There’s an innate desire within people that drives us to seek out that which makes us feel like we are serving a purpose. This only makes sense. I know I find a lot of comfort in the belief that there is a unique niche in this world that only me and all of my idiosyncrasies can fill perfectly. However there is another mode of thought that I ascribe to regarding this matter. The less endearing way to consider your value is to equate what you believe to be your use. Another way of saying this is we only believe we’re as valuable as our role makes us.
Recently I was joking with my brother about how I got the bad end of the genetics from our parents. I mentioned that, among the bad hair and sight problems, I had gotten all of the anxiety from my parents and it had compounded in me. It was at this point that his roommate looked at me and said, “Yeah, but you can get over that”. I was expecting a joking answer when I asked him how to do so; in all seriousness he told me, “You just decide not to.” Decide not to? You mean to tell me this is a matter of choice? You think that this is something I choose to keep subjecting myself to?
“You know that people love you and care about you, right?” How many times have I answered that question? How many times have I answered with the same answer? I’ve always nodded and assured whoever was asking that I knew I was cared for and loved; objectively speaking I know that there are people who truly care for me. I know there are. I know it. I know.
Language is a funny construct. It is the basis for our communication, separated and splintered over the world. There are roughly 6,500 recognized, spoken languages in the world. Language, however, is far more expansive.
There are languages made for emotions and states of mind. There is a language associated with being honest and one associated with lying. There is a language for hate and one for kindness. There is a language for acceptance and one for excommunication. For many people, these languages are not consciously tapped into. We naturally use them when we need them. However, there are people who recognize the existence of these languages and their purposes; this in turn allows them to use these languages as they see fit. Everyone can pretend to feel a certain way, but not everyone can be truly bilingual in this way. Not everyone can recognize and apply the nuances of feelings as they deem necessary.
Despite my best efforts to bring people to a contrary position, people continue to respect and cherish the works of William Faulkner. I personally can’t understand why his pieces are so celebrated. At the root of my aversion to his writing is the style known as stream of consciousness. It is done by writing thoughts as they would be connected in a person’s mind. In other words, the whole practice is done by writing out a person’s train of thought. Those kinds of random connections are hard to follow. Perhaps it is my ineptitude at deciphering cryptic pieces of literature that were written in form of cognitive torrents. Following thought like that leads to a what I, and many others, call going down the rabbit hole. This is when you chase an idea wherever it leads. It can take you places that you never intended to go and that can end up being good or awful.