Did you ever get an idea that you couldn’t really see being expressed anywhere, that you thought needed expressing? An idea that struck you as so fundamental and yet had sort of become blurred and faded to the point where it was forgotten. I’ve had such an idea bouncing around in my head for quite a while now, and it has really been starting to bug me, to the point where there’s nothing else for it but to say, ‘Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes!’ Here goes nothing:
Abstractions are ruining the world. By abstractions, I mean ideas that all meaning and substance has been taken away from but that are put forward as if they are real reflections of people or of things we experience. Most of the stories put forward in movies and sitcoms today are of this kind, from where people have gotten ideas about “love” and romance and how they’re supposed to live their lives. Most of what gets put forward in newspapers and on TV, likewise. We live, lost and confused, amid a cloud of things that exist only as ideas.
Where this really gets to be a problem is where people are treated no longer as people but as abstractions, as things. And you see it more and more and more: Companies that diminish their employees’ dignity with forced social-media publicity shots. Endless selfies playing at real life on Facebook, and only ending up with a sickly parody. And it plays itself out in the way that people increasingly no longer treat other people as people. Where it’s like there’s some thing living rent-free in their heads that has their soul held hostage and doing its bidding. Where they abandon and act in bad faith, or, are simply overwhelmed, and forget that they are dealing with their fellow human beings . . . That other people are human too.
The effect of all this has been a diminishing of each of us and our lives, and a vague yearning for something more, wondering whatever happened to true love, to life, to adventure, to heroes and happy endings — to a life worth living, and everything that goes with it. I see this trend where people stop behaving as human beings towards each other, and I see it taking away the stuff of life itself and, indeed, the stuff that dreams are made of. And I want to do to something to stop it.
That’s my thought, anyway. And it strikes me that in order to reverse something like this — something so far ill-defined, that doesn’t bode well for any of us — it first has to be expressed and articulated. Then we can begin to fight back — within ourselves, and in defending what it is to be human — a caring, self-aware, reflecting being, with a heart to love and to feel and to reach out and lift up all who suffer and all who dream. Because what else is life for but living?Published in