A problem shared
By Parson Thru
Happiness is human interaction. It costs nothing to smile and say hello or to ask how somebody is. A look in the eye and a thank you go a long way.
Someone remarked that one of my pieces was a peek inside an anxious soul, and they were right. Anxiety is my thing; like music is my thing: both were gifts from my parents; maybe even from the culture into which I was born. My anxiety right now is for the world: not for the rock that hurtles around its star, or even for the precious gases that surround it, or for the innumerable animals that roam it – my anxiety is for humanity.
This isn’t about the physical survival of the species, it’s about the survival of the soul. The way I see it, once you stop viewing human beings as individuals and cease to be sensitive to the wellbeing of every single person, everything is lost. To me, every human life, every existence, every consciousness is sacred.
Images and reports through TV and other media can aggregate the plight of individual human beings into something that means less; can overwhelm the sense of shared suffering, making it easier to accept (for example) governments dropping bombs on people we can label as "enemy" or something inferior to ourselves. The fact is that if we met them and spent time with them we'd find (a few cultural differences apart) they are exactly the same as us; exactly the same in that every one is a unique and conscious entity. How can anyone feel justified in injuring or killing another person?
What is home?
When did you last stop and look at the reality of the star-filled night sky? Yes, that’s where reality exists, not on “reality” TV, or in the amount of credit your bank will extend, or the size of your house or your car and how much bigger they are compared with anyone else’s.
Reality is the profound and mostly-ignored view outside Earth’s window; the innumerable points of brilliance so impossibly remote and yet as real as the book or the steering wheel or TV remote in your hand; as real as the ground on which we stand. The reality of the ground is but a particle amongst all that we can see, which, itself, is a fragment.
Somewhere lost in in the night sky is the infinitesimal probability that the Earth could have formed at a point in time, in a place close to the type of star that, in a period of solar stability, would permit the existence of atmosphere, of water, life and evolution of a conscious and self-aware animal that could one day look up at that sky and place itself among those myriad lights.
From our remote viewpoint on the edge of a spiral galaxy, we get the occasional opportunity to peer into a cluster of millions of suns; a galaxy that is but one point of light amongst the countless, on a scale which we might never know. On the right night, from the right place, if we can be bothered, we might see a long cloud of brilliance extending across the sky and imagine ourselves standing on the third planet from our own star, watching.
Isn’t it amazing that, through conscious self-awareness, we can contain the image and the concept of the known universe in its vastness in a small space at the top of our spine: bone, flesh and the whole known universe?
The myriad uniqueness of human beings through the generations is a mirror image of the galaxies and stars that blaze above us. In our ignorance, we forget the stars exist; like we forget humans exist; like we forget that we exist.
When we forget to acknowledge the reality of where we are; when we forget to consider the welfare (let’s rehabilitate “welfare” – fare thee well) of our fellow human beings, all for the sake of numbers on a bank statement, a bigger house or a bigger car, we lose our humanity.
When we injure or kill other humans through direct action or neglect, we injure and destroy our own existence. We injure and destroy ourselves.