By Tony DeLorger © 2010
It is with grave reservation that I suggest that humanity is in any way capable of redemption regarding our contempt for one other and the neglect of our planet. Perhaps we should become existentialists to begin to understand our earthy experience, our individual morality and the responsibilities associated. Our penchant for self-involvement and analysis has created a disconnection rather than a connection to life. Instead of understanding ourselves and then creating associations with the outside world, our introspection has somehow created singularity and personal isolation.
It is fear alone that is responsible for this current phenomenon. Our connections with people: friends, family, work associates and acquaintances have become pointedly selective. Our hearts, rather than open, have become suspicious of everything, out of fear. Our lives are so bombarded with negative imagery and hostile events that we can no longer afford to accept people and circumstance based on face value. There is no blame here just an understanding of the present trend in society.
When we are confronted with someone at our front door wanting to use our phone after a car breakdown, our first reaction is fear, not knowing whether this person is trustworthy. I would respond similarly what with all the home invasions and related crimes. It is difficult not to be suspicious considering what we are aware of in the world, what we see on the news and read in the papers.
The question is how can we individually make a difference and begin to change this innate fear we have developed? Do we want to live in fear? Of course not, we want to live in a world of safety and peace. As an existentialist we know that we each have a personal morality and are responsible for our actions in life. Therefore how we react to life’s circumstances impacts not only on those around us but each one of us as individuals and our continuing experience.
I believe that balance is important in life. It is not only a scientific fact regarding matter, the universe and everything, but it is replicated in our thinking, our attitudes and actions. Therefore in life the problems that surround us are ultimately of our choosing. However, distasteful that seems, the troubles of the world are a result of us collectively and as individuals. So to answer the question ‘how do we change this innate fear that isolates us?’ we must begin to reconnect to people in a real unbiased way.
Trusting our instincts is a positive beginning. Learning to separate our conditioned fear from real feelings isn’t easy, but it is something we are more than capable of and with kindness we can begin to develop trust. I’m not suggesting that we disregard security; leave doors unlocked and take the shortcut home through that unlit alley. What I am saying is that if we open our hearts to positive people and circumstance, we will experience that as a consequence.
Existentialism is a philosophy that expounds the contention that we each have a moral compass and are responsible for our own actions. If we wish to change the word we can, each one of us taking one step at a time.