If I see the loved one suffer, I suffer with him, and I know no rest until I have tried everything to comfort and cheer him; if I see him glad, I too become glad over his joy. From this it does not follow that suffering or joy is caused in me by the same thing that brings out this effect in him, as is sufficiently proved by every bodily pain which I do not feel as he does; his tooth pains him, but his pain pains me.
– Max Stirner
I only want to see you fight the darkness you want to live your life by.
Let’s make this is the best year we possibly can. Triumph of the weird!
– Rachel Haywire
As expected, the apocalypse came and went without much in the way of fanfare, ending nothing more than the eschatological ejaculations of the susceptible and superstitious. Everybody waited for Judgement Day, only for the sceptics to say “Told you so”.
Now in the post-apocalyptic haze of 2013, anticipation has been transferred to the realm of resolution, as the scrappy survivors contemplate not endings but rather new beginnings. Surveying the cultural-economic wasteland, they nevertheless make the silent pledge to survive and advance, despite the chaos that exists around them…
…but to do that, they need to come to grips with that which lies within them.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure and fortune to meet, converse, and/or get drunk with a variety of intelligent, amusing, and endearing persons; persons who are, in some notable way or other, exceptions from the general rung of humanity. Creative, curious, and considerate, they reinforce the embers of idealism and empathy and desire which still burn in me.
Alas, it’s not all revelry and irreverence. Whilst many of the aforementioned folk are well on their way to their desired destinations, a not-insignificant number flounder, mired by depression, ennui, and shaky self-regard. It lead me to ask the question: Why do these awesome people think of themselves as the abject opposite? What’s the reason behind this inverted Dunning-Kruger effect?
One such friend offered a suggestion along the lines of the exceptional slipping into self-castigation as a result of falling short of the high expectations they set for themselves, whilst the average person merely feels satisfaction with not falling short of the level those around them expect and congregate at. It’d explain a lot: if you have no aspirations, you can have no disappointments, after all. The baseline, the default, the status quo proves contentment enough for the many.
I’d also take the role of circumstance into account. Perhaps inner negativity gets fed by a lack of avenues to express those potentials dammed up inside; perhaps it’s a case of being surrounded by the callous, obnoxious, and unsympathetic and lacking the resources to alter the situation. Closed doors and open animosity can wear down even the best, given enough time.
In any case, whatever the source of the malaise, I’ll say this…
Stop fucking hitting yourselves. Stop fucking hating yourselves.
Maybe you fucked up royally in the past trying to fit some constricting mould; maybe you got dealt a shitty hand by chemistry or circumstance; maybe, once upon a time, you let sterling opportunities pass you by for this, that, or no reason…
…but no matter how far you are from where you wanna be, keep in mind you’re still also a long fucking way from the grave.
And it’d be a shame to get there without leaving a king-sized “I woz ere!” scar on this wretched world.
So how about you dry your eyes, dust yourself off, get back up, and show them your fucking power?
Make your plans and draw your lines. If you trip up along the way, that’s okay; just find your feet and continue to chase down those dreams you hold dear.
I can’t promise you success, but I will assure you that staying stationary is a long and dreary means of self-destruction.
In this Year of the Snake, let’s resolve to shed worn-out, self-castigating skins, sink our fangs into the marrow of rejuvenation, and sting the world with our unique strains of venom.
Above all else, let’s end this year in a different, more becoming spot to where we began it.
I know you have it in you: it’s about time you got the memo…
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