We live in a disposable age. New technologies and next big things coming and going in the blink of an eye.
As much as we all want to feel special and unique people are disposable too. From the professional workplace to personal relationships it seems that the currency of people hasn’t exactly reached the gold standard.
On the one hand, well, that’s life – nobody owes us anything and we are all the responsibility of ourselves. But really, that doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make it hurt any less when the scrap heap looms.
I generally think – at least I like to think – that you get back out of life what you put into it, that in the end honesty, integrity and kindness are repaid. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, I’m certainly guilty of trying to see the best in things despite the miserable, negative stereotype that often applies to someone that has suffered with depression. Still, regardless of whether any sort of karmic balance exists I believe it’s better to be kind to people, and while I’ve certainly fallen short at times I do my best and I’d say the scales are tilted favourably.
Sometimes things happen that can shake our faith in the basic goodness of people, that make us doubt our own ability to read people and their intentions towards us; things that fall short of what we feel we ‘deserve’. The fact is that it’s not up to anybody else to give us what we deserve, it’s up to us to get it.
People are complex: a kaleidoscope of experiences, feelings and emotions that can result in a beautiful pattern, a chaotic mess and anything else in between; furthermore each eye will view the kaleidoscope differently, filtered through the lens of their own experiences, feelings, emotions and expectations.
The best we can do is to shape our own kaleidoscope into something beautiful for ourselves and those that care for us. For when we are cut loose, when we feel chewed up and spat out, when we are like litter discarded on the pavement, who picks us up?
Family. Friends. Those that are there for us no matter what, that do so selflessly and repeatedly for no other reason than to see us back on our feet because they care. To them we are never disposable. If a life’s wealth were to be measured by the amount of people that care for us then the last few years have shown me that I am a very rich man indeed.
Life has held its share of disappointments and hurts for me of late but that’s just how it is, I’m far from the only one and I am never under any illusions regarding how much I have to be grateful for.
I do sometimes wonder how all of this writing makes me come across to others. I know that not everyone will understand why someone would lay out this kind of stuff in public, at one time I would have wondered about it myself. I don’t want to portray some poor-me sadsack, who wants to be that? But maybe that’s how it looks sometimes? I don’t know.
The truth is I know that there is a shadow somewhere within me and writing brings it into the light, preventing it from taking hold, keeping it in its place. Part of me is scared that if I don’t write I will become lost in the shadow, alone, isolated and unable to connect with all that is good in my life. However hard it might be to write this stuff sometimes, however loud the voice in my head tells me what people will think, I know why I do this and why it’s important for me.
In the end, our self-worth can’t be dependent on what others think of us for that will always leave us on shaky foundations. Building our own self-worth by taking an honest, unflinching look at ourselves is the only way to shelter us from the judgements of others but it’s never easy and we all have to find our own way.
In spite of the ups and downs I know my worth and I’m never going to expect less from others than I would be prepared to give of myself. Others may cheat and hurt us, but we should never cheat ourselves by accepting it.
Just – Radiohead