Dear Reader of These Words,
Greetings and condolences.
As of late, many of us have been feeling marginalized and pushed aside. While I believe it is immaterial what the cause is behind these isolating feelings, I don’t dismiss the existence of them.
I hear people talk of them. I see the residue left by them. I feel them myself.
In our culture of minute-to-minute interconnectedness, there is an expectation to both be a participant and share one’s thoughts/experiences AND to be responsive to the thoughts/experiences which others share. To be “fully engaged” oftentimes means making running–and oftentimes meaningless–commentary on things that have little bearing on the living of life.
And when t comes to the living of life, what really matters?
Ah, the existential question which some (really only a scant few) spend an entire lifetime trying to answer.
Most will say, “Family really matters.”
Presuming that you feel this way, how does that look? Objectively?
Would a fly on the wall look at your life and conclude: “For that human, family really matters”?
And subjectively? How does your axiom of meaningfulness look to you?
As a parent to four children, I can say that the fly on the wall has higher standards than me. I take small comfort in knowing that there are the occasional days when that judgmental fly applauds my performance. But what could I do to make the ovation more frequent, more loudly heard?
I like the notions that underpin the philosophical concept of existentialism: the idea that humans are not simply thinking subjects, but that each and every one of us is a subject whose life is measured by our actions, feelings, and living.
While most point to the supreme value of existentialist thought as the attainment and expression of freedom, the true apex of human existence is the virtue of authenticity.
Authenticity is borne of our choices and not predetermined by our genes or any divine orchestration. In the view of an existentialist, an individual is cursed with a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless and/or absurd world.
And hasn’t that been the recent vortex we’ve all been pushed into? The absurd world. A world where feeling marginalized and pushed aside is seemingly a terrible way to feel.
Well perhaps turning those feelings on their heads is what’s in order for such a disorderly place?
Go ahead and invite me to step to the sideline. Life is peaceful from the margins.
Go ahead and push me aside. My seclusion could quite possibly yield something wonderful, something, that really matters.
No matter what, I know I will continue with my ongoing, interior struggle with the absurd world and the search for meaning not only to keep the volume up on my brain chatter but also my fingers moving over the keyboard.
What else am I going to with my time (here on earth)?