Sunday, August 11, 2013


So much of our frustration and anger and fear is rooted in helplessness.

A feeling of being powerless. Of not being in control. Of feeling like things are happening to us without us wanting them or needing them or even seeing them coming. Of wanting to help but not being able to. Of seeing something go wrong but not being able to make it right. Of watching someone suffer and not being able to make it better.

It comes from a feeling of watching life happen to you. Of wanting and not having. Of knowing and not being able to say. Of waiting and watching while not being able to do. Of dreaming and not being able to see those dreams through.

Because uncertainty brings with it vulnerability; and the very distinct possibility of suffering. It goes against the nature of self-preservation that we are all born with. Against the idea of survival. Against our very genetic codes.

Which is why we grasp at straws. Anything at all to make us feel like there is some reason, some purpose for what happens to us. We believe in God, create Gods. We make up religions and rules that will explain why we do what we do. We look for peace. We try to surrender, try to go against the very fibre of what we are made of, the very idea of survival itself.

We created sciences out of understanding, hoping that would give us some control. We came up with meanings for shapes we believe the stars make, name them constellations and believe that we now miraculously KNOW something. We organise and categorise, hoping external order will translate to the internal. Lists and routines and orderly bookshelves and perfectly stacked cupboards, which we hope will help with the chaos inside. We give names to the immaterial, find words for everything. We boss over those beneath us, because the power makes us feel like we have some sort of control, over someone else if not ourselves. We talk sense into the meaningless. We scramble and grope in the dark and fight and struggle.

We hope that maybe, just maybe, these things will give us just a modicum of control. Will help in some minuscule way. That maybe it will change the inevitable.

Though we know it is all futile.

We continue trying. And continue hoping. And continue fighting for a doomed cause.

Because at least that little bit, the trying, the hoping, the praying; at least that is in our control.

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