We can do so much better than this

stress

I sometimes ask friends and others if they think people in general are happy. The answers differ, but surprisingly many say yes to that question. My impression is that people in general are not happy. This is of course my subjective opinion, and it may sound negative. But that picture has emerged while I myself have become happier, unlike in the past when I was stuck in the rat race, stressed out and felt life somewhat lacked meaning. However, I was good at covering this up with well behaved smiles, small talk like “spring is on its way – then it will be better” or that “it is busy at work now, but I learn a lot.” This can annoy me, people convincing themselves that everything is ok, even though deep down we know we are not as happy as we once were. Happiness (see dictionary) is perhaps not the best word, we have very different picture of what it means. What I mean is: OK that life is not only a party, but we could all be so much more free, true, peaceful and joyous than people in general are!

It can be quite humorous to go downtown and look at how people behave. A girl passes and looking intently into the distance ahead of her, as if the world’s most important person was right there. An older man scratching his neck, while instantly looking the other way after meeting your gaze. Or the most common when someone is uncomfortable; pick up the phone and fiddle around among all the terribly important things happening there. Have you ever seen this in the streets?

It’s like we’re afraid of each other. We want closeness and friends, but as long as someone is a stranger, we unconsciously expect they could have bad intentions. Why else would we not want to meet each other’s gaze?

Also in private settings, anyone looking a bit closer can see how stiff and artificial some are. Children are open and ask straight out “Will you play with me?” A most legitimate and straightforward question, but what adult dare be so straight. It might be a fun challenge! Who cares?

Instead, we prefer to go into jargon about subjects that feels comfortable for everyone, i.e. matters that do not really touch you. It could be the stock market, renovations of apartments, celebrity gossip, job talk, baby strollers, what you did last weekend or where to go on holiday. Not that there’s anything wrong with these subjects as such, they have their place. But they are often used because we are not comfortable talking about deeper personal things and then the small talk function as defense mechanisms. We laugh politely at a lot of stuff, but is the laughter heartfelt? Is it really a bubbling joy that is felt throughout the body, like it was when we were children and like we may still feel occasionally with our best friend? A polite smile is, as I see it, nothing more than a defense mechanism, it is not genuine. Why do we defend ourselves? It is as if everyone expects the “Big Bad Wolf” to attack at any second.

“It aint that bad”, I hear someone say. Sure, we all drive on the right side of the road and normally do not kill each other. Our society is civilized. But if we look at the increasing rates of depression, burnout, shoppoholics, allergies, people with eating disorders, sleep disorders, ADHD and other letter combinations, it seems that something is not right. According to Statistics Sweden, mental illness has never been greater than now and it is worst among children and adolescents, it is thrice worse than in the 80s. There is no lack of people who think they have the best medicine. Vote for my party, follow this dieting method, buy a new car, enact more laws, forbid this and that. Yet it does not seem to help.

I do not pretend that I have all the answers, but my own inner journey and spiritual teachers I have met have given me some insights. We are all more or less hurt from our childhood, although we are not aware of all of it. This has made us lightly or more heavily neurotic. The society wants to force us into a template where we become normal, but few of us remember how it feels to be natural. Natural as we were when we were kids. Since I am the son of two politicians, I have an inborn interest for societal questions. The society consists of human beings and in this blog I am eager to tell you about methods I have learned to become freer, more natural and feel better. So we can be more affectionate towards our friends and create a society where people dare to meet for real. For those of you who are also interested in social issues, I have written a longer publication, “The disease in the human psyche and its Symptoms Society”, which you can read under Subject – Society.

How important is sex?
My God that is embarrassing!
3 Comments
  • Babyface
    Posted at 00:09h, 28 September

    Nice with your humble approach. But I do not like to be humble… Ok, jokes aside. Humility is beautiful.

    I think it’s an interesting balancing act between letting everyone choose their path in life and reacting about things that do not feel healthy. My impression is that there is a lot in our society and in our world which seems unhealthy. I believe there are many people who do not seem to feel that they live their full potential. Another way of expressing the same thing is many do not know their life’s purpose. How to make life more meaningful is the big question everybody would benefit from asking themselves.

  • Babyface
    Posted at 00:01h, 28 September

    Trevligt med din ödmjuka approach. Men jag gillar inte att vara ödmjuk… Skämt åsido. Ödmjukhet är vackert. Jag tycker att det är en intressant balansgång mellan att låta alla välja sin väg i livet och också sätta ner foten kring sådant som inte känns sunt. Min bild är att det finns en hel del som inte är sunt i vårt samhälle och i vår värld. Ok min bild är också att många människor inte verkar känna att de lever sin fulla potential. Ett annat sätt att uttrycka samma sak är att de inte känner full mening med sin tillvaro. Hur vi sen ska få mer mening är den stora frågan.

  • David Mattias Bent
    Posted at 18:04h, 26 September

    Tack för ett bra i lägg. Du tog upp en hel del social filosofiska frågor. Identitet till exempel är ett av de svåraste områdena i filosofi. Jag tänkte dock kommentera med det klyschigaste området – meningen med livet. Här slutat analytisk filosofi och vi lägger ner logiken temporärt. Jag vet självklart inte vad meningen med livet är. Jag vet inte varför vi är här och tycker livet är fullt av ångest, rädsla, skam, ensamhet och depression. Jag vill heller inte vara den person som försöker berätta för andra vad livet handlar om. För mig är det ett absolut mysterium.
    Hursomhelst – man skapar sin egen verklighet och verkligheten har ingen nyckel. Det är något man måste gräva fram. Alltså hitta meningen med livet inom sig själv. Här är meningslösheten viktig. Istället för att se meningslösheten som en källa av förtvivlan så kan man se den som en källa av mänsklig frihet. Se till exempel på konsten. Konsten är meningslös. Den har egentligen ingen direkt funktion…därav dess skönhet.
    Det är vanligt att blanda ihop meningen med livet med avlastningen av spänning. Det blir människors mål och dessa mål hamnar ofta under sex, pengar, status etc. Varje person måste titta på sig själv och lära sig själv meningen med livet. Det är inget man upptäcker…det är något som formas.

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