The Enemy of the Good (eideteker) wrote,
The Enemy of the Good

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The New Opiate

Marx once called religion "the opiate of the masses," loosely translated. I've always believed, to an extent, that he spoke correctly.

Sometimes, thoughts can bubble up inside you here and there for a long time before an idea comes to full boil. I've been noticing for a long time now something I only just realized: sympathy, too, is a powerful drug. It has medicinal uses, but too many people today abuse it. "My mother" this, "my coworker" that; look what has been done to me. Too many of us are addicted, and I do say us inclusively; this is no sermon on the mount, no matter my usual style.

I always sought to live my life taking responsibility for my own actions, seeking sympathy from none, but somewhere in high school, sympathy just became so much easier. Action took second place to reaction, initiative placed behind injury. "What have I done for me?" was replaced by, "What have they done to me?" and suddenly life was easier, at the cost of living it.

George Carlin has said, "There are no innocent victims. Your birth certificate is proof of guilt." I took meaning from his comedy routine; there is too much concern in our everyday life about guilt and innocence. You are not automatically innocent, nor are you automatically guilty. Can you be innocent of stepping in the path of a hollowpoint bullet any more than you can be guilty of it? When you are laying on the concrete, bleeding out, try to assign blame and see if it salves your pain. History matters nothing, until we learn to change it. What matters are actions now, in the present tense, in order to shape the future. Yet people are constantly trying to shape the past instead, when they can't.

"People never change." I think that statement is not only the most irrelevant, but also the most irreverent. How dare you admonish people for not changing in the very same breath as you dig yourself deeper into your present rut. How dare you attempt to excuse your behavior by the actions of others. I think that this will be a central tenet, if the time comes for me to lay down religious laws. Never mind other people. You can't keep track of everyone in order to keep up with them. Instead, you elect certain people as better than others, and try to keep up with them, while you leave your self behind. Who are you to decide who is better to follow if you are so admittedly flawed? People will malign their own spelling ability, work habits, or intellectual capactiy, but never their judgement. Even in saying, "Oh, I just make bad choices," who are you to decide what choices are bad? That's an exercise of judgement! Maybe that simple fact just slipped by you because, as you say, "Oh, I'm not that clever." You can't second-guess your judgement without exercising it. You'll just spin farther and farther down into the depths of yourself, and you'll completely miss all the fun you could have had.

Never, ever mind other people. Never mind them. When was the last time you held out your hand and had a butterfly alight on it? Rethink your priorities.

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