There are too many people in the world right now who want to deny the struggle. They want to turn a blind eye and remain blissfully ignorant about the real and legitimate hardships that are encountered by so many. On the polar opposite end of this mentality, is the mentality that things are so bad that they will never get better, and that the human journey is totally doomed.
It is understandable that these imbalanced ways of looking at the world are so common. They are both coping mechanisms that our subconscious minds use to deal with the very upsetting situations that surround us on a day to day basis. While adopting perspectives like this may make people feel better, and temporarily relieve them from the mental stress of reality, the hidden danger in this thinking is that it paralyzes people and prevents them from seriously taking action in the world.
This is an extremely unfortunate circumstance, because among these people are great minds who would be able to make a very positive difference if they actually did apply their skills and knowledge towards the problems that are being neglected.
On some level or another the traps of blissful ignorance and defeatism are something that we all run into. Even people who are focused on taking action are still periodically taken from their path by getting caught up in these distractions. Recently, I have noticed that I am frequently falling into the trap of defeatism, and looking back I have noticed that this is a tendency that I have carried with me my entire life. As I have noticed this error I have been attempting to improve the way that I look at the world and the way that I handle difficult situations. It has not been easy, but there have been small instances where I have been able to consciously overcome this bad habit.
From big worldly issues to small personal problems, I have noticed that when one is able to find a balance in their perspective, the problem gets solved a lot faster. This same thing goes for groups. One thing that I have always found interesting, is how people in some of the worst struggles can maintain a more healthy state of mind than people who live in limitless luxury. In the so called “third world” many people live with a struggle that is very real. Their ancestral homelands have been stolen and destroyed and the local governments are extremely oppressive, which creates a situation where people are forced to endure a number of environmental hardships that they otherwise would not have to deal with if they were left in peace on their own land.
Yet despite these struggles, many people in this situation smile, laugh and generally seem to enjoy life a lot more than people who are caught up in the rat races of western democracy. This is not to take away from, or gloss over the very real injustices that these people are forced to endure, but their strength and resilience in such a difficult situation should be a lesson to us all.
What is also interesting is that people who seem to deal with no external struggle in their lives at all (the politicians and elite) are oftentimes incredibly miserable with tortured souls.
To be here, alive on this earth, is a gift. The people of the world who face death, starvation and violence on a day to day basis understand this fact more than most of us can imagine. Most of us in the industrialized world still face hardships of our own, but they are usually not as life threatening as those seen in developing countries. This is not to say that our struggles are not real as well, because they are very real. However, if people who face life threatening hardships on a daily basis are able to find peace, then we should be able to do so as well.
This all starts with practice in our everyday lives, when we get caught in frustrating situations, we have a choice to make the problem worse by getting miserable about it, to ignore it and hope it goes away, or to seek out the best possible solution to the problem and to try our best to enjoy the ride.
Every second that we experience, every struggle and success that we encounter is a part of our story. Some of the problems that we encounter are tragedies, and this is a sad fact of life, but they are also opportunities to make things better. Problems are responsible for some of the worlds greatest inventions and best ideas. The troubles that our generation face may be some of the most challenging that our species has seen, but that also means that the potential for change has never been so great in human history.