The existential paradigm every individual lives in is shaped by thousands of conventions, values, habits, and meanings. Every one of us is “addicted to the who we are”. In a way, we have to! That’s what gives us the social stand, the peer acceptance, and the majesty of being “one of the normal” or “being definable” after all.
The society (the others) at all stages of life plays its roll like the “news anchor.” There is an apparent reality that should be reported and most definitely judged. It can be funny, ridiculous, dangerous, disastrous, sad, and so on and so forth. Doesn’t really matter. The anchor just reports and presents the view to the “apparent” story, and the audience simply takes it as the input.
We love harmony. But it seems that the harmony in our lives is only attainable by adapting to an inertia defined by the anchor, which can sometimes be so deep inside our own selves.
How “bad” is this when considering the mental health of our ever liberalizing, ever-individualizing, ever self-centered societies?
It seems different opposing forces are working all at the same time without any supervision of our conscious minds. There is a scene in the movie “The Awakening”, where doctor Sayer expresses his confusion in this way:
“Dr. Sayer: How kind is it to give life, only to take it away?
Eleanor: It’s given to and taken away from all of us.
Dr. Sayer: Why does that not comfort me?”
It doesn’t comfort us because we feel the value of our “selves” with no doubt, with no need to any intermediary. We know very well how sacred, how comforting it feels to be a “being” so capable of understanding, and thinking, crying, laughing!
We should officially give credit to periods of individual changes, identity confusions and existential dilemmas. Our societies should understand that it is only fair to adapt the social structures to these inner conflicts given the massive opportunities we have to think and reflect on our unequivocally empowered selves and frequent dethroning we experience in our lives.
There is however a cost to be paid: the cost of the need to understand the life itself.