Slip Sliding Away

There are far too many mornings when I wake up and find myself searching for a specific inspiration before looking forward to the events or non-events of the day. My inclination to write is dwindling at a pace that is concerning, because it was part of a bigger picture ideal that I held on to for a very long time. ‘Held on to‘ is probably not an accurate way to describe it. It was part of a broader purpose that I willingly subscribed to. Still do, but just not with as much gusto as I did before.

The time when I expressed without restraint has been replaced by a time when I am measured in favour of the absence of drama. That’s not how I envisaged living my life. I still push the boundaries in my own ways, but not nearly as aggressively as I used to. Perhaps this is why I write less often, and my book has stagnated to the point of gathering digital cobwebs. Resurrecting it has its benefits in that I will once again read an old manuscript with fresh eyes. The downside is that I will feel the burden of revising something that has been endlessly revised already. It’s like solving the same problem over and over and over again. That detracts from the sincerity of the text, the rawness of the expression of emotion, and the clarity of thought that inspired the writing in the first place.

Not long after waking up with such a vapid mindset I find myself anxious and restless, with the need to achieve something meaningful with the limited time and resources I have at my disposal once again prompting me to drag my butt out of bed and into a course of action that will satisfy the yearning within me to make a difference. To contribute towards a world that I desired for myself, but was unable to achieve it, so I apply myself in the pursuit of creating it for my children, and for the generations to come. The sowing of my seed in the hope that the shade of its tree will shelter and offer a comforting repose to ones that I will never know or meet, and neither will they ever know or meet me.

I think it is in this anonymous benefit that we feel both part of a greater social cohesiveness, and simultaneously take for granted the social fabric that offers us the comfort and security to be who we are. In other words, if we don’t realise what it is that we get from society, we won’t see reason to pay it forward for others to enjoy the same benefit. In so doing, we end up in the state that too many find themselves in, including me, where we persevere in the establishment of those structures was once available to others, but were eroded to the point of disuse leaving us to establish it once again in the hope that it will one day be available to the ones that come after us.

The cryptic nature of my thoughts appear to be returning, which in essence is a good thing. It implies that I am once again looking questioningly at the world around me rather than enjoying or despising it at face value. Moments between such phases of inquiry in my life feel lifeless and vacuous. Life becomes an empty shell that demands fulfilment in the form of instant gratification and reckless indulgence when such purpose is lacking. That too often seems to explain a lot of what I see around me. Missed opportunities and broken commitments, not promises. Commitments transcend the fickleness of overt promises. Commitments set the expectation of loyalty, trust, honesty, sincerity, and so much more. A promise is merely a contract made either with conviction, or with a sense of responsibility, but not always made with a sense of true commitment to the agreed outcome.

Life slips away when we falter on the path that leads to fulfilment of purpose. That faltering arrives in the form of a distracted emphasis on agreements, and obligations, rather than mutual commitment to the spirit of the outcome of such shared aspirations. That slope is slippery. It starts with a need to take care of numero uno when we have good reason to believe that if we don’t, no one will take care of what we need, and quickly descends into a selfish embrace of life when we discover the joy of finally getting what we want before having to worry about what others need. It starts out as doing something for ourselves for a change and quickly becomes the norm when we realise how many others do exactly the same. This collective irresponsibility somehow justifies the abandonment of responsibility to those around us, and soon thereafter we become part of the burdening masses that burden our souls through their self-indulgent destruction of the lives of those that they once committed to protect and uplift.

Some may interpret this as divorce, some as betrayals of trust, and others as a betrayal of a shared dream. Either way, the betrayal is what lingers, and the selfishness that ensues appears to be the most sane response to an insane world. Our slip into the fabric of that tainted world escapes us when we lose sight of our own purpose that we abandoned in favour of the response to a tainted crowd.

Life slips away when we stop serving something greater than our selfish needs. Once we find ourselves sliding into that abyss that offers gratification without fulfilment, we grow increasingly closer to embracing the animal within, and abandoning the human without. Courage takes on a new form when we find ourselves clawing our way up that slope to break the slide that many others so willingly embrace. Courage is a rare attribute these days. Populism has killed it.

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