greek tragedy that we imagine we inhabit when we aren’t getting enough attention from the people around us, we exist in the same world as everybody else. Being social creatures, we all have to agree to certain rules and conventions. Throughout history we have relied on different vehicles for this collective bargaining agreement, but here in the twenty first century, with the advent of the unfettered flow of and access to unfiltered information, which ironically often finds itself filtered down into tight little echo chambers full of distorted or simply inaccurate ‘facts’, we have seen these agreements start to break down.
Everybody has a unique and novel experience that is equally as valuable as everybody else’s, it’s just almost impossible to see it that way all the time. We are all here together, and we all have to coexist. Any individual capable of honest, rational thinking can see that the only way to maximize our potential for happiness and success and reach anything resembling harmony is to value each other as equals. We all know this, but putting that theory into practice is much easier said than done. Even more so now that we are inundated with voices coming from all corners, voices that are screaming out for attention because they feel, and they may in fact be correct in feeling that, they have been neglected by the world at large for too long, and now that they have the means they won’t shut up until their needs have been addressed. In this age of both unprecedented advances and ease and also unprecedented apathy and strife it is easy to become exhausted and turn one’s gaze back onto one’s self, where you are sure to be safe from outrageous ideas.
When I’m feeling like my head is getting a bit too big for the good of my own britches, or something like that, I have to remind myself that in reality I am as insignificant as can be imagined. And then when I’m feeling a bit blue I have to convince myself that I am just as significant as anyone who has ever lived. They’re pretty much the same thing, just worded differently. I guess I’m just trying to convey my concerns that we are becoming too insular, largely in response to our fears of being left out and in recoil from the pain that we all feel from living in such an indifferent world, when what we should be doing is coming together for the common good.
I hate to sound like a hippy dippy, love-is-all-you-need, rose tinted glasses idealist, but I do believe it really is that simple. We could all feel better if we were willing to let go of the things that are holding us back. Our ego, our precious self-importance and our sacred narrative of the wrongs that have been done to us and the great feats we have accomplished, these things are doing nothing more than keeping us from reaching our full potential as wonderful, powerful, creative, problem solving, caring beings.
Thanks for reading, have a good evening, or morning, or afternoon, or whatever time it is when and where you happen to be reading this.
Move along, move along.