60 questions – Answer #2
Do you find it egotistical to be happy and content in times like these?
A fictitious argument
No, of course not. I find that OK.
I deem myself very fortunate that I am well.
I was also quite lucky so far. I am delighted that I have
reasons to be happy. That there are situations full of joy
and possibilities to recharge.
Yeah, but corona pandemic, Trump, RBG died,
burning forests in California and Amazonia,
plastic in the oceans, racism, homophobia,
sexism, cancel culture, Alt-Right, hurricanes,
climate change, Moria ….
I can’t simply ignore this!
I have sleepless nights over these issues!
And there is also sunshine, outdoor living,
mastered exams, permanent job contracts,
getting the dream job, the baby is here, and a new single is published,
flowers in the garden, harvest season, new apartments,
happy relationships, new and old friendships,
good food and finally, a pair of jeans that fit.
And so many other things.
I don’t want to overlook these either.
Because then I would exclude joy from my life.
And I want to have joy and happiness in my life.
Well, I have a bad feeling about this.
I think it is essential to be an activist
and not run around and fool myself.
Why do you claim the right to be happy,
while the world is on the verge of collapse?
If so many people suffer,
isn’t it reprehensible to bow out
and concentrate on your private life?
I agree that it is crucial to campaign for changes.
I also get involved in things that are important to me.
It is part of a fulfilling life to belong to something bigger than me.
And I pay forward if I can.
I want to contribute to positive change.
Doing one thing does not exclude the other.
Only if I am well off myself, I can help others.
If my resources are exhausted all the time,
if I am continuously tired, I do not have the energy
to fight for the greater good.
Nothing can come out of an empty bottle.
But consumerism damages people and the environment for real.
To have a bad conscience is a good thing then, I think.
It can motivate us to change.
And a lot of change is necessary
if we want to life a life worth living in our future, too.
That the nice moments you describe can happen at all.
But I don’t want to be shamed all the time.
Shame is a lousy motivator, I believe.
I only do things to prevent feeling ashamed of myself.
Not because I am convinced of my actions.
I would not care!
It is essential that the right things happen.
It breaks my heart to see all the damage that is done.
But shame is one of the most painful emotions people can have.
It is the feeling of not being worthy of belonging
to a community or group.
You feel rejected, and the only thing you desire is this feeling to disappear.
Out of defiance, some even continue with what they were shamed about.
That is, of course, unfortunate.
But a lot of others change their behavior.
I believe that if people are happy and content with their lives,
when I take good care of myself,
then I want that as many people as possible, feel the same way.
But that is not how a lot of people are;
so many human beings are egotistical and
only act in favor of themselves.
Also a lot of people have helped others in recent months;
helping neighbors, sewing community masks, giving money.
If I focus on the negative,
I’ll lose confidence in humanity and its ability to do good.
Why would I want to help them then?
But all this is still not enough!
So much more has to happen!
So many more people need to campaign
and spend more of their time on it.
That is true! I agree!
And still: I can’t do it if I am also unwell.
If I ignore my needs, I most certainly will burn out.
Then I also require help from others.
And this makes the overall situation only worse.
(To be continued…)
The paragraph about shame is based on the definition of Brené Brown.
If you want to learn more about shame and how debilitating it is to us visit her homepage
or read one of ehr books e.g. „I thought it was just me“, „The gifts of imperfection“ or „Daring greatly“.