Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Conundrum of the Self: How Can We Change the World?

We need to stop undermining the individual. We need to stop thinking that just because we feel similarly to one another at times, that we're the same people. It's a habit we've made popular -- the typical, "have you ever felt like x?" question, and the typical "oh my gosh, yeah, I didn't think anyone else felt this way!" answer.

Alright, I understand that what I just said up there was a bit of a "punch", but I want to make it clear that my point is not about getting rid of our relations to one another as humans, but rather that it's about getting rid of our nonsensical tangents that lead to narratives of undermining the unique, and stuffing the common down people's throats until they can no longer breathe the very essence that makes them, themselves.

I think that teenagers experience this all the time. We get categorized, underestimated, brainwashed, ostracized, humiliated, etc. etc., almost every single day. I bet that even our thoughts are doing that right now, the whole, "I've already heard the typical being a teenager is awful narrative" turned into a, "I'm undermining myself by saying that" finally evolving into, "I'm horrible for trying to set myself apart because now, I'm just attributing my existence to that narrative."

But I think that it's important for us to realize, that by thinking that we're foolish for trying to initiate change by glorifying the individual, we're not doing ourselves the very favour we need, which is to be proud of being young. I mean, come on, we all know that the reason why we're underestimated and humiliated for being young is because the really mean older people that don't like us, know that if we're on the same team, we could possibly ruin their "empire". As much as we look like super uneducated monkeys to some people, they also know that with a little bit of book reading and a lot of analysis, we can actually really change the world.

So, after having talked about the potential for a "young and ripe overturn of the machine", it's worth focusing on why I think it's so important to embrace ourselves, that is to say, by embracing ourselves, we're able to stop the cyclical trap of "pushing to be unique".

As a member of such a large community of humans, I know what it's like to feel lost or insignificant in the presence of numbers so big. I get it, we're all trying to set ourselves apart from one another, and as much as I know I glorified that just a few paragraphs ago, I also want to comment on why it's really hard for us in the long run to be doing that, which is to say, to be trying to set ourselves apart.

This whole quest for the "unique", and the presence of the glorification of discoveries of the "unique" being panned out for so long, is actually a process of self-sabotage when you're in the position of the other, which is to say, the observer of the unique. It becomes an issue of trying so hard to be different, that you just end up being like everyone else.

Now you're probably thinking the same thing I am: that this has to be a visible conundrum that people are either avoiding, or treating like some rhetorical question.

Actually, I've realized that it's just something we've been overlooking for so long as the general public, that it's almost incredibly awkward if we do what's actually supposed to happen.

The big answer to this conundrum is what I've been saying this whole time... we just have to be ourselves. That's it.

We spend so much of our lives worried about what people think, who it is that we should hang out with, why we should prefer wearing matching colours over mismatched tones, where we should place ourselves on the ranking scheme of societal convention, and how we should be acting in order for people to think we're different. It's crazy, because we didn't need all of that.

I know that it's just part of the human condition to be feeling the way that most of us do about our place in the world, and the acceptance of others, but really at the end of the day, the ones who make a huge change in the world, or establish their own unique platforms, are the ones who just follow their gut. Our gut instincts are probably the most unique things about us, and I think that the moment we do follow our gut, we become masters of our very own empires.

Along with this however, we need to remember that not everyone is going to like us for who we are, and I don't think it should matter as much as we think it does. We all want to be accepted but sometimes that's just impossible, and I think that's okay even if it doesn't seem like it. We sometimes can't grasp an acceptance of our own selves, so why would we expect any different from other people? Moreover, why should we want everyone to like us? Liking other people isn't the the focus of global change, it's the awareness of the fact that other people exist on this Earth, and that they deserve every inch of respect for being the individual that they are, no matter where they're from.. except when they're really horrible like the countless people who have killed others for reasons completely unjustifiable by reason, and by humanity.

The point is, love yourself. It can be hard, I know, but it's the secret to loving life, and that's important.

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