3 a.m: Contemplations of an Anxious Soul
Every so often someone will visit a third world country whether for touristic or philanthropic purposes and come back with a revised perspective. In those times you actually decide to go, people around you will ask, more out of unawareness than disgust really, “Omg you’re going to THAT country? It’s not exactly a holiday destination now is it?…” And it suddenly hits you that you’re going to a place where tons of citizens have historically emigrated from…and for what? What could you possibly want to see there that is appealing? But It is only when we venture past concrete jungles that we awaken to the absurdity of the modern condition in its rawest and truest form.
Growing up, we are conditioned to believe that “existence” has a certain natural or default course that has to take place and that is what we commonly refer to as “having a life”. So we go on to explore that meaning to the fullest extent possible: We go to school, then college, then get a degree, work, settle down with someone, have children, grow old and retire with some sort of legacy to leave behind. We think to ourselves how naturally it comes to us to have our actions planned. That’s the way it’s supposed to go right? But every once in a while outliers such as ourselves here will ruin your day and have you think about all these complicated weird thoughts… For example, can our system really be all that “natural” if it is only restricted to certain populations and communities in our world? It’s normal for us because it is the niche we have come to normalize in…But did you ever stop and think what your life would be like if there wasn’t that “next step” that’s become an almost automated requirement of living? Whether it’s an important exam or a new job interview or a new living situation that we must adapt ourselves to… These are the things that keep us grinding through. Would you even call it a life if you didn’t have that “this too shall pass” or “it gets better” little voice in your head? Would you even be here? Your cortisol levels are probably soaring through the roof just thinking about it. Can such a thing even be possible? Can we call ourselves human beings if we didn’t have our practical system? As it turns out, a very distinct class of people will answer yes to all those questions, having put these hypotheses to the test. Shockingly enough, they are still considered part of the human species.
This is not just some daring social experiment to contemplate, this is reality for the poor and homeless across different societies. Unfortunately, one’s attention is not drawn to it unless he/she is in a place where there is a vast disparity between the wealthy and the poor. A homeless person doesn’t wake up with the mindset that one day her life is going to be any different. For her, day in day out, is gathering outside the local place of worship and distributing her little ones to other remote places and hoping that maybe today, people are feeling a little more charitable than usual. For the homeless and the poor, there is no silver lining or any other reassurance that their current condition is not a permanent life situation. The poor and the homeless have to approach every single day with the same anxiety levels us “systematic” folks have when we’re just getting over a common flu. It’s really the bitch of living isn’t it? We are all equal souls or equal dead stars (if that’s what some of you believe in) and yet by the way human societies have evolved and charted this hierarchy of living, some will just naturally have it better than others. There is nothing more shameful to our humanity and more threatening to our survival as a species than this.