All that goes into making each of us who we are is incredible to consider: all the relationships, words, messages, experiences, wounds, hopes, and other things that might’ve marked us deeply, shaping our views of self, life, society, others, and the worth of it all. It’s honestly amazing to think of all that human beings have been through; each person surely mattering, as one within the greater whole of humanity.
Now that there’s so many of us here, our lives so closely yet remotely intertwined through the wonders of modern communication, industry and transportation, the idea of all that’s going on must be bordering on the inconceivable (Notes One). We’re all impacting one another, all feeling the strain of traditional structures and relationships being wrenched apart as technology reconfigures our ways of being.
Yet, within all that, we’re still human. Society might be shifting around us, its imaginary tectonic plates forging this new landscape within which we’ll still have to live; but, inside, we’re presumably the same as humans have ever been? All of “that” is simply the world we meet, the place we find or craft ourselves in response to how we’re seen and what seems the best way of navigating things.
It’s truly fascinating how, as humans, this self-aware consciousness is poured into the world around us. This strange, reflexive process of meaning, thought, and all the decisions that shape our lives (Notes Two). How we interpret the world and seek our way within it surely “becomes” the self: the life we lead and ways we’re interacting with those around us. As humans, the world acts upon us and we respond.
How is “that” ever going to be easy? Who’s likely to have been surrounded by people, institutions and situations that contained unquestionable wisdom and, equally importantly, knew how to convey it meaningfully to others? We’re all so different, with different priorities, feelings, concerns, insecurities, and frameworks for understanding life. It’s hard to imagine “one sentence” we’re all going to grasp the same way.
Communication’s not easy. All you can do is try to put your understanding clearly into words and hope it carries, unaltered, to another. Yet, in reality, our worlds of meaning are surely so different? If life gives each of us our own, uniquely personal understanding of things then, despite living in the same world, our thoughts about it can bear remarkably little parallel.
And, in a way, isn’t “life” all about hoping to be understood, accepted, loved? Hoping to find our place, have our perspective acknowledged, and feel that we belong and hold value within the broader context of humanity. Hopefully we find that within family, community and culture, as, otherwise, it seems life can become quite difficult (Notes Three).
Really, it just seems we’re all going to be “complicated” and difficult to unravel; and, while we’re undeniably intelligent, knowing the causes mightn’t lead directly to solutions. Everything being so nested, reinforced and personal surely makes any kind of human resolution far from easy?
Notes and References:
Note 1: One thing leads to another
Note 1: The idea of think globally, act locally
Note 1: The difference humanity makes
Note 2: Culture as what we relate to
Note 2: What you’re left with
Note 2: Personal archaeology
Note 2: The struggle with being alive
Note 3: Do we know what stands before us?
Note 3: What it is to be human
Note 3: Love of self