I often tell my daughter that this world is filled with strange and mysterious things. Once I told her that there are people who think the Little Gray Men are the mercenaries of the galaxy (they harvest genetic material for other alien races). I got a very skewered are-you-out-of-your-mind- kinda look! I don’t expect her to believe it but I want her to know that there are strange and seemingly mysterious things out there;things that fall outside the limits of our understanding.
While I love my esoteric and extraterrestrial, I know that we all will all face greater puzzling dilemmas right here on planet earth. They come in the shape of people who challenge the way we live – just by being who they are. See, this is the bit I am trying to not only understand myself but teach my daughter. Like I said it’s easy being morally righteous. The government advocates it. Religion is based on it…in fact the very structures that keep things ticking on and over depends on it. Yet the reality of who we are as people is anything but.
Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, once said that “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take on them.” It’s all about the stories and details we add. The stories we tell ourselves help put the people and events into context. The problem is that after a while you start believing those stories. Often the only way you can put a stop to them is by running into other people who make you stop and ask yourself, “What the hell is going on here?” or “Who have I been for the last few years of my life?”
And those questions are the ones that keep me awake at night. Most people are neophobic – they just don’t like new things. Some don’t even want to make new friends. So imagine asking someone to expand their moral horizons? To make place for the seemingly “incomprehensible” events or situations that life will present them with….
I have always tried to find meaning for those mind shattering personal events in my life. So when I loose my shit and scream and shout bloodly murder at 9 on a Saturday morning, the only person I have to answer to is myself. And all it takes is a little bit of nerve – to be honest enough and move a step beyond the lies and stories I have told myself for so long….