I’m not saying that we should go out and try to solve all the world’s problems. I’m saying that we concern ourselves too much with trivial things. We often concern ourselves too much with idle distractions and guilty pleasures and amusements that inevitably do us more harm than good.
Unfortunately, our society today is so focused on want, and greed, and self-fulfillment. That idea of self-fulfillment is rather uninspired. There are very few truly productive avenues of employment in our today's societies. Too many people are resigned to the idea that their lives in the grand scheme of things are rather pedestrian and uninteresting.
What happens when we lead uninspired lives? Many people tend to gravitate towards these crazed obsessions of escapism and masturbation. Our world today is so full of so many fantastic ways to indulge in our baser pleasures and instinctive desires for raw carnage and sex. Yet, much of the time we just believe we are merely "unwinding." But when it is said that we are merely animals, the tragedy has made itself apparent.
I’m not going to preach about the many flaws of humanity and how the past several decades have seen the human race actually in a steady intellectual and moral decline. Yes, technology has improved dramatically, but look how dependent we have become on it. People have become slaves to the little machines they carry around in their pockets.
It’s so easy today to be impersonal and still feel a large degree of self-importance, just because you have so many likes on Facebook, or re-tweets and followers on Twitter, or whatever. People go on and on about things that really don’t matter at all. It’s one thing to have a hobby , but completely another to have your life consumed by it. Unhealthy obsessions today are not at all uncommon. Heck, some, like Netflix "binge-watching," are even socially acceptable.
I’m not going to come out and say that I’m totally selfless and that I have mastered the art of getting over myself. I have plenty of my own vices and plenty of little unhealthy obsessions. One of them is spending far too much time pondering the apparent impending doom about to come over the earth.
But really, you can’t be a saint. I know folks who try so hard, and they’re perfectly miserable in trying to do so. It’s not that devoting yourself to a noble cause is wrong by any means; it’s just you have to remember that we live in a world where the lowest common denominator is sinking day by day. Until a major paradigm shift occurs in the culture, it’s only going to get worse.
You have to admit that you are imperfect and that nothing can change that. That’s the first step. Some people really do think they’re perfect little angels. But then you reach the other end of the spectrum, those that take imperfection to its ugliest and most perverse levels.
There’s no middle ground here. It’s like you’re either damned or pitying the damned. That’s when you have to get over yourself. Stop worshiping your own imperfections, or imagined perfections. You take the very best you have and you commit yourself to the best possible cause you can find.
The trouble is I’ve always had trouble with finding just what that cause is. But I know now what many times let me fall into the throes of melancholy: my lack of optimism. It’s hard not to be pessimistic when I look around me. But even when I’m not feeling particularly optimistic, I try to help others to look on the bright side, to look forward to when things will actually get done and not just drag on forever. Right now, humanity is just dragging its collective feet, hoping for a savior.
Humanity just needs to take a step back and realize just how much we've lost ourselves. We need to get back to intelligent discourse, beautiful art, and true cultural progress. The trick is, we need to be just a little more optimistic.
I wrote the original version of this piece back in December 2011, but this is a heavily revised version.