There are some things in life that I don’t understand.
The unfairness of it all, for a start. I don’t get why bad things happen to good people. It’s a cliché, I know, but clichés are normally clichés because they hold more than an ounce of truth. Let me give you some examples.
First, my uncle. If you’re reading this blog as a friend of mine, you’ll already know parts of this. One of my mum’s brothers was born with Cerebral Palsy, quite a severe form of it. It means that he’s high tone deaf, can’t speak properly, can’t walk well and has the mental age of a child. He did nothing to deserve such a curse, but he’s been vindicated and victimised for it his entire life. Like the time he got arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and couldn’t explain his innocence. Or the time the Department for Work and Pensions tried to take away his disability benefit because he couldn’t talk over the phone.
Another example is my best friend. If you’re reading this, I hope you don’t mind me talking about you – text me if you do mind and I’ll take it down. A little over a decade ago, when we were 12 and didn’t know each other too well, he suffered a stroke. Doctors still don’t know what caused it. But he’s had to go through years of physio and other treatments, and still can’t walk long distances. Plus, there are a multitude of related issues he has to cope with every day, and probably will for the rest of his life. But he is my best friend for a reason. He’s the best bloke I know, a true individual and he doesn’t let his illness get in the way of having a good life. He inspires me every day. Again, he doesn’t deserve the cards he was dealt.
There are other examples I could give about people I know and the hardships they’ve suffered. Some people very close to me, others more distant but still forever on my mind. I neglect to mention them not because I don’t care – I love all of my friends and family, old and new, more than they will ever know – but because of privacy.
The flipside of the coin makes me angry.
All the time, you see in the newspapers, on the television, anywhere you care to look, people who have been given it all but just throw it away. The countless awful parents on the Jeremy Kyle Show who neglect their kids in favour of drink and drugs, while there are people out there who want nothing more than a child of their own to love. The wife-beaters who are somehow irresistable to almost every woman in the world. The ‘celebrities’ with stacks of cash who blow the lot on hookers and bling. These are morally corrupt, vacuous excuses for human beings who I hate having to share the planet with sometimes, quite honestly.
What about myself? In comparison to many, I have had a good life. And so I get cross with myself when I get upset. Because I know so many people who have had much worse things happen to them, and yet the selfishness of depression means I feel my problems are the biggest in the world. I’m a bad friend and a worse relation. I hope that I can be forgiven for my selfishness, but I suppose it’s just a quirk of my character. I’m trying to be better, to evolve as a human, but it’s hard.
I’ve spoken a little on this blog before about a vlogger called Ze Frank. Yesterday, I watched this video of his about ten times. Every single line of this invocation is beautiful in its own way. Something about it really strikes a chord with me. One line in particular really resonates:
“Let me think about the people who I care about the most. And how when they fail, or disappoint me, I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.”
That line, right there, is the secret to life on this planet. What it says to me is that, even if the world is unfair, even if all this bad stuff happens to good people, you can’t let it get in the way. We’re on this planet with 7 BILLION others, and there are only a handful of them that we can possibly hold close to us. They are too precious to let go of. Everyone has hard times, everyone makes mistakes, everyone can sometimes piss everyone else off, but we have to see past that. Because the people we care about the most define who we are. Without them, we are nothing. I guess you have to just try your best to help define them, too.
Some things in life may not be understandable, and a lot of it is not there to be understood. But what is there, we have to make the best of, whatever our situations. Find happiness. Find love. Find life.