- Mental Health
A Treatise on Giving In
What's the use?
A Treatise on Giving In
I listen to the preachers and they tell me “Hope is on the way!” I listen to the singing in church and the chorus shouts “Our help is on the way!” Oh yeah? Says who? What is there to be hopeful about? You are born, you go to school, you graduate, or get kicked out, you have a kid or three, you get married, you get divorced, you get remarried, you die. Did anyone not get the email? Or did you not read the email? Better yet, you didn’t believe the email.
I’d like to have hope. Hope seems like a nice way to live. I really wouldn’t know. I studied, I read, I prayed, I meditated, let’s see, there must be another thousand things I did, but try as I might, I don’t “get” hope. I know how to teach people to have it. Supposedly, I know how to give it to people. Too bad I can’t teach myself. At least right now.
So that brings me to giving in. What are some of the things I’ve given in to during this life? Sex. That was fun. The best thing about sex, for me, is that I never argue with myself.
Binge eating and drinking. Yup! ‘Xcuse me while I slurp.
Despair. That one feels good right now. Too bad that tomorrow the ache may run away and leave me alone. How do I know?
Every blinking time I give in, something happens to make me believe the big lie. What’s the ‘big lie?’ The big lie is that things will get better. The big lie is that you can control what happens to you. Where’s the evidence?
Look at family divorce court. Tell that to a fetus in the garbage can. Ask any five year old in Iran. Or in a big city homeless shelter. Should I go on?
What do I know for sure? We all make choices. How’s that for the most trivial cliché of the year? What’s not trivial is that because we are all stupid, the choices we make haunt us for all time. After that, I’m not so sure. My guess is that they go with us to wherever we go after we die. I mean, why not continue the joke?
Here’s another thing I know FOR SURE. It’s not that we do stupid things. It’s that we are STUPID. Otherwise, why would we do what we do? Why get married and put yourself through the pain of losing your mate? Why get into relationships when you know that one or both of you will soon be gone? And that you’ll forget about each other in maybe 15 minutes from the time you get the undertaker bill to the time you take off your shoes.
You listen to the preachers, I really use the biggest brush I can here, and what do you hear? “Jesus saves. All you have to do is accept His grace and repent.” Oh yeah…. I accept His grace every day, and I repent every day. Guess what, 2 seconds after I accept and repent, I am the same schmuck I was before. What’s that preacher? I didn’t really accept the grace? OK, you’re right. I give in.
Now I’m not here to promise that miracles don’t happen. I’m too old to think they don’t. It’s just that they happen to other people. See, god looks at me when he needs a laugh.
So “giving in.” Why not keep struggling? Look at how well struggling works as a problem solving tool. Has working hard given you better (fill in the blank)? Maybe for a little while; remember the miracle paragraph?
What are the benefits of giving in? Hmm, let’s see. Less stress. Once you give in, you stop hoping for something that will never happen, unless you’re hoping to die, which I am not. If you give in and stop worrying that bad things will happen, you will be right 50% of the time. That beats Vegas!
Giving in means that you don’t have to give a rat’s about what anybody thinks, because you’ve already agreed that they are exactly right. Now won’t that make the know it alls go nuts?
Americans are unable to process this next idea as they are not real bright. Don’t believe me? Can you say Tea Party? Can you spell Tea Party? I’m safe here, because Tea Party folks can’t read Tea Party. Anyway, next idea………I wanted to write the way a pro athlete speaks. “How do the team do coach?” “Play well. Go right to focus. Give all.” These are the people we pay 50 million dollars to, for the pleasure of watching them facilitate assault with a deadly weapon; football helmets. Or maybe they speak a higher level of English than we do; the vernacular where pronouns are obsolete.
Oops, next idea. Giving in feels good! Told you Americans wouldn’t get it. Why else would we murder our young people through incompetent schools and undeserving politicians? Answer? Because ANYONE with half a neuron knows that an educated workforce will question lies about race, gender and lifestyle. Thus, giving in to folks who claim to know what YOU should believe eliminates the pain of thinking and reduces the tension of rational discourse around opinions. Yelling at each other is fun. Clear now?
As a final argument in praise of giving in, I offer a two word theory. It’s EASY! Would you rather take responsibility for your heart attack, or is it easier to blame it on your wife? Work out or eat two Snickers Cheese cakes? Which is easier?
Giving in feels good. Giving in is easy. Giving in allows one to be right even if they are wrong. So why do we human doings not give in? We are too busy worrying about how the world will come to an end if we ever DO give in. To God. To Peace. To Enjoyment. Obviously some Piled Higher and Deeper researcher has a well nuanced answer full of numbers and gobbledy gook. Not me. I’m off to eat a cheesecake and wash it down with whole milk, while the milk is still cheaper than unleaded gas.
how to have hope in a hopeless world
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