Friday, July 14, 2006

Living with ourselves

Sometimes the hardest person in the world to live with is not a spouse, children or neighbor, but ourselves. Oddly enough, if there is an explanation for the crime my son did commit, it is probably that he could not abide himself. This seems to be a particularly insidious force in the world today, a reverse form of pride, that somehow the human condition is not fit for the world in which it was given to exist. Extreme negativity and cynicism are so pervasive we hardly think about how much it permeates society. It seems to me that this is the dark side of supposedly being a prosperous society and "having it all". When there is nothing left to do but exist-when the reasons to strive and struggle for mere survival are conquered, we also are left with the luxury of being alone with our own minds. And the human mind left to itself is a dangerous thing.

What leads to reckless living, hating our own existence enough to think suicide is the only way out, or very destructive behaviors? What is it inside ourselves that can so devalue life, even our own life enough to follow a path leading to death? Subcultures of anti-everything spring up particularly among young people who find no meaning in the adult world they see, especially concerning the materialistic society in which we live. Sometimes it seems there is so much in terms of stuff, choices, things to do and be, relativity in all ways that it is easier not to choose, not to try, not to fight. Or to be against it all. I have an extremely hard time relating to this train of thought, but in certain ways it is valid, and behavioral acting out the only way to have a voice in the face of way too much of everything. It is as though there is a conscious "blotting out" of all that the next generation knows, or segments of them. They embrace chaos and nothingness.

The problem with all of this is that the mind left to itself is not pure. It needs to feed on what nourishes and promotes life, or it's processes tend to be self-destructive. We were not made to live our lives alone. The human condition is not strictly a mental exercise, or a physical state. We were made to be triune creatures, consisting of body, soul and spirit. All need to be cared for and nourished. If this does not happen, gross deviations in behavior can be justified. The hardest thing for our son to do was decide his life was worth living, and every human being must make that choice. Life itself is a gift that is too often taken for granted or wasted. Once again, I have a very hard time relating to the opposite train of thought. My husband and I had the task of trying to convince our son not to pull the trigger of a handgun pointed at his temple, and we failed. I believe God intervened, because the firing pin of the gun hit the metal casing of the bullet, not the center. Our life is a gift from Him, and He does not take the distain of it lightly.


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