In a world controlled by social media; powered by likes and retweets and followers we are faced with an overwhelming sense of comparison that the human race has never before faced. For many people living in small-town America, this is a hard fact of life to get over. In the small town I grew up in, everyone could be the best at something. You had the best lawyer, best doctor, best athlete, best musician- ect. Everyone knowing their place creates an easy to follow hierarchy where order reigns supreme and chaos is lessened.
For the past 50 years prior, college was often the time where this structure came crumbling down. All of the sudden the town’s “geniuses” who went to top-tier schools become the “dumbest” kid in their class. The top-tier athlete in high school spends most of his time on the bench. This collapse of structure is what I believe is a main culprit of the on-set of anxiety, depression and other forms of mental health that often surface in college aged humans.
I am not saying this only happens to people who were at the top of their respective hierarchy because they are no longer at the top. This is felt by most who go to college, because the feeling of order is now gone.
What we are now facing is a much bigger challenge. Going from a school of 2000 to a university of 20,0000 is hard. Going from this small town of 40,000 to now being connected to 7,000,000,000 people is overwhelming and can lead to one questioning the all to important “self”.
This connection has not allowed us to become more in tune with others across the world but has actually forced us into digging a deeper hole of self. Everyone is so scared of losing the structure around them that they fear they may lose themselves.
This fear of losing ourselves actually forces us to stray further from ourselves or what we could be. It is what causes us to be selfish. We hold onto ideas longer and harder than we ever have. We fear that others are manipulating us and we cut off true conversation.
It is this selfishness that I believe causes many anxieties caused by people because things become about us and they are no longer just things.
When my Dad took his life, I lived in a haze, to this day I cannot really tell you what happened in the two weeks to two months after his death. My life, my path, my identity was shaken to a core I did not realize I had. I am no longer the person I once was and for that I am so thankful.
I could have easily started to dive into my vices and ask the question “why me?” a completely fair question to ask. But that question then disregards the thousands directly touched and millions further touched by the drop in prescription prices my Dad so passionately strove to create.
Instead of looking at this tragedy as some dark being that was out to hurt me, I realized that it is just a being. In every single part of life there is Darkness and Light. Chaos and Order. Yin and Yang. Archetypes have connected the human race long not only before social media was invented and even long before Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and the Pyramids all existed.
For us to take self out of our experiences and to take a step back will allow us to grow and develop: without the selfish part of ego telling us what is “bad” or what is “good” we will be able to see things as they are, just things. With that I leave you with the title one last time. Stop Being Selfish. Start Being Yourself.
I love all of you guys so much, whether you know me or not. No quote has rung truer in my life than “ignorance is bliss” I constantly am wrestling now with questions I would have never faced about: what is the meaning, why are we here, what can we do. (A big reason I have not been blogging because sometimes I feel as though I know nothing) If anyone else needs someone to talk to reach out. Because I am only one person who can experience so much. Working together is the only way to progress.
Until Next Time,