Uniqueness, Slavery, and Differing Views

I left this as a comment on a friends blog a bit ago, and it’s been gnawing at me that it belongs here. So, here goes nothing. Most context you would need is pretty well touched on in the comment itself:

“I feel like this was, in many ways, two posts in one. As your title said: Depression. Irritation. And I want to address each of those semi-separately.

The first (depression) half of your post was kind of an empathetic typhoon for me. When I owned my small (okay, tiny), antique business, my favorite part of the job was that, being the owner, I could occasionally gift a stranger with something I saw them eyeing, for no other reason than to watch them light up like a Christmas tree and feel special and significant and appreciated in a world where far too often these feelings come with a hidden cost. It was beautiful to me. Camping out in a park as part of a protest and giving food to the homeless was like living my dream life when I did it. And there’s that anguish with depression where you know you have something in you, something to give, and you don’t feel like you can or are. To explain better, I’ll turn to one of most brilliant men alive (imho), Stephen Fry:

“Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.”

I felt his words echoing in my head as I read the first part of your post.

On the irritation front (and yes, you can go hog wild and get irritated at me if you’d like, and I will take no offense), I’d like to address a few things. First, I absolutely agree with you that these people walking around thinking they are free when their lives are entirely regimented by a flawed and corrupt system, are simply slaves who don’t know it.

But I think there is another side to this. As you said, you have something unique to give back to society. If you have this uniqueness, statistically speaking, it is highly improbable that you are the only person who is that way. Perhaps their uniqueness presents itself differently than yours. Which would logically make sense given that it is, well, unique.

I know tons of people who work for “the man”, who do grunt jobs they hate to buy things they can barely afford, and this cycle has defined their life. But, not only were many of them basically railroaded onto those paths by circumstance, many also have an entire life of joy that you don’t see, simply because they find joy in something that you don’t. Does their joy have less density or purity than yours, simply because it comes from a different source?

To quote Doctor Who, which I do far too often: “Is a slave really a slave if he doesn’t know he’s enslaved? YES.” Yes. Yes, he is. I will never argue that these people aren’t slaves to a system. But, and maybe it’s my BDSM background speaking up here, I know people (myself included) who enjoy and thrive on different forms of slavery.

Who decides whether a life was well spent? I certainly am arrogant enough to believe that it should be me who decides if my life was a waste or not. I doubt you would want “the system’s” definition of who you are to be the standard to which your life was held against. Neither would I.

Perhaps there is joy and fulfillment in places we just haven’t thought to look yet.

Oh, and if that was just a bit more benefit-of-the-doubt for ‘irritable you’ to extend comfortably to others just yet, and you’re still full of that powerful rage and righteous anger, watch this video. Trust me. It’s worth it.

I hope that at least some part of this helped. Hang in there, my friend.”

So, that was what I had to say that felt like it needed to be regurgitated here. As always, thanks for reading.

An Anonymous Outsider

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