I get reminded sometimes – and I remember hearing it even from my grandparents who got through WWII – that things ‘could be worse’. So I humbly have to accept the situation I am in, which is way better than it ‘could be’? Well, humility is something everyone should own. Humility should not reach the sphere of resignation though. I am talking about the way of the middle. One living in a government-sponsored house might say that things are not as bad and one should be happy to have shelter, others shout out to the gods when they drop their iPhone – and cannot afford a new one.
What is the way of the middle? To live in a rental and own an Android phone? It’s not about that. Life is always suffering, to follow the words of Buddha. True that: Problems come in all forms and any intensity; yet we all struggle with them. Frankly, just fight the situation and do complain silently and start changing. Never use the term ‘it could be worse’ unless it’s a current loss. Think ‘it needs to change’ ( or ‘I’). However, think about whether some things are worth changing. In other words: Get priorities straight.
A priority is only either one of helping others or helping yourself. The threshold line for any of those is not easy to determine, but think of the safety instructions in an airplane: In an emergency you are held to put on your oxygen mask before you help others. It’s existential. Life as such is the same: If a problem is existential, then help yourself first. If it is not, then start thinking if you can’t do anything to improve someones life beyond existence. This is the core social(ist) thought as it may be the core of religion. For humanity it is the departure from existential problems.
For both, religion and socialism, it is fatal when they get institutionalised. Both happened and people don’t trust either. My proposition is not to believe in god or communism. You can even be anti-social and do your own thing – as long as it doesn’t affect others at all. But as a social being consider the fact – and that’s where humility or humbleness comes in – that you yourself could end up in existential trouble. There is no guarantee that you would not. If you are one above the existential threshold ( and if you read that on your tablet, you are ), think again about that stuff that causes issues that aren’t problems.
All of us get fear drummed into our heads every day. From the news, from the Porsches and the blanket-man at the curb, from colleagues… from the elevated paradigm of constant competition. This fear lets us shift gears in that rat race instead of slowing down and help those who have fallen. The latter group is constantly growing – so if you stop with dignity and help, it will be us, resting.
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