Who decides? Who decides for our lives? Because it definitely isn’t us. Is it god who decides who will be smart, who will be less fortunate, who will be mentally retarded or who will be able to walk or speak? We as a community of humans, a society, tend to observe the less fortunate and we feel sad, we are touched by their misfortune which makes us feel more fortunate, it reminds us to appreciate what we have… And then we go back to chasing all the things, all the goals all the targets we had originally set out to reach, even though, for a second, we knew they were and continue to be wrong.
I’m having a bad hair day today, yet the beautiful young man sitting in front of me, with his blue eyes, and his charming smile is unable to comment on my hair, because he can’t. How? Well he can’t speak. He has spent the entire journey smiling, looking, observing the hustle of other people, wondering about something that seems to be troubling him – and I am looking at him wondering “What’s wrong with him?” because instinctively I think something must be wrong with him. But is there really? He seems like the kind of person who could be my best friend, he seems to have such a positive look on life yet society dictates that I, being a human in good health, am better than him, a person with a mental disorder who is unable to speak. Yet he seems happier than me, he looks happier than me and – is there anything more important than that? Happiness.
It’s not the key to life, it’s not even the meaning of life, but for most of the people who do not end their lives and continue to live it is their biggest desire to be happy. Yet, the way we as a collective again, yes – I blame us, have decided on defining happiness is at least ridiculous. We put it next to success, compare it with academic excellence, with wealth accumulation – and yet, while these may make some people happy – are not what actually make people happy.
Let’s face it we may be different, unique, be from different countries, have different religions – we are all the same. Aren’t we? We are all humans, one of the animals of the planet. We all enjoy the same simple things, we all strive to find the same resources, company, safety and love among other things.
I don’t have an answer to most things, yet you and I will spend a lifetime trying to look for one. Some philosophers spent their entire days looking for the one absolute truth, some religions offer answers that can make you feel safer – and, let’s face it, some things we simply can’t answer.
So what does that tell us about our society? That it’s not well structured, that it doesn’t work well, that it glorifies the wrong people. So we blame society, we blame the system. “You can’t change the world”, “People are stupid, they don’t care”, “Who are you to change the world?”.
Well friend, you are a vital part of this society. You are a component. Our society works so well, so perfectly well (Even if it doesn’t always work for good). It is a very well-functioning body – like an atom. And you are an electron, part of it. The atom will exist with or without you, I don’t deny that, but it won’t be the same. And call it a cliché, but when Michael Jackson said, let’s start with the Man in the Mirror he had a point (granted he wasn’t talking exactly about that).
But you my friend will change the world, you can change people, you are…you. A member of the world, a citizen of this planet who as an individual the values you will carry on and share can influence other members, and as the world naturally changes and advances you can shape that change, you can shape the road this world will take. As long as we remember that you, are not unique, there are others like you, like me, like all of us really – and therefore we must read and listen as much as we say and share, we must understand, as much as we want to be understood, we will compromise, we will change ourselves on our way to changing others – we can only hope we don’t lose our values.
Image by kaizat