I don’t want to sound like a pessimist or a cynic, neither are visages I wish to project or acquire. But if logical reasoning places me in the former categories, then for now, I accept such categorization.
Perhaps this personal epiphany I had today is not a revelation, or a game-changing event that will alter the lives of many. That’s fine though. All I wish to do is share an experience, or more particular, a philosophy.
Everyone has (and will continue to) experience sadness in his or her life. As a society we’ve classified feeling poorly as a natural occurrence, something that just, well, happens. Some have gloom that lingers over them constantly, like an ominous rain cloud that keeps following you everywhere you go.
I am not one of those people.
But today was different. Walking home from school I ran through my typical convoluted train of thought (or more specifically, concerns I have and tasks that need to be completed). For example, the plethora of tests I have up and coming, a film festival I need to prepare for, film reviews I need to write and publish, SAT scores that need improving, school work that needs examination, relationships that require conversation.
I apologize for the introspective pontification. However, as I concluded the walk home from school, I saw my neighbors. These neighbors have two little girls who, almost everyday, play around outside, ride bikes, or sometimes bake cookies to sell around the neighborhood. Industrialists, even at the age of five.
Seeing the faces of these two children, who seem to be living without a care in the world, put me in the nostalgic mood. You know, the mindset where you internally reminisce over your childhood and the perpetual joyful moments you had.
Naturally, I romanticized my past, as we all do. Our memories are selective and as we grow older we remember events and people differently. And I, like most people, tend to add a bit of unreal optimism to my history. But the thing is, those two little girls, who I’ve deemed (over time) to be free, without problems or personal issues, most certainly do have problems and issues.
Sure, their issues may be on a lesser level then our own (I don’t know too many adults whose major concern at the age of 40 is memorizing the ABC’s) but to those younger children learning those 26 letters is there daunting task in life. We like to pronounce adolescence as simpler times. The reality is, they weren’t.
As we evolve as people, so do our issues. Sometimes the older we get, the bigger the problems become.
But what does this all mean? Does sadness pervade every annal of our lives, no matter the age, no matter our place in time? It’s a terrifying thought that albeit how knowledgeable we become or difficult experiences we endure, that there will always be something over the horizon, good and bad.
All of this reminds me of that philosophy, contemplating the wise and the fool. The supposed wise are intellectually stimulating individuals who are depressed because, well, they know too much about the idiosyncratic world we live in. The fool is full of bliss. While they may be ignorant, they enjoy their time on this planet. It’s then a conflict of knowledge vs. happiness.
I’m just still hoping that the two can, in some bizarre, perhaps esoteric happenstance, exist in same person, with both the understanding of the wise, and the kindness of the fool.
For now, while my thoughts are temporarily at bay, I’m going to stop with the philosophical rumination, and keep on living. I still have that review, that friendship, and that future to attend to. But I think I now know that – in the grand scheme of life – my issues are miniscule, and not worth wasting days and days fighting over.
Time will transpire, with or without me. So, here’s to hoping I stay moderately clairvoyant, and continue to look past my personal dilemmas, acknowledging that there’re bigger issues in the world.
Sure, it may have taken two kindergarteners to provide clarity in a seemingly extraneous situation. I suppose that’s one of the many beauties of living: the idea that life lessons can derive from the most unexpected places.