I was reading about “terrorism after the death of Bin Laden”, and what caught my eye was a comment that many of the worst dictators started out as “friends” of the U.S. While this is a loaded political statement, it made think about my own life. I don’t have any enemies (that I know of), but I’ve observed many friendships between people that turned to very bitter, tense feuds.
That’s certainly true with divorced couples and it’s also sometimes true with long-time friends. The thought that struck me is that the reason such close friends can become “enemies” is because they shared so many dreams, fears, secrets, etc with each other, that any violation of trust beyond a certain threshold is magnified ten fold. To me, that’s both tragic and beautiful.
There’s no moral to this story. It’s just a short note on the absurdity of life.
School is out for the summer. I know this because there’s cars parked around the school next to my apartment.
So perhaps there is no better time than now to address the meaning of life and the pursuit of “success”. A commencement address video that’s been making its rounds on YouTube grounds the soaring hot balloon of people’s hopeful dreams quite succinctly: “You are not special”.
The topic of meaning always struck me as profoundly absurd, as have most big “why” questions. So for me, even in my darker moments, I tend to find humor in it rather than sadness. The “you are not special” speech is simply an entertaining reminder that you should do everything you do for the pure challenge of it and because you love it.
Of course, such high-minded discourse is the luxury of the middle class, of those with food on the table, access to clean drinking water, and a good doctor.
Much like the speaker in the video, I’m at a loss of practical recommendations except that you should read as much as possible.