Am I Any Better at Dealing with Life Now?
by, 07-23-2013 at 10:17 AM (6352 Views)
Perhaps people wonder if I have somehow 'changed' my outlook on life, ever since I've been more vocal about my atheism (or 'agnostic atheism' if others want a more 'thin-sliced' version...personally I don't really think there is a major distinction). Actually, not much has changed--I have to admit that haven't really improved much on anything. Despite all that I 'preach' about the scientific method and the power of 'data collection and analysis', I would have to say that I'm a rather poor example of a person who has managed a certain degree of efficiency, effectiveness and skill at 'living'--I find that I am still quite clumsy with certain things or activities. I still make the usual mistakes. I still tend to misread people's intentions at times, and I let my guard down far too often than I would like. And I still suck at math.
Perhaps this is because of the fact that for most of my teenage and adult life, this mindset has always been my 'default state', but instead of having a well-defined and clear cut idea of my open-mindedness, this tendency has always been cluttered and snagged by attempts to 'blend into' society, and trying to 'adapt' to its nuances and norms. However, I am basically, at the core, remain to be the same old me. This 'default state' is mainly the result of having parents who raised their children to be freethinkers, even though they themselves perhaps admitted (indirectly), that they weren't that much of freethinkers themselves. See the difference there? There are people who are not really open-minded, but they still do try to teach open-mindedness to their offspring, perhaps as a means to allow them to adapt better to an ever-changing the world.
Do I ever get lonely? Of course I do. As a human being, I am not devoid of wants or needs. I admit that at most times, I consciously strive to suppress emotion whenever I can, because based on experience, there are times when suppressing emotion can be useful in circumstances that demand your utmost concentration and decision-making (not that decisions I made during those moments were the ideal or right ones). But do know, that I do suffer moments when I feel a lack of empathy, a lack of support, and a lack of warmth--yes, I do get miserable. Perhaps I just like taking pride at being able to weather the doldrum of nothing, and emerging less scarred or less traumatized. But that's precisely why, whenever I take a look back at those moments and see myself ending the day unscathed, there is a moment I can actually smile and even chuckle, and realize I can be happy.
So am I a better human being? Honestly, I don't really think much has changed. But, that is not an excuse to stop trying to be better.
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