For my next post, I wanted it to be really upbeat. I am a deep thinker, somewhat prone to the melancholy, so I thought that the next time I write, I’m going to try to balance said melancholoy with a little bit of lightheartedness.
Not going to happen.
Not today anyway.
I woke up feeling very sad this morning. Not in an I’m-so-depressed-my-life-sucks kind of way. More like, I-truly-wish-I-wasn’t-a-human kind of way.
Humans are purported to be the most sentient, evolved beings on earth. Apparently not. Apparently all the intelligence and “awareness” of our existence and mortality isn’t enough to stop us from blowing each other to smithereens, from oppressing those less fortunate from us, from creating an ‘otherness’ mentality to justify said atrocities, from pitting humans against each other in the name of entertainment.
Historically, in my opinion, the only thing that has evolved for us is technology. This has created more ways to abuse each other and, worse, kill each other. Our humanity, which I define as the ability to transcend our urge to annihilate one another, has not evolved at all. We are still animals – territorial, violent, oppressive, greedy and power hungry. How do I know this? The media is full of it. Apparently, this is what sells. This is what drives us, what us ‘humans’ want to see.
It’s very depressing. Especially for a melancholic person like me.
I like to call my melancholia the Eeyore Syndrome. You know Eeyore right? The sad little donkey in Winnie the Pooh. I always felt for that little guy. Always surrounded by his joyful little friends but never quite being able to enjoy life in quite the same way they did. He always seemed to know instinctively that what they were celebrating or enjoying was not quite the real picture, that beneath that veneer of love, friendship and joy was the reality of a world that was hard and cold.
I’m with Eeyore.
Despite meme after meme adorning the interweb telling me to look around and see the beautiful world for what it truly is, to enjoy living every moment, to live in the moment, to love myself for the beautiful person that I am, I cannot. The world, whilst perhaps rich in physical natural beauty, is not a great place to live.
How can it be when programs like The Bachelor adorn our screens pitting 24 women against each other to vie for the attention of one man. Where we watch these women tear each other down, night after night, in a desperate attempt to get him to like her. We haven’t evolved. We have just bought lion fighting in the Colosseum to our little black screens in our living rooms. The premise is still the same. Pitting humans against each other all for entertainment of the masses.
How can the world be a great place when, whilst we are watching our ‘entertaining’ reality shows where humans tear each other down, other people across the globe are actually living a hell of war and devastation, funded largely by the western countries that produce this entertainment for us?
Do you see the theme? The power hungry few feed the masses mindless entertainment, whilst funding mass warfare against countries (probably to control resources – at least that’s the conspiracy theory). Us mindless few lap up said entertainment and “feel sorry” for those other people over there who are being killed and shit.
If we try to do anything about it, for example, protest, leak secret documents about the inhumanity of those in power or dare to write about the injustice of it all, we are branded a traitor and arrested.
In his book, A Brave New World, written in 1931, Aldous Huxley foretold this. Huxley wrote of a dire world in which future governments would encourage mass entertainment, knowing it would pacify the people and divert them from political issues, how this fixation on entertainment would drown our desire for real knowledge and how society would allow itself to be so consumed with this entertainment, that it would disregard anything of any real importance. Huxley clearly could not have had any idea how prophetic his book would be.
So what is to be done?
We could sit back and say, as people always have done, that there is nothing we can do. That those in power have the means and power to oppress, create and maintain wars, bully us into submission. And to that I say bullshit.
We have the means to make ourselves heard.
We can boycott the mindless entertainment, we can write and speak out against the atrocities the human race continues to inflict on each other, we can make a conscious choice to stand up and say ENOUGH! We can think about a world in which we would like our children and their children to live and we can strive towards that. We can take an interest in the people that would like to run our country and make an effort to vet them. We can choose not to vote into power a man who stood at a protest rally next to a sign that said the words “Ditch the Bitch”.
As a melancholic person I constantly have to remind myself that I do have choices. That this isn’t the way it has to be. That, as an individual living in a crazy, violent world, I can make a difference. You can too. Believe it.
I once read that the only thing that separates humans from animals is not our intelligence, or that we have better technology, it our capacity to hope. Hope for a better future, hope that one day we can defeat death, hope that no matter how shit it is today, tomorrow will bring more light.
I have learned that my melancholia is not a bad thing, some defect inside my brain. Rather it is a response. A response to the reality that surrounds us, but we so often choose not to see. But I have hope, and through that hope the ability to choose, and that is what will make a difference.
How are you feeling about the world around you? Have you wanted to make a difference? Do you feel like me sometimes?
Until next time,