When I look around myself, I see so many unhappy and numb people. Sometimes I feel like they are like those NPC’s in video games that are just programmed to do certain things and to behave in certain ways, but of course, deep down I know that many people are just terribly lost, aren’t we all in some ways?
And I always ask myself why people are so miserable all the time. Mental health problems in the west, especially among the young generation are through the roof. Depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, psychosis. You name it. Why is that?
It can’t be blamed just on the people that experience these things themselves. Of course, everybody can adopt a lifestyle that promotes mental wellbeing and health to the extent of their resources, but the root of the problem of people being so miserable lies in our societal structures and the values they promote. People have become too self-centered. Many have lost sight of the bigger picture and go about their lives in a mechanic and unnatural way. Although we have made incredible technological progress, we need to counter this progress with practical wisdom if we want civilization to continue. But I am drifting off here a little bit – let’s get back to the question of why people are miserable.
Of course, as it has been said, part of the reason why people are miserable is the societal structures we live in, the second reason to me are the predominant values that these structures promote which in turn make people more self-centered and apathetic towards the bigger picture. We live in a “we” – world and within a “me, me and me” – society where people are most concerned about themselves and little thought is given to others, not just humans, but nature and her inhabitants. Why is that?
Because we have been fed this idea that if we get this, make that money, get that job, get into that relationship, experience that thrill, we will find happiness and fulfillment and we will finally “make it”.
And it’s all bullshit. It’s the greatest trick the devil ever pulled on humans.
I have had a considerable amount of great experiences in life, I have made good money from good honest work during my travels, I bought a couple nice things for myself that I enjoy, I’ve been in relationships, but fulfillment wasn’t there to be found. Nowhere in the world can it be found. The world can’t fulfill our expectations of what will make us happy and fulfilled. If we’re always dependent on such things, we will always remain a slave and only in internal freedom lies happiness and fulfillment.
And mind you I am not an advocate of philosophies that promote people to see nothing but vanity and meaninglessness in the world, that is just the different end of the same polarity. People are either too obsessed with the world and what it has to offer or completely indifferent and apathetic towards it. None of these mentalities are wise or worthy of being adapted. Balance is the key.
At first, it might even sound nihilistic and life-denying to say that the world is not the place where everlasting happiness is found and that whatever we might do won’t deliver the results we imagine. It is definitely a hard pill to swallow and a good amount of people rather choose to chew on that pill than to take that medicine. I don’t blame them. I understand them because if you swallow that pill, you’ll experience a great deal of disorientation or should I rather say reorientation? At least that’s what I experienced.
When the foundation for the way you engage with the world is pulled out from under you, you’re going to fall on the ground and it’s going to hurt. You will experience confusion, anxiety, isolation and you might feel like a stranger in a world of ghosts, but it’s just the beginning of something deeper. When you stop asking what the world can do for you and really take a look around you and get a hold of the bigger picture that we are all part of, we might just start asking what we can do for the world.
When we move away from the “me, me, me” – mentality and take more than ourselves into consideration, we begin to move through the world in quite a different way. I not only believed but experienced for myself that what really makes us experience a deep sense of fulfillment is found in working towards something greater than ourselves. When we move up from our superficial desires, that navigate our actions in the modern world, and listen to the calling that stems from a deeper place within ourselves, we make ourselves available for something truly meaningful to come through and whatever then comes through us is always concerned for the wellbeing of yourself and others.
Some good indicators that you’ve recognized such a calling is an overall sense of lightness, eyes shining bright with a deep clarity in them, a sense of peace and trust, taking things less seriously and having a good laugh at the craziness that life can be. That’s what I experienced, I don’t know how it will be felt by you, but when you do, you will know, because a part of you that lies dormant will recognize that calling and will flood your body with all the feelings associated with living what you came here for.
You won’t turn into a hero that will cure the world of all its ills and pains, that’s wishful thinking, but you will grow into the person that will be able to contribute a piece to the puzzle of life on this planet and its healthy continuation.
Human beings are inherently social creatures. We need each other however hard that sometimes may be for us to admit. We are here for each other, to care for one another, to love one another. We are our own damnation and our very own redemption and we decide if we want to continue as one species on the path of misery, or the path of global wellbeing and it all starts with dropping our inherited beliefs about the world and take a look behind the veiling curtain of societie’s values that blind us from the truth we have always known but never dared to remember.
And something that I want to add, before I forget is, that the real source of happiness is found only inside an individual and it is touched upon when we lay down the thousand skins we’ve put on to appeal what the world tells us is desireable and stand naked in our authenticity. That’s the real juice. That’s what we really want. That’s the root impulse that we act out when we go on a shopping frenzy or hunt for those likes on social media. It seems like we hunger for the approval of others, but truly we hunger to taste our own authenticity. And all I can say is this:
“Please, please don’t waste your life on mindless bullshit, on things you don’t need, on people that will never accept you or situations that are not in your hand. Go your very own way, your unique way and authenticity awaits you. Remember that no one has ever left behind one’s own mark by stepping into the footprints of others.”