To what extent are we generally wanting to be free of things? Looking for release from “this way of life” or seeking some greater meaning or recognition than currently seems offered. This sense of “life” as something to be endured while cobbling together enough ideas capable of making us feel it’s worthwhile and our presence here is valuable not only to us but also to others.
Isn’t life, in its way, all about value? All that’s gained or lost in how we spend our time. How much we’re appreciating the efforts of others within the vast interconnected network of our collective existence. The differing levels of recognition people get for their situations in life. This complex balance of how any given thing is valued within our overarching sense of reality.
And, in that, it seems hard to say circumstances aren’t largely shaped by birth: by all we step into through no fault or effort of our own. As if the ties of blood are those carrying an incredible amount of weight in the life any one person might lead. Aside from the genetic or financial aspects, there’s that whole sticky coating of the social, cultural and emotional environment we’re all met with.
Aren’t we quite literally born into all the circumstances society contains? Each person standing in a slightly or dramatically different spot and experiencing what life’s like from there. As if humanity “appears” within these structures then lives through the opportunities, judgements and realities presented – this lived experience of all it currently is to be human.
I’d imagine we all hope life will be fair and meaningful: that the faces turned toward us would be a reasonable reflection of our true worth as it’s allowed to unfold and find its place. That we wouldn’t be boxed in by unrealistic notions of human value based on circumstances almost entirely beyond anyone’s control. That the value-system we’re living within makes sense, from all angles.
It just seems strange, at times, the kinds of thinking so tightly woven round us: the kinds of judgements we’re making of others and ourselves, often stemming from the encouragement of commercial interests; the kinds of lives people have placed before them; the kinds of stories, characters and behaviour held up as admirable. It may be something we stepped into, but what if it’s not helpful?
Sometimes I wonder if ideas aren’t simply mistaken – if the elusive victory isn’t to shift our thinking to something that values everything more realistically. Could we not genuinely see everyone’s existence as valuable? Each person being born into circumstances which generally need resolving somehow, for the sake of society as well as the individual.
Much as lotteries themselves almost seem like a hope tax for those seeking escape from society – the chance to live as the lucky few are able – could we not structure things so people felt more rightly valued for whatever their lives actually are? As if we all formed part of an appreciative and purposeful state of coexistence.
Notes and References:
Threads, becoming a united whole
Life as adjustments in meaning
Self-love as a social foundation
Being conscious of our constructions
How would we like to live?
Value and meaning in our lives
Does it all come down to money?