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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

GROWING: dealing with being human; or just life

We may be going through a catastrophic crisis, yet I refuse to buy that this affords anybody the right to treat their opinions on the best way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as gospel. What I’m really trying to say, is how important I think it is for us demonstrate empathy towards other people’s situation and being able to relate to the reasoning behind their decision making. This has to be the most valuable of human traits, that I hope we can all strive towards.

No matter how much more of a challenge it may appear, surely the answer is to try and impart with some common ground, as opposed to voicing our petulant reactions towards alternative opinions from our own. What always dumfounds to me, is how people’s crude selfishness becomes so guised in the form of instead proposing the moral superiority in your own approach to life. Here, I am trying to touch upon the fact that we are all united in sharing our life-spans simultaneously and exploring how the only way that we can allow ourselves to all be able to enjoy the best lifestyles possible (without being too happy-clappy) is to come together more.

With the ripeness of our age for allowing us to voice our aggressions, despair, hatred and you name it etc., to a wide audience, it is almost unsurprising to witness that such large swathes of us seem to have segregated themselves into camps. It seems to force everything to be so extreme. To voice grey-areas and middle-ground – let alone compromise – seems to be viewed as a weakness.

Pft, I’d never want to claim that I’d ever automatically know any more than anybody else about anything. By the same measure, I’d never expect for anybody to enforce or impose their opinions on anybody else. Life is just way too complex and varied to ever expect that the frames of references that each and every one of us have, to ever always point in the same direction. Surely the clearest solution that we’ve got to any of this is the concept of democracy.

Being granted the right to express yourself politically is such a fundamental right of a human and the extent to which it will be able to persist – think of next month’s US Presidential election – feels to be one of the climactically revealing challenges of the contemporary world. Though admittedly, we have such little control of such a pivotal event on a macro scale that it can feel fruitless – no matter how much it may affect us – to imbue it within how we can deal with our own lives. As I’ve progressed in progressing further up the hill of ageing, one facet of the most helpful wisdom that seems to have been afforded, is the fact that every sane person suffers from insecurities.

Indeed, I find it liberating to remind myself that we all potentially suffer from the same plights of humanity such as feeling content, social, lonely, worthless, frustrated, excited, anxious etc. etc. exist in us all over the course of what may be the course of the average day, week, year… Life to me seems to incorporate a series of spells that we go through. As obvious as the causes of some of them may be, moods are surely an abstract phenomenon that can be so difficult to account for. I can only talk from my own experience on such a loaded subject, but the exclusivity of our feelings seems to be as much the beauty and brunt of explaining them holistically. It may even sound simplistically coarse, but I’ve long believed that an equilibrium of emotions is integral in understanding how we feel i.e. without having experienced fun how could we ever recognise boredom? Without ever experiencing affection, how could we feel lonely?

There can never be any right or wrong way in manages our biorhythms. And obviously there is such a vicious – along with sadly seeming ever more prevalent phenomena – trend in people suffering with psychological complaints. Working in a homeless hostel, I can witness first-hand how the mismanagement of mental imbalances is a root of so much suffering. I can’t claim to understand a smidgen of the causes and effects of the internal challenges that people face and I’d never wish to at all undermine anybody’s suffering. It is just fundamental for the intangible to be afforded equal attention in terms of treating illnesses.

One thing that I believe growing older has allowed me to increasingly have the desire to simply understand another’s perspective on something. Of course I may not agree with them, but I now prefer to appreciate that gaining an understanding of another’s perspective as far more valid, as opposed to simply stressing my own position in exerting my own position as more profound. Though being human, of course I do this from time to time! We’re all animals aren’t we, but surely we have to recognise that nobody much suits being a dog with a bone and that getting too het-up and personally offended by any disagreement is one of the more pathetic traits of our character. For example, I’ve always had a keen interest in politics, though I feel that there has to be a limit as to how seriously to take any political debate had in a domestic setting. Any discord is surely cheapened through losing all dignity in being given as an argument?

Sometimes achievements in schools and universities offer a falsehood of help in that prestige in your thoughts, is indulged in making your achievements afford you a sense of completeness. Once this sheltered backdrop is removed, what resources that you are left with is questionable. I can interpret this as reasoning for how I see academic snobbery as so rife; arrogance can only be that most unhealthy bedfellow of insecurity in allowing us to assumingly channel the voids in our life.

In terms of getting a grip on life, let me first propose that I’m sure that my grip on it is as slippery as that had by anybody else. Life is evidently – as the current health turmoil must cement this if nothing else – fragile and I find that what I find to be one of the healthiest approaches to it is that we can all be united. Nothing is more important to me than the welfare of our fellow people and dealing with the fact that we can all come from a place of as much beauty as flawed is fundamental to my navigating this little existence.

To our families, friends and even down to the average person that we pass on the street, we’re important and should be highly valued. The future being shaped by the present, who knows, we may earn recognition to be long remembered. But and indeed something that I find incredibly freeing is that we are all an equivalent to specs of dust floating around in the ether. This is something that I find incredibly empowering, not to mention comforting. We can make such a positive impact on this life and be responsible for making an impact upon the future. On an existential level, to any other humanists, the fact that we all end up in the same way – whatever we do – has to be the greatest of all our levelers.

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