If you are cold, put on a coat.
If you are unhappy with your life, change it.
I have been thinking today about how we live in a world in which many have so much they take for granted that is possible, they think nothing of simplistic solutions.
You need money?
Well. Get a job.
What if you can't afford food to eat, or there isn't any to eat?
What if you can't afford a coat?
What if you have done all you can to make a life for yourself, and still find yourself stymied?
What if you aren't healthy enough to maintain - or even get - a job?
There are arguments that can be made in a myriad of ways that will say that "anything" is possible. But one only have to find him/herself in a situation that shows the inaccuracy of that statement to discover a reality that we have been told is only a figment of our mind and perceived limitations.
I am not going to argue for limitations. I think it is a difficult conversation to be had, and one that I am not sure anyone can "win," at least for more than a virtual moment.
What I am going to do, though, is question how combative we seem to be about the idea that there are things that don't go the way we want them to, that there are things that seem outside of our control, that life isn't as manageable and predictable as we desire, and would like it to be. It is relatively easy to say things about something when that something is going the way we want it to/think it should. We even overlay what our perceived reality is over on others. Of course they should eat. Of course, they should...any number of things.
Right now, Baltimore is a big mess. To those outside of it, the shoulds are quite apparent. But to those in the midst of the rioting, another reality lives. It is very difficult to tell another how they should be, what they should say, how they should act, and have it heard, when it is fairly, readily apparent that there is little to no understanding, nor empathy, for what that person is truly facing. In order to state an "obvious" fact, there is often an inherent denial of the other person's reality.
I find that when it comes to my situation, there is a lot of "of course" suggestions. People just do not realize that the reality I face does not fit the mold we have been told we are supposed to fit. It can be incredibly frustrating to have to explain things over and over and over - especially when, even after it is explained, the underlying feeling is that there is something wrong with me, or my perspective, and not with what I actually face. As a result, often nothing changes, and people helplessly turn away. "Well, if that isn't the fix, I'm done." Often the person hurting in the situation becomes the one to blame. They don't listen. They don't act. They're doing things all wrong.
I am not sure what the answers are to many situations. There are some that likely come from our own making. But I am fairly certain that life is not as neat and tidy as many would seem to think. I think there are just some people who haven't had to face the kinds of dilemmas others have had. Hopefully they never will. But at the same time, if they never do, will they ever be able to have the kind of empathy a person in need may need?
Life is so full of different types of experiences. Maybe some are never meant to understand. Maybe they are meant to believe the things they do. Maybe they inspire others to listen, to act. Maybe they just haven't gotten to the point that life kicks 'em in the butt, and shows them a thing, or two, about how uncertain their certainties are.
I don't know. But what I do know is that we seem to have some pretty large chasms between us these days, much of which is predicated on what we think we know and believe. And I am not sure that it serves us terribly well.
We all have a need to be heard. And somewhere along the lines, our discomforts about a lot of what life is about has had us turn a deaf ear, in the interest of "helping" others. We figure we can't help someone who "doesn't want to be helped." Just because a person can't do what another thinks should be done is not necessarily a reflection of that person - but we will often make it one. Some even get pretty arrogant about their perceptions, elevating themselves as "smarter" "wiser" and all kinds of positive adjectives for themselves, but not for those who are having circumstances they do not understand, and seem to have no desire to.
There are all too many times these days that I feel like I just can't live life in the context that I used to. It is like the filters were stripped away. It makes it very hard, for so many reasons, to interact with those still in the "matrix." But the thing is that a lot of what I face is seen to be negative/a problem.
If I was deemed "successful," people might be more inclined to listen. Instead, though, I am seen as a negative person, who is in denial, who won't listen, and all kinds of labels that aren't exactly positive, nor helpful. I am seen to be making excuses.
I suspect it might be better for one to see me that way, as an alternative would be potentially more problematic, as it might suggest that life isn't as neat and tidy and controllable as many would like to think. Better for it to be my "fault" than to perceive it as a reality that can show up in life. After all, if it could show up in life, then others, too, may find themselves dealing with similar crappy things. And who would ever want that?!
But, oh baby. What a wake-up call that can be.