We’re All In This Together 5


NEW: audio commentary now available! Have a listen before/after the article 🙂

 



 

 

Pointless arguments over meaningless ideology

Presidential candidates, indistinguishable

Name calling, finger pointing, arms flailing

Shaky platforms and loose morals

Demagoguery always in style

Donald Trump Debating Hillary clinton podium audience. they are swearing at each other

 

 

 

 

Uncountable suffering delivered through the iron sights of a rifle

War, destruction, genocide all exposing the twisted potential of the human race

Uniforms adorned with sharp symbols promising ingroup affiliation

Meaningless conflict over arbitrary markers assigned by birth

two soldiers looking at each other while battle rages in the backgroud. They are disillus

 

 

 

Life can be unexpectedly cruel and swift in its delivery of pain

Moments of agony are all but guaranteed

Swift, poignant and effective in reducing us to tears

Experiences that penetrate our very fabric

…ripping out a very real piece of our soul

sad man is crying in the rain as he stands at the tombstone of his dead dog. He's wearing a shirt with the dog's face on it. The dog's name is rex

 

 

 

 

Hypnotic brands with swirly letters, cool slogans and catchy jingles

Societies built on consumption, addiction, status and pride

Invisible barriers between fellow humans, falsely justified on tenuous ground

So physically close to one another, yet feeling so impossibly far

busy corporate type people rush by homeless man as he appears sad and dejected from society

 

 

 

 

Nameless employees, faceless corporations

Unquenchable material thirst fuelling existence

Long queues, big appetites; short tempers, small worth

Everyone trying to go somewhere, yet nowhere at the same time

Two long lines of people at a grocery store supermarket. everyone appears rushed, annoyed and angry at the long line (queue) of people waiting for the cashier

 

 

 

 

Not all of us have won the lottery of a happy childhood

A stable place to feel safe and call “home”

A source of praise, acceptance and love

For all it takes is a poor domestic start on our life’s journey

…to leave us feeling permanently out of touch and lagging behind

A baby is sitting on the floor, neglected with two screaming parents above. They are cursing at each other, the father is an alcoholic, there is a broken drink on the floor

 

 

 

 

Self-doubt and pain hit our teenage years, leaving lasting emotional scars

Why do our affections and interests deserve such ridicule?

A delicate balance to say the right thing, wear the right shirt, talk the right way

Anything to mitigate the pressure to fit in

Moulding our personalities to others’ tastes

A nerdy boy holding a math textbook is being bullied and intimidated by cool kids in his surrounding.

 

 

 

 

We’ve arrived at adulthood and are no closer to feeling assured

It may feel like those around us indulge every primitive whim

While we dabble on the edges of uncertainty

Unsure what to do next with our lives

Man is wearing a unicorn mask while sipping a drink through a swirly straw. He feels out of place and isolated at a party with people doing typical college things aroundh im

 

 

 

 

We’ve all made wrong calls and poor decisions

Amassed a list of regrets that make our hearts squirm with unease

And picked up destructive habits that we can’t quite undo

…some more fatal than others

An old man is smoking from cigarette and coughing his lungs out. He is feeling regret

 

 

 

 

Daunting and hopeless, it may all certainly seem

But wait, step back, take some time and reflect

When the going gets tough…

and it seems like there’s no way out…

Pondering about something with a visible heart inside with various characters

 

 

 

 

Look inward. Deeper.

In moments of darkness, punctuated by sensations of doubt

We must remember that all of us fight our own internal battles

And it is our personal problems that define our collective humanity

man is holding a magnifying glass to his heart to have a closer look

 

 

 

 

We must dig through the depths of our hearts, navigating every crack and crevice

Unearthing compassion, patience and understanding at every turn

A sense of empathy and love will emerge for our fellow being

Their struggles become familiar, their stories our own

We will, inevitably, come to realise….

A zoomed in version of a heart is shown with all the previous people and situations

 

 

 

 

…We’re in this together

brain man is happily holding an enlarged version of a hart in front of him. He is a happy and satisfied

 

 

 

 

The older gentleman sitting beside you on a bus is may be frowning because he’s fighting a custody battle for his only child that’s invisible to everyone but himself. The tired looking cashier serving you has nothing against you; she’s on the 7th hour of her morning shift and can’t wait to go home and change into her pyjamas. Nested behind your colleague’s blank expression is a seething depression offset by recently losing a member of his family. You never know what hides behind a person’s defensive facade that they have erected to shield themselves from the maladies of the world.

Remember that people’s behaviour is often deterministic, and that enough nasty ’causes’ will produce a nasty ‘effect’. A lack of REM sleep, a petty argument, financial stress, an unforeseen injury, troubles at work, a recent breakup, etc… these things accumulate and will often influence a person’s unconscious manner of interacting with others. We must remember to not take everything personally and to give other humans the benefit of the doubt.

It’s hard to remember what feeling sad is like when we’re happy. It’s harder still to remember what happiness is when we are feeling sad. The transition from one extreme to the other is all but guaranteed in life. Realise that despite your elation, the person on the other end of the interaction may not be on the same circumstantial wavelength as you, and may have trouble processing your positive emotion because of it. And vice versa, too: someone riding a ‘high’ may have trouble sympathising with your lamentation. Neither example is indicative of a lack of empathy; rather, a mismatch between emotional states. 

There is an almost insurmountable amount of suffering in the world today. Whenever you feel helpless and overwhelmed, know this: all it takes is one positive interaction with a stranger every now and then to help alleviate it. Our mood, after all, is heavily influenced by the sum total of social experiences we share with others. Everyone has a role to play.

It’s helpful to slow down sometimes. Be aware, observe. Remember that your perception of the world is just that–your perception. So much is happening all around us all the time, and just because we’re not there to perceive it, doesn’t make it less subjectively meaningful. Life unfolds all around us simultaneously and spontaneously, and often times, unfortunately, has the tendency to come inside without knocking before.

We all have our demons, addictions and vices. Our imperfections and weaknesses define us just much as our best features do. Despite our mightiest efforts, it’s much easier to notice the negative aspects of people, coating them with a layer of cynical judgement, than looking closer and noticing their redeeming qualities.

We have to remember that sometimes it’s not easy being human. We all have our quirks, insecurities and weaknesses. Rise to the challenge of trying to find the goodness within everyone you meet. Be slow to judge and fast to forgive. Be patient. Look for commonalities, rather than differences in your fellow human being. Love, accept and empathise.

We’re all in this together.

 

 

 

  • Stefano Mattia

    I appreciate what you’re doing

    • I appreciate you leaving this comment 🙂

  • Sad, beautiful, depressing, yet hope-inspiring all at once. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome. I feel honoured that I’ve been able to deliver such a rich range of emotions.

  • RV

    I can’t say it any better than AggroFemme; just wanted to let you know I feel exactly the same way, including the Thank you.