It’s Time To Be Worth Something

We have become complacent; and in our pursuit of happiness, we desire to be content above all else.

I used to believe that judgment was something to be avoided, at least consciously so, in so much that I had no right to compare my losses to those of others; no right to judge my experiences as better or worse. And, by extension, it was not my place to offer advice too directly or narrowly, for to do so required an evaluation of what was best for someone else. Such judgments once seemed reckless, for who was I to say? Whether it was a matter of sensitivity or complacency per se, I’m not quite sure. Yet despite my intentions of respect and acceptance (as well as a recognition of the natural variability of human experience and perspective), my commitment to all suggestions absent of shoulds and should-nots has at times felt more like cop-out. There is no risk in highlighting options; no potential harm in the suggestion that all choices made are correct ones – so long as you go with your gut, or follow your heart. Mere passing instincts, wrapped in poetry. Accountability and responsibility have been removed, or perhaps avoided.

I know others who take a similar approach, never wanting to be too direct; never wanting to narrow someone else’s view, or push too hard for fear of ruffling feathers. It’s as if we’ve given up on one other. We’ve turned our relationships into meaningless binaries of human interaction in which neither person is entirely forthright; or, dare I say, in which no one is relentlessly and selflessly protective of another person, or of the right thing, or of anything at all. We have become cheap counsellors of sorts, therapists whose trepidation of malpractice prevents us from offering any real advice. We want to sound enlightened but fear being labelled otherwise, even only for a moment. We fear being doubted, questioned, or belittled by incorrectness. (And we shun the mere possibility of it.) We are onlookers of the helpless and frightened, forever bound by our insecurities.

But what good are we to one other, if all we do is highlight options, deliberate in generalities, and suggest purpose in all possible paths? What has happened to real advice? What has happened to wisdom?

We have all lived, and we have all had experiences worth sharing. Should one decide not to impose those experiences upon a friend or a colleague does those experiences a grave injustice. Even if we are unable to see the value or worth in our own experiences (an unfortunate state, surely), we still have morals to share. We still have values, and beliefs, and a perspective…don’t we?

Somehow, we have become complacent to the happenings of our fellow people. Our standards have been abandoned. Our morals and ethics have been diluted and nearly washed away. But it can’t stand for long, because it’s not good enough. We aren’t good enough. None of us is doing the best that we can. When was the last time you did something because it was the right thing to do? When was the last time you sacrificed your own needs, and, with purpose, turned your back on ego? When was the last time you fought for what you believed in, defended your life lessons, or shared your wisdom with another? When was the last time you acted—no, felt—wise?

It’s time to human up. It’s time to put aside ego and be accountable to one another again. It’s time to think about things like honour, respect, and justice. It’s time to think about loyalty and trust. And maybe it’s time to think about charity. It’s time to be an idealist, for without our ideals we are something less than human; surely, we are something less than decent. It’s time to get really bothered, and it’s time we started bothering one another. It’s time to be worth something again.

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