[18 May, 2010]

sitting on a cornflake

Today I am feeling rather distraught and pessimistic about the state of humanity. That happens to me every once in a while. Actually, these feelings are in the back of my mind pretty much most of the time, but sometimes they surface for no apparent reason. I think: you know, life is pretty painful. Painful and pointless, in a general sense, so maybe that's why I can survive being in this profession.

People ask me how I can choose a career of listening to the awful painful stories of others. Doesn't it suck my will to live? Doesn't it make me want to cry, for a long time? Most students in my field will probably tell you that they're going into this because, yes, the stories of our clients are awful, but we are here to help them change for the better. I am here because life is painful, pain is a part of life, and that doesn't bother me. No point in trying to safeguard ourselves in all of our futile attempts to deny the true awfulness of life. Sure, I still want others to try to change for the better, but there's no point in holding out for much of a better world.

I don't know. I feel different from the people around me in this respect. This isn't utter hopelessness or depression, just a general disposition toward accepting the inevitable negatives of life. So I'm not bothered (in the sense of fear, that is, not injustice) to get harassed by the homeless on Shattuck St. and the crackwhores of the Tenderloin (I say this lovingly; I love all the crackwhores of San Francisco), or to see picketers outside the Hyatt and guerrilla street canvassers for the environment. Life deals many of us shitty hands, but to me there is a certain realness and humanity to floating through this shittiness of life.

What I will fight for, though, is justice. Not safety and comfort and other subjective goods of the world, but liberty and equality for all. Because, well, we all should have equal dibs on the painfulness and pointlessness of life.

2 sighs or salutations:

Susan | 19 May, 2010

I appreciate a dark realism about life. I actually find comfort in acknowledging pointlessness. Since everything is ultimately pointless, there's nothing important enough to get bent out of shape about. Might as well be pleasant and try to enjoy what you can, and let live. Part of this is to enjoy our brains' amazing ability to filter and select how it wants to think about things. I'm so glad you're going into this fascinating field!

Here's the Onion's PSA on the topic:
As they say, pessimists are never disappointed.

daria | 26 May, 2010

Haha, pessimists are never disappointed. I'll have to remember that. :)

It _is_ a fascinating field, and thanks!

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