Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seeing the "we" in me.

When I watched this video, it at first seemed compelling in its timeless message. It isn't what happens to us that matters - it's what we think about what happens -- how we internalize it. And when we see others as ourselves, with empathy and understanding and acceptance, then it expands our awareness from the small center of "me" to the larger, more complex world of "we". This expansion increases our compassion, tolerance, capacity for forgiveness, and, ultimately, creates fertile ground for love.

And we're happier.

Of course, his message would have been even more convincing if the author hadn't committed suicide.

Just saying....


Okay...okay...okay.  I was going to just leave it at that but the risk of appearing like a total asshole instead of the lovable asshole I try diligently to project was too great. An inspirational speech about how to stop focusing on yourself and your problems from someone who couldn't get out of his own head and, after years of depression, hangs himself? Seriously? This is simply so depressing that it is funny in a miserably, painfully, wretchedly dark, and utterly macabre sort of way.

Just once I want someone who is "coaching" me on some inspirational way of thinking or living to demonstrate just how fucking wonderful his life is because of doing what he is telling me to do. Just. Once.

I am sick to DEATH of "experts" in any number of fields telling us all how to think, feel, make tons of money, live amazing lives, find the perfect love, manifest all our dreams and desires while they stumble along fucking things up just as badly or perhaps even worse than the most remedial among us. Marriage counselors on their fifth marriage. Success speakers who have never done anything except sell the idea of success to others. Fat doctors who smoke. Therapists who take anti-depressants.

The list is endless.

And what does it say about us? The two observations that I can make are:

1. We have become a nation of life-long children. We look to "adults" (aka "experts") throughout our lives. Buy a book...go to a seminar...take a course...because someone else has the answer. We certainly don't have to figure it out ourselves. Why, we wouldn't even WANT to. There is an expert for everything who can tell us anything - how to have a happy marriage, raise our children, find the perfect job...

2. This idea of an expert for everything implies that there is a solution for everything. UTOPIA! Yeah! HOPE AND CHANGE! No wonder our generation is the one who elected President Peace Prize. We have been conditioned from grade school to turn over our self-reliance, common sense, and responsibility for just about everything to someone else, some "expert", some speaker, author, politician...

And now we have President Hope.

Serves us right.

Still, I would like for uplifting, inspirational messages like this one to work once in a while. It would soften my cynicism, that's for damn sure.


  1. Take heart then, they do work once in a while. "Once in a while" is the catch. Unfortunately there's no one size fits all panacea and rarely even one size fits one for a lifetime.

    1. You're're right...I know you're right.

      But DAMN! I am tired of the insidious message behind all the experts and advice and counseling and studies and shit that there really is attainable perfection somewhere and we just have to go to the next seminar to find it.

      I think life is more navigable if you decide that most of it is just shit you get through and you cherish the moments which are anything other than shit.

      There's philosophy in that. Look for it. HAHAHAHAHA!

    2. Yeah, but let's see you get that on the best seller list. ;)

  2. Yeah, beware of 'experts' who will happily stuff up my life even worse than I've managed to do for myself..

    Definition of an expert (from my niece):
    x = an unknown quantity
    spert = a drip under pressure

    I fell off my chair laughing the first time she told me that one. She was about 8 at the time.

    "I think life is more navigable if you decide that most of it is just shit you get through and you cherish the moments which are anything other than shit." Well said. That's pretty well how I look at things.

    1. x - spert! HAHAHAHA! SUPERB! I'm remembering that one.

      I honestly think it is dangerous to teach people that perfection is attainable. That's when utopian ideas really get a foothold in a population because they believe it is POSSIBLE. And freedom is a little thing to trade away for utopia and perfection.