I thought I would retire (temporarily) from the excellent debate we are having about Islam right now. My mind is kind of fried from all the writing I've done between my speech class and here on the forums. So I thought I would write something a little more cheerful instead.
As a preface to this short essay I wrote, it should be known that a girl who attends my school recently committed suicide. I felt the most sympathy for her up until I heard that she had taken her own life. Now, I feel little towards her. But all the empathy I can muster for the friends and family she left behind. I will not elaborate on this now.
But it got me thinking about just how often I hear the tired rhetoric (and if you will pardon m French) "my life sucks....my life is shit...it can't get any worse..." I hear it mostly from girls, rarely if ever from a guy.
I have never applied any of these attributes to my own life. I always have felt it would be irresponsible. And had it not been for the near death of one of my good friends at a young age due to Cancer, perhaps I would empathize with people who say this. But my pity for this mentality is wearing thin. So naturally, I wrote an essay to organize my thoughts around the subject. It's bound to cheer anyone up. Though keep in mind it was orginally written to teenagers via a blog on Myspace.
Anybody that goes to my school will probably understand what this following blog is in response to, but I just have a few things I'd just like to throw out there. It is not addressed to anyone in particular, but really just anyone who thinks it might apply.
Ask yourself, "Is my my life really that bad?" And don't answer that one too quickly. Hear me out even before you decide. It is not uncommon for me to hear the rhetoric of "just how tough kids have it these days." Really? I was not aware of something personally afflicting our generation that really separated us in the levels of hardship from our predecessors. Feel free to correct me. But I will not dwell on it that point long.
My challenge is to anyone who believes that their life "sucks...is a bitch...is shit...can't get worse" or what have you. The degrees of dissatisfaction may range from suckage to plain unbearableness. You decide for yourself.
However, I must narrow the pool of potential question answerers a little bit. The people whom I exclude from this line of questioning (as I don't want to come across as insincere or ignorant) are people who suffer from very diffiicult economic situations, abusive/negligent/split/deceased parents (or relatives, friends), or some debilitating/incurable disease. Of course it should be noted that the latter are typically most appreciative of life in general.
Anyways, if you do not at all into any of the above categories, I bid you to at least consider what I have to say. Although you may not like the sound of it, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that your life is pretty good right now. You have at least one or a few close friends that care about you? You have a house? A few decent meals a day? You are relatively heatlhy (as in no terrible afflictions right now)? You have no tangible, impending, physical crisis on your hands?
Ok, good. If you are still elgible and still think that your life is a bitch, I would ask you to consider any of the afflictions I mentioned earlier and imagine them in your self-described shithole of a life right now. If your life is so unbearable, just imagine what it would be like with cancer or the sudden death of a parent (provided you have any feelings for them to begin with of course). How about eviction? Bankruptcy? Sudden school transfer? (again provided you like anyone at your school)
Do you see where I am getting at? I could go on and on. The list of real injustices and atrocities that do not afflict you in the slightest cause for the surplus of human misery around the world each day. And I have not even begun to state the cultural horrors that none of us will ever have to face.
For instance, if you are a girl, you will never know the oppression stemming form the burqa veil in the Middle East. You will never have to endure the psychologically and physically traumatic horrors of genital mutilation experienced by someone like the brave Ayann Hirsi Ali in North Africa.
For a guy, providing you live in a semi-enlightened country, you will never be forcefully sent to fight in a foreign war whose cause you don't believe in. You will most likely not be tried and beheaded for an imaginary crime like blasphemy. It is highly unlikely that you will ever be imprisoned by an authoritarian government and tortured simply because your politics or religion differed from the status quo.
I'm sure you all are beginning to understand my point here. Because the truth of the matter is, there are most likely millions, if not billions of people who would trade places with your or I on any day. Not just in the poorest of poor areas of the world, but even here in America. A person undergoing chemotherapy or someone who knows they only have a few months to live perhaps? Try going to sleep with that on your mind!
As you might be able to deduce, I am not a phony, feel good, 'tomorrow's sun will shine the brighter' kind of person. Because for all I know, your life might not ever get better. It might be this way forever and it will undoubtedly get worse some day. But then again, you might not wake up tomorrow, and the sun may never shine brighter, or rise again for that matter.
Ponder that one because life's not so bad.