It’s been a funny week. A lot has happened. I am aware that for a few people it has been a hard week. But for me, it has made a turn and things have improved.
However, for this blog I want to concentrate on a couple of people who have also had a ‘life changing’ week. I won’t mention their names mainly out of respect, but I want them to recognise who they are through my words.
I had the luxury many years ago to have studied philosophy. Although it was heavy at times it really made me think about everyday things. I was once told that the art of philosophy is to ‘look out of the window and see what is going on.’ There is some truth in this but I also think that philosophy can also require you to look at yourself and your emotions.
I have always been drawn to two philosophers.
Firstly, Schopenhauer. His main motivation of thought was his investigation of individual motivation. Schopenhauer believed that humans were motivated by their own basic desires, (aka “Will to Live”), which directed all of mankind. These desires can be simplistic like the longing for food and shelter. Or it could be more complicated like the desire to be loved.
Schopenhauer directed us to the philosophy of ‘love’ and its purpose. Love still drives many people into the lunatic asylum. There is a case of some sort every year of two lovers committing suicide together because material circumstances happen to be unfavourable to their union. This was also illustrated within Shakespeare’s tragedy on the suicide within Romeo and Juliet.
Looking at the chaos of life from this standpoint we find that we become occupied with its want and associated misery.
Since first discovering Nietzsche I have found him fascinating. He has often been misquoted and his thoughts have been used in error. But this man should be recognised more for an everyday thought that we have all heard at some point in our lives.
It was Nietzsche that coined the phrase – “we need the bad times to appreciate the good”. I was recently told by someone that “if we had constant sunshine then we would be left with deserts”. This holds the same qualities of what Nietzsche said and it still holds true from whatever angle you look at it from.
I know I’m stating the obvious, but sometimes bad times can be so dense and thick that it becomes difficult. No, almost impossible to see any other alternative than what we are experiencing in the present.
I have a good friend who is presently trying so hard to battle his demons. We have had a range of conversations in the past that have stemmed from the down-right stupid to deep and meaningful. Recently, his demons took a greater hold and he found life very difficult. Thankfully, he was given a lifeline before it became too late and he is finding the time to recover. I know he doesn’t know it (although he does read my blogs) he really is precious to many people.
In our daily lives, we never stop to take the time to tell people these things. It is only really done when it is either too late or our thoughts are concentrated on that individual following a difficult period.
We are not guilty in our negligence. We just assume people know what we are thinking. Or, we may see it as a weakness to stop and tell these people what we think of them in a positive way. However, we are all very quick to say negative things in a heat of an argument.
On the flip side
I recently had some correspondents from a local friend who has been delighted to share her good news with me. I was informed that her life is heading in a new direction. She has made positive steps to shut down and liquidate her old life to replace it with a new hope.
My friend had suffered terrible abuse and accepted it as a part of normal life. She craved love and attention and received counterfeit examples of this amongst bad people.
For her, this desert has now started to flower and offer an oasis amongst a shaded area. This outcome has only come about because she put a stop to what she didn’t recognise as being right.
How does this link?
All events and outcomes stem from things we say or do or the actions of others. Whether this is because of ill health or abuse, I think it is immaterial. But for me, having had bad periods in my life has given me a philosophy of its own.
I know that by surviving events I have the strength to fight on. I hope things will never be as bad as they have done. But if they are I know I can fight it.
Milk and honey
If our lives were one of ‘milk and honey’ then life would have no value. I am rich in the value of my experiences and knowledge and this currency makes me know that things will get better. It has to because things can never remain bad forever. That’s life. It has ups and downs.
For my friends
For my friend who has having a difficult period. It won’t last. Believe me it won’t. If you want to survive this then you will because you are too big to drown in this nightmare. Things were bad but your life is too valuable to be beaten by these demons. Once you survive this you will become a greater person carrying the scars of mental health. Everyone has had moments, it’s just that some scars are deeper than others and so take longer to recover.
For my friend who has come through it and about to find a new home. Never lose the focus on what you set out to achieve. But equally important is to remember why you needed to do the things you have done to get this far.
If only we had a book on life
I would never consider myself to be a philosopher within a classical sense. But I would like to suggest that our lives are not a pamphlet but a thick book with contents and chapters. It’s just that we are all on a different page to each other.