We live in a society where greed exceeds need. Humans destroy the very earth that sustains their life for momentary gain. The planet is literally falling apart in front of our eyes and humans continue to abuse it. But abuse is all we know. Humans are the only creatures on this planet that knowingly, willingly, torment other living beings. Most of all each other. For money, for revenge..even for fun. There are humans who get pleasure from torturing animals and people.
I’ve read articles on a practice in Indonesia of people using female orangutans for prostitution, making them wear make up and perfume, and using them as prostitutes. The male orangutans are used in boxing matches.
I’ve read articles on men raping dogs and goats.
I’ve read articles on animals being tortured and starved for the circus.
I’ve read articles of people leaving their dogs tied up till they finally died of starvation.
I’ve read articles of lions, tigers and any animal that had the misfortune of being breathtakingly beautiful being hunted and killed for sport.
I’ve read articles of sea creatures choked and poisoned because we filled their homes with plastic and toxic waste. Dolphins hunted and killed in the name of “tradition”
All these animals suffering alone, scared and with no one to help them, no one to talk to at the hands of humans and their greed.
And you tell me this world and this life is worth living?
What is time but a man made construct? It’s something we invented to create structure. But along with structure came control. Mankind uses time to measure everything. The seriousness of a relationship; how often have you heard the phrase, “But, we’ve only been together a short while, we’re moving too fast.” The truth is, you could be with someone for 2 years and not feel half of what you feel for someone you’ve been with 2 months. Time is used to measure your success in life. You finished your degree before 21? Genius! You finished it by 25? Failure.
Time isn’t real. It’s just a measurement. You’re under no obligation to conform to it. Your life is on its own time. Enjoy it. Move at your pace. If you finish your degree in 2 years or in 3 or 5 or 7 if you’re happy with your progress that’s all you need. If you get a job right out of college or you get it a few years after it doesn’t matter. All that matters is what you think about it.
So much of what brings me down is these man made constructs that are built to control your life. Time, money, grades, GPA. Are any of these things real? Natural? No. We made it and we imprisoned ourselves in it. Break free and live.
I’ve always hated the phrase “my better half” because the way I see it, I am whole. I’m a whole, complete, content person all on my own. I’m not half a person waiting for someone to come along and complete me. But that’s what makes falling in love so much more beautiful. When I fall in love it’s with someone that adds value to my life. Someone that adds happiness to my happiness. I don’t love them cause I need them, I love them cause I want to. Loving someone just for the heck of it rather than out of necessity is so much more meaningful to me. Each morning I wake up and make a conscious decision to keep loving them with nothing making me do it, and that kind of love means the world to me.
Mark Twain once said that humans are the only evil creatures because we possess a sense of morality. A Lion can kill another creature and doesn’t consider it evil because a Lion has no sense of morals. Humans are uniquely evil because we have a sense of right and wrong and the ability to choose wrong. Making that choice is what makes us evil, a trait unique to humans.
This brings me to a paper I wrote in college about ethics. Who decides what is right and wrong? We say that murder is wrong. By law it is punishable, the act of murder is considered disgusting and unethical. But, there are cases where it is considered alright, self defense for example. Why is it justifiable then? We talk about right and wrong like it’s black and white. In honesty it’s grey. It’s all grey.
Ever heard someone say, “Emotions are overrated”, I have. But I disagree. Emotions are all we’ve got. Honestly, what are we without emotions? Everything we do is driven by an emotion. Your career is driven by your passion. Your one night stand is driven by lust. Your relationship is driven by love. Anything and everything we do has some sort of emotion behind it. There are so many of us trying to shut it all down, bottle it all up. One day that bottle is going to fill up and blow up in your face. People think they’re so tough cause they suppress all their emotions. I think that’s cowardice. It takes true courage to face your own emotions. To admit what you feel, to embrace it. The sooner you admit your fears, the sooner you can conquer it. Empty out that bottle. Hell, throw that bottle out the window and never look back.
More often than not we’re constantly in pursuit of material things. A new laptop. New shoes. A new car. Ironically the most beautiful things in our life, aren’t even things. It’s people and smells and places and memories. It’s the smell of the ocean air. The feeling of sand in between your toes. The colors of the rainbow. The sound of rain, when you’re half asleep in bed. When we think back on the word ‘beautiful’ we don’t think about things. We think about faces and places and everything in between.
Einstein once said that you can either live life as if nothing is a miracle or you could live life as if everything is a miracle. Everything really is a miracle. It’s a miracle that you woke up this morning. It’s a miracle that you can feel the sun shine on your skin. Everything is truly beautiful if you stop focusing on everything.
Life is a collection of almosts. That almost kiss. That almost 90%. That almost relationship. That job you almost got. But in between all the almosts, and the half ways and the half eaten slices of pizza, you live your life. You become content with the things that never reached the finish line. Because those almosts, even though it would have been perfect if they followed through, they were perfect in their own way. Life isn’t perfect. It’s messy, it’s hard, it stresses you out but hey, it’s all you’ve got. So love it. Embrace your almosts. Or like me, on some days when all the almosts get the better of you. Take a break from life. Watch the sunset, I promise you, if you look carefully enough, you’ll see the sun almost touch the water.
More often than not, at the most unexpected times in our lives we meet someone. You hit it off, text all day, meet them every day it becomes so routine that a couple of hours without talking to them makes you feel all weird. But then no matter how much you thought that it wouldn’t change, it does. Texts become less frequent. Meeting goes from every day to alternate days to once a week to once in a few weeks. It makes you feel sick, angry, annoyed.
You know what causes this feeling? Expectation. You expected it to never change. You expected that person to stay around forever. Shakespeare once said, “Expectations are the root cause of disappointment.” Truer words have never been spoken. How you feel is your own responsibility, your own burden to bear. Instead learn to enjoy things in the moment. Enjoy the journey while it lasts. Nothing lasts forever, not even life.
There’s so much that we take for granted, I’m not talking about the massive things. I’m talking about the things that don’t even register in our minds as a blessing. The roof over our heads. The food in our belly. The education we’re given. The clothes that we wear. Even the internet connection and whatever device used to read these very words right now. We don’t realize that all of this could be unimaginable for someone else.
We think that we have everything we have because we did something to deserve it. But think about this. Imagine if you weren’t born where you were born. Instead you were born into a war zone like so many of the kids in Syria. They’re talented too. They’re smart too. Do you think they’re not making it in life because they’re not trying hard enough? No, that’s bullshit. It’s not all about just trying hard enough and working hard enough. Sometimes you’re just dealt a crappy hand in life. But we were lucky enough to be given all that we have. To be born in a safe place. We need to take a minute to realize that. Make the best of it. The present is a present.
You know how sometimes you have a problem and you obsess over it, constantly it eats away at your brain. When you wake up, before you go to sleep and everything in between. It makes the problem seem bigger than it is. So what do I do? I drive out to the beach, just in time for the sunset. With a cup of tea, breathe in the salty air, and just watch the waves. The sound of the waves hitting the shore shuts my mind up. The sand in between my toes, grounds me. Watching the sun dip into the water makes me realize that in a world so vast, with life buzzing all around me. My problem is trivial. Maybe it’s life altering, maybe it’ll change everything. But there’s no problem that can’t be fixed, and if it can’t maybe it’s for the better. But I do know one thing. A couple of months from now when I look back on it, I’ll be glad it happened. So don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive.