It’s okay to not be okay, but not for extended periods of time.
It’s a crazy and exciting time we live in at the moment, where it seems like anything is possible and the world is going to end at the same time. This can be particularly overwhelming for people, the constant stream of negative material bombarding us on a daily basis is enough to drive even the most stoic people into a prolonged state of deep sadness or despair.
I’m used to having the answers to things, but even I am struggling at times to come up logical explanations for the current state of hysteria befalling the globe. I don’t know, maybe I’m overstating, maybe I worry too much about the direction of humanity, maybe I should pursue a more “ignorance is bliss” lifestyle, but I doubt that I would be able to sell myself on that.
I like to consider myself a fairly resilient person, but everyone has their limits to the amount they can take in. I’ve learned to dramatically reduce my intake of news and social media just to keep my sanity from all the madness and tragedy. Otherwise you start feeling like why bother with it all? And this is where the acknowledgement, not denial, comes in. Denial is a primitive form of psychological defence to some event that is causing us distress/conflict/anxiety. The mature way of dealing with it is to recognise and accept the existent of such psychologically distressing event, and as psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, would say, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
I find myself asking this question a lot recently, “Do we actually want to be better?”, because a) it is difficult, b) it requires sustained effort, c) it requires openness and honesty and d) it sure looks like we really don’t want to be better. Every time I think about getting involved in politics to help create a better society, I see something and go “fuck that!” Plus, I think my ability to help and be productive lies in other areas if I’m really honest.
I apologise for the more solemn tone of this week’s entry, but it felt needed. I feel we are losing our faith in competence and truth and that deeply saddens me, so I try and seek solace in philosophy and great literature. Some days I really feel like I am going insane and that some people just want to watch the world burn.
As philosopher Alan Watts said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, so I’ll see you all in Dante’s Inferno, but I still hope we end up in Paradise. I really hope there is light at the end of the tunnel, but to paraphrase philosopher Slavoj Zizek, it just may be the lights of an oncoming train.