Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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I know you try. And I try too. Sometimes all our dreams just don't come true

Being alone is hard, I know from experience. It's not just the lack of support and nurturing and all that nice junk but it also stunts your enjoyment of both the things you experience and the things you do. Some people don't like going to the movies alone because it's embarassing or it is boring when waiting in line or for the film to start. I think that those problems can be dealt with by A) A simple hardening of your emotional skin. If you can't handle someone seeing you walk into a movie theatre by yourself you really need to re-examine what the basis of your self worth is and B) bringing a book or portable music system (neither of which are prohibitivly expensive to people who can afford to see films. In fact books can be borrowed for free from libraries) I think that the real problem is that if the film turns out to be really good you have nobody to discuss it with and if it turns out to be really awful you have nobody to ridicule it with. Ironically mediocre movies are the best to see by yourself because you can devote yourself entirely to whatever action there is on screen and enjoy that to its fullest but you have no need to discuss or think about the film after it's over. This applies to other things even more poignently. A great film can be seen by others at a later point and discussed. It's a delay of gratification. A great sunset cannot (Well there will probably be others who saw it but seeking them out to talk about it is profoundly impractical) It's even more impossible to share unique experiences after the fact. Ever watched a huge fire from across a river and been awed by the beauty and the horror of watching someone's home go up in flames? It's an amazing cross between reassurance that elemental things like fire can still exist and exert power even in a place as controlled and industrialized as New York City and profound sadness that because of this lives must be lost. Clearly though you can't set fires in order to show other people what it's like to watch them, so the best way of sharing something like that is to have someone with you at the time to share it with.

This also holds true in terms of achievement. Doing something worthwhile while in a vacuum brings a pretty shallow sense of success. Part of the benefit of doing worthwhile things is that you can say that you've done worthwhile things. It's not just so that worthwhile things will be done. People inspire eachother and all that jazz and accomplishments are more meaningful when shared.

Hokay...so so far I've just been boring you all with axioms. "Wow Ben, what's next, are you going to proclaim the sky blue? The Clouds white? The children important?" Well no. The thing is that everything I just said is true, but it isn't the whole picture. I mean there's nothing particularly selfish about wanting to share experiences or accomplishments, part of the point (which I intentionally didn't mention earlier) is not just to increase your own enjoyment but to observe someone elses. However in our society relationships and companionship tend to be framed in particularly selfish terms. People are out to get their needs met and to deal with their own issues and desires. But sharing a sunset should be about SHARING a sunset. It should partially consist not just of deepening your own understanding of it but also of watching someone else experience the same reaction. And that seems to be getting left out these days. This is important because while a large number of people can serve as adequate foils for increasing your enjoyment of experiences or your own accomplishments there are much fewer who make the sharing aspect worthwhile. And it is the mutual building of eachother and investing in eachother that will make a relationship truly work and last. After all if you're just in it for yourself what's to stop you from jumping ship when a better option comes along? There's no rational reason why you shouldn't. But if you're out to better and build and invest in the other person, well then clearly starting over is not as attractive as staying where you are.

Anyway this is the logic I use when I'm lonely and thinking about relationships and all that jazz. I'm not sure why I put it down but I've been reading a lot of random stuff and a pretty solid theme throughout much of it is that the family has broken down and that this is a terrible thing blah blah blah. I think that the reason that the family has broken down is that somewhere along the line we started to focus too much on personal benefits and ironically in doing that destroyed some of the great joys of relationships and of being WITH other people. Conservatives say that a lack of chastity is the problem but I'm not so sure it is (althoughn I don't like it). I think the inherent issue is that when marriage was forever people had a reason to try to work with and improve their mate and that mutual support and attempted building of a relationship and eachother often lead to love even if it wasn't there to begin with. Now people act like other people are static interchangable parts in a car and keep looking for the most efficient one. This comes in part from focusing only on the tangible benefits to oneself because improvement of the other is no longer neccesary.

I don't know, I'm EXHAUSTED and rambling but I think somewhere burried within my exhausted brain is a point. Perhaps if I can ever get some damned sleep I'll be able to fish it out.
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