Walking through a curio shop, I saw a frame proclaiming that life is not about avoiding the storm, but rather about learning to dance in the rain. That sounds profound, and childishly innocent. But as life wears on, we grow to realise that it’s even more important to choose carefully which storms we dance in.
It seems there’s a time for everything, and I guess in our youth, the rebellion we embrace drives us to live in protest of convention and oppression. However, when lacking in informed wisdom, oppression appears in many forms, including discipline and respect. Under such circumstances, the oppressors are those who leave us to wander without this informed wisdom while believing that our discovery of the world on our own terms yields wholesome adults. More importantly, it pacifies the ego of those adults that believe that they’re being kind and gentle because being the adult is too onerous for a fickle ego.
Consider the above in a broader context and suddenly we have some answers regarding the hoardes of wayward teens that lack in self respect and discipline while struggling to figure out why life treats them harshly. In fact, the number of adults that suffer from debilitating depression and other mental hangups are on the increase as well. (Pile on the hate, I’m used to it).
I look around me and see an ever increasing range of health support systems than ever before. The more we progress with medical sciences the less we progress with humanity. It’s no coincidence that by design, the medical sciences are also accompanied by a philosophy that focuses on the individual and not the society. We diagnose the symptoms of an individual and we prescribe treatments that are almost entirely individualistic in nature. It’s a self-serving cycle that is extremely lucrative, and therefore unlikely to be broken anytime soon. Albeit a simplistic overview, it provides us with a point of departure that leads down the path towards the erosion of individual accountability, as well as social cohesion.
The cycle goes something like this. Our health is rarely associated with what we don’t get from those around us. However, what we don’t get is proportional to what we don’t give. But when we grow up not knowing what to give, we also grow up not knowing what to get. The result is a symptomatic response to life, not dissimilar to modern medical sciences, which drives us to demand instant gratification before wholesome balance, leaving us physically spent, emotionally bankrupt, and socially isolated despite having friends lists that stretch to utopia and beyond.
And it all starts with the adult that refuses to be. The one that lives vicariously through their children. Who seeks to avenge the oppression of their childhood by swearing not to enslave another with the rigour of discipline or the burden of self respect, because in the absence of the two, we can do as we please, live without limits, and grow old ungracefully, with a healthy dose of bitterness and ingratitude not knowing why the empty spaces remained empty, and the home lacked homeliness. That’s not a rant, it’s a reality that most are loathe to acknowledge, because of the indictment it holds against us.
Some storms are more important than others. It’s usually not the ones we choose for ourselves, but the ones we choose for others that impacts our lives the most. Wholesomeness is lost when we lose sight of the whole and replace it with a focus on the self. Homes are broken, kindred spirits are abused, and worse still, spiritual grounding is discarded. No wonder we constantly seek fulfilment through retail therapy more than we do from silence.
[Yes, this is my projection of reality on the world. At least I have one to project]