Many of these Applied Psychology posts could be summarized as confronting the deviations of humanity. Analyzing how individuals acted in specific situations. Properly fighting back. Tactics for observing manipulation then either overcoming or avoiding succumbing to abuse. Bettering one’s self. Working through emotions that don’t serve you in a productive way. Living life successfully. I’ve occasionally included mortality into the mix, so let’s broadly consider the one topic we may not be able to fix.
If we can’t fix death, can we fix our attitude toward it?
Lightly considering that you’ll die someday is perhaps the best way to avoid holding onto your ego. The ego is the biggest harm to others. Egos say that one’s own actions are superior to those of others, that it’s acceptable to harm others if for your greater good, and that the choices you make don’t impact others. It’s a difficult thing to do and not fully possible. I’ll always see life through my subjective perspective.
The goal here is to keep your ego in check. I’m no perfect example here.
Casting aside the most selfish aspects of your ego, you can then start to help others on their terms. Not every problem is fixed the same way. You can start to carefully observe what they’re expressing and how they’re hurt so then you can apply the appropriate medicine or panacea to help them get better. Doing this work can then help you feel better about your aches and pains. They can also help you out.
This reciprocity is what gives life its flavor through grime and glitter.
Of course, it would be nice if life were completely pleasurable. A glittery world where conflict is trivial. Videogame worlds are like this because if you don’t like an outcome you can either reset the game, return to a previous save file, or in other ways cheat the system to get your optimal result. We live in a grimy world where good people die, bad people live, innocent people suffer, and guilty people escape justice.
Is that such a terrible thing? Isn’t life more interesting with challenge?
There’s this concept of “tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse” or “everything passes, everything wears out, everything breaks.” Having life and death, moments fading from memory, and the concept of the new replacing the old all add the spices of nostalgia and poignancy to life. I’m all for celebrating life and part of this website celebrates cultural preservation, so it’s a bit of a conflicting conundrum. In a sense, life would be monochromatic without tragedy.
So what’s the meaning of all this?
Life is about what you put into it. For me, life is finding the good and making it better. While it was sad seeing the gym in the photograph above get torn down, the space is now more helpful to more people, so that’s good.
In broader and less vague terms, even if an event encourages dialogue for social change, it’s not worth the sacrifice.