So I was watching Johnathon Pie on Youtube. His channel is satire based on world politics, media corruption and is full of swearing and shouting by a character that is full of indignation. Not exactly the kind of sentiment I enjoy but I find the channel fun and informative to watch. Although it is satire, the character said something that sat with me. Alluding to the Brexit referendum he shouted “all you have to choose between is fear and fear”.
That is it really, all in a nutshell. Some of the biggest decisions being made in the world today are just that, choosing between two fears. For some reason that isn’t enough, so then you are told that these choices are the only two choices left to you. Yet the people who hand you these choices somehow think, lets pile on some more reasons to be afraid of choosing any differently than the way we specifically tell you to.
Choose the way we don’t want and then we will also be very angry and condescending to you. The other side of the debate will say and do the same, just in case you don’t realise you’re in trouble yet.
Everyone is so focused on the pain/pleasure scale.
The questions are always “How can I get more pleasure?” and “How can I get less pain?”.
Now try the same questions with more of an emotional bent. It becomes “How can I get more happiness, joy and fun?” and “How can I keep from all I fear and despise?”
We find feeling the emotion of fear so untenable and painful that we end up being manipulated by it every damn day. We are so hyper vigilant of keeping away from any kind of pain, fear, sadness or loss and keeping as much pleasure and happiness for ourselves as we can. We focus on it with it such intensity that we almost focus on it to the detriment of any other quality. After time we lose focus and filter all human experience through these scales.
Then we say things like “save us government, save us from our fears, from loss and from being challenged” and then when they invariably are unable to do so, we then say “screw the government”.
We ask the media to keep us informed but because we only care about pleasure or pain, that is all they show us. More pleasure for us to chase and more pain to keep the hell away from.
To harp on about it: When did we get to the point that most ‘western’ cultures decided to style their governments on a party system that argues, back stabs and gets personally attacking and tells the countries they reside over if they listen to the other candidates or parties they can kiss their collective butts goodbye due to death, invasion, joblessness or the umpteen other things we are all very afraid of.
So what’s the answer?
I can say from personal experiences that acting in fear, or anger to save me from my fear, has always been the most destructive course of action in my life, for myself and others.
It does not even really matter what the course of action is if I do it from a personal aspiration of keeping from fear or keeping in control, I was fucked and I hurt others in the crossfire.
Same goes for the pleasure/pain scale. If I focused on that I get blind to everything else and do selfish shit almost every time. Even if I told myself it was “to help someone else” emotionally, it really was to keep myself feeling pleasure and keep myself from feeling pain and it always ended up creating pain. Pain for myself, for others and usually both.
Something I have been experimenting with and suggest wholeheartedly is that we throw out the scale and focus on better things, more permanent things, things we can aspire to.
Personal emotional responsibility would be the best first thing to aspire to. It may mean we are in pain sometimes but at least it’ll be our own damn pain, we don’t let or make anyone else responsible for it. It would also be a great bar to set for our leaders.
-my emotions are my own to deal with-
Only those who own the fact that they are sad, angry, fearful or even joyous, desirous and passionate, the reasons why they feel as they do and don’t make anyone else responsible for these emotions should be chosen as our representatives.
Then we wont blame the government for the fact we also are in emotional pain and wont try to get them to look after our boo boos when we can look after the hurt we feel ourselves. In this space it would even be harder for terrorists to incite terror in such a society.
Why stop there? Why not focus on cooperation. If you can’t cooperate sincerely then you should not be able to lead, ANYTHING.
If we stop this pleasure/pain focus stupidity we could be open to focusing on heaps of other things.
- Genuine feeling for every other human, even those we have no hope of truly understanding, and acting on that feeling.
- Global community
- Heartfelt warmth and caring towards others
It’ll be hard because, let’s face it, we are addicted to more pleasure and less pain. But it’ll be worth it.
And I won’t have to watch my global brothers and sisters be genuinely confused, fearful, and hateful because they are given limited choices and then told to be afraid or angry at all choices on their plates.
If you are asking how do I deal with my own personal emotions to work towards being emotionally responsible the answer is that I intentionally try and feel ALL of my emotions as they come up, and the ones that cause pain I try and feel before I act on them in any way. I suggest listening to some of Jesus’s talks. He talks about the process to so, recorded and free of charge. He also talks of the importance of a relationship with God if that is something you are also curious about.
You may be unsure if you can be ultimately emotionally responsible, but this should not negate the aspiration to be so or the conviction that we really need exactly these kind of people in the world.
I’m going to keep focusing on this aspiration so at least you’ll be in good company if you try.