Thursday, September 8, 2016

I Have The Courage To Continue, And So Do You

Like drugs, music can be an upper, a downer, or a hallucinogen.

My choice in music is somewhat arbitrary, but rarely does it not fit with how I feel about the subject I write about. I can either feel happy or sad about a certain thing, and I guess, even though I have no understanding of it, I'm sad about this.

Human beings are interesting. If life were a race between many other species in the universe, we wouldn't content ourselves with a single human being representing us all crossing the finish line. We human beings are apt to challenge ourselves, try to not take the easier path, making ourselves better in the process.

Instead of allowing one human being to cross the finish line, we have the gall to say, "not one, all", and count our victory not with a single hand, but when our entire body crosses the finish line. That, in it's simplest form (or broadest, depending on how you look at it), is empathy.
The perfect metaphor for the human race right now
Many of my friends dwell on the internet, and I find the internet a lot more interesting way of finding friends. On the internet, you don't have to walk up to someone and initiate a conversation. On the internet, you can bypass the anxiety simply by opening a chat window and saying "hi". Depending on the person, you will most often get a reply, and you can get to know each other. You can be decisive in what you say, more so than in real life, as you can take a moment to think of what to say without an awkward silence dwelling in between. Life on the internet is simple: interact, exchange information, feel a sense of belonging with those you know will support you (they just happen to live in another state).

The one thing I think I've learned from the internet is that anyone can suffer. Unlike in Ratatouille, this means both that anyone can suffer, and someone who suffers can come from anywhere. Suffering is different from a bad day. Suffering is something that makes you doubt your journey, whether this journey is life or a chosen endeavor of their own, the principle is the same.

This is where the will to survive comes in.

There's something about people that never fails to inspire: when someone who's broken beyond measure, knocked onto the ground by forces beyond their control, takes a deep breath and gets back up. Life gives us a beating sometimes, but we can't simply lie down and take it. We have to stand up, look life in the eyes, and THEN take it.

People disagree with this, as naturally they do. I sometimes feel a disconnect between myself and the rest of the human race, as if I am not one of them, not a person like them, but a person like me. I don't know what's beautiful to other people, I don't know what's offensive to other people, I don't know if I am some kind of superhuman build to endure more than your standard person. To put it bluntly, I don't know the limits of other people. I try my best, but ultimately, at the end of every day, I feel like an outsider among the human race.

I live by a standard code of honor: keep fighting, live by your own achievements, try your hardest not to hurt people, don't stop fighting (fighting, in this instance, doesn't have to mean kicking ass; for some it can be as simple as living their life one day at a time). My stubborn devotion to these simple rules have kept me alive, kept me from thinking suicidal thoughts, kept me fighting. There's a quote from the new The Day The Earth Stood Still that I always took to heart:

"Well that's where we are. You say we're on the brink of destruction and you're right. But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment. Don't take it from us. We are close to an answer"

This is also in Stargate with the rite of Mal'Sharan, where one is willingly brought to the edge of death in order to find their true self. In the end, we're dangling off a cliff, scared out of our mind, and we have two choices: evolve, change for the better, become the better version of ourselves, or die. For some reason, I'm obsessed with this theme of survival, I'm told it's because of my being smarter than my surroundings, which I still haven't puzzled out yet.

I guess you could say that sci-fi vices are deeply ingrained into my personality, but sci-fi is more realistic than you'd realize. It's with sci-fi that we tell stories in a different setting to analyze them from a different point of view, like with Buffy TVS's "high school demons" metaphors and that Star Trek episode about abortion. It's why I enjoy it, because a shift in perspective is exactly what one needs to do in order to survive.

I like to think of myself as a combined Romantic and Nihilist. On some days, everything means something, or nothing means anything. When it comes to people, I romanticize them too easily. The Nihilist part of me says they're nothing and worthless, and the Romantic me agrees, saying that's why they're beautiful. I try to believe that every human being is a story, that they are a hero of their own psyche and everyone else is a side character. That makes it easier for me, believing that I am the hero of my own story, but I suppose that's true for everyone. Heroism is meant to come with modesty, and while I believe I am the greatest in my heart, our brain is required to ground us, keep us in touch with reality and our flaws.
"I suppose everyone feels that he's the hero in his own story, but there are no heroes, no villains, just people doing the best they can"
This, in my mind, is a true way to live. If for one second, I can believe I am a majestic demigod hero about to save the world, flying off the empire state building into a sea of horrible monsters crowding the streets of Manhattan...then maybe life isn't so bad. In lies, really good lies, there is always truth, and maybe part of that lie I tell myself actually is true.

I am a hero, maybe not to everyone else, but when it comes to who I am, everyone else isn't important. Selfishness has been condemned in our society, to where we're supposed to feel guilty for it. Wrong. Sometimes, emotionally, we have to be selfish to survive, and that's okay, because we can become better.

We can't be afraid of the precipice, we can only embrace it, and become a better version of ourselves.

We can keep fighting.

Afterthought: That music was depressing. Have some fighting music.