Added On: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Life is serious, but its also ridiculous

We're all stuck in the middle of this life, and are forced to take it very seriously. If we don't, reality will soon show us the folly of doing so. But take a minute sometimes to take a step back from the day-to-day battles and look at just how ridiculous it all is. If we weren't stuck right smack-bang in the middle of it all, human existence would seem so absurd as to be outrageous.

Despite puffing ourselves up in self-importance, we are all pretty pathetic creatures really. We cling desperately to life on the surface of this planet, completely at the mercy of nature. Take away the oxygen in our atmosphere, the warmth of our surrounding, or the food in our bellies and we'd soon find out just how important and powerful we are.

Have a laugh at how arrogant many of us are. The woman that screams at a delivery man who's one hour late. The office manager who acts like the whole world is about to end just because his secretary made a typing mistake. The restaurant patron who acts like his slightly undercooked french-fries are the greatest crime in history. It's as if we have to cover up just how pathetic we are by acting as if we're Gods.

And look at how we puff ourselves up and insist that everyone who disagrees with us is wrong, wrong, wrong. From religion, to politics, to standards of behavior, only our way is the right way, and anyone who disagrees is obviously a dangerous idiot. Many of us will spend all of ten minutes thinking about a subject that humanity has argued about for a thousand years with no satisfactory conclusion - and we'll still insist that we're the keepers of the one and only truth. What morons we can be.

Take a step back from the everyday rough-and-tumble to examine how selfish we seem to be. Most of us couldn't give a hoot about things like justice and fairness - all we care about is getting our own way. Of course, we're perfectly happy to insist that others be subject to high standards of morality, just so long as we don't have to sacrifice anything ourselves in the process.

Look at the way our leaders spurt out fine language, insisting how moral and good their actions are, when generally they're just in it for themselves or some interest group. The finer the speeches and the more insisted on the righteousness generally the more selfish the underlying intentions. This becomes most obvious during declarations of war - when leaders speak the language of heroics while sending someone else's children into harm's way. They demand sacrifices from others that they wouldn't dream of making themselves.

Or look sadly at the plight of those in poor countries. Left to live in hunger and disease while the food and medicine they need is often in ready supply elsewhere. Once again, it's often the selfishness of their leaders - destroying the chances of their people so they can bank an extra billion and buy another palace. Or worse, the helpless are subjected to the hubris of foreigners who insist they know what's best for the poor desperate adult-children under their care. What a ridiculous situation.

What pain and suffering is caused by human stupidity and nature's indifference.

Meanwhile, in rich countries we're obsessed with amusement. The latest gadget, thrill or home renovation is all we care about. And we'll stress ourselves into desperation to get it. We'll shout at each other and act like the sky is going to fall if anyone or anything looks like putting themselves between us and our every tiny little desire.

What absurd creatures we are and what a crazy world we have to live in. Take a moment sometimes to reflect on how preposterous humanity and its situation really is. And then return, as we all must, to taking it all seriously again.

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