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The Nature of Being (us)

TheNatureofBeing.com wasn’t available when I registered the website, but .us was. I really liked the way it read…

The Nature of Being Us.

The nature of being humans.

Human Nature. What a rich subject.

A subject I am, admittedly, not an expert on. A long avid intrigued observer, however, yes. What makes us tick? What makes us do what we do? What makes us feel alive? What pulls the rug right out from under us? Breaks our hearts, makes us overflowing with joy, connects us, debilitates us, inspires us to create? And to make it even more interesting, there isn’t just one answer to each question. There is no simple 50 page guide to Being Human that sums it all up for us.

So here we are. Humans in all our imperfect perfection, navigating these lives the best we can. Trying to have a good life and experience a bit of joy where and when we can find it. Maybe even trying to understand what it is all about, what the purpose of our human lives are on this Earth.

This website is, for now, a collection of my thoughts, observations, and attempts at trying to make sense of it all when sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any sense to be made.

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“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are.” – Anne Lamott

 

Who am I?

Now, isn’t that really the big question here?

At the most basic level, I am an imperfect human doing the best that I can with the information I have just like you. Trying to taste life, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who I am.

In a previous, younger, version of myself, I would probably describe myself as an optimistic idealist. Currently, and years later, I would describe myself as a jaded idealist. I know evil, hatred, injustice, misogyny, racism, ignorance, self-importance, failure, self-loathing, polluted water, self-interest, terrorism, hunger and abuse all exist, and that there is probably very little I am personally able to contribute to the remedy for any of it. Yet, there is part of me that wants to believe that somehow, like the underdog stories of my childhood, love and goodness will prevail. That we will realize that we are all in this together and that we are brothers and sisters, not threats and enemies, and we will all go get ice cream cones together and not even care about the guy who got orange sorbet. Hey, if that’s what he prefers, let him have it. That’s what it is all about.

Sometimes it is hard to reconcile a mind that is both jaded and idealistic however. There are days when the world feels so crazy that you aren’t even sure how to exist in it, let alone make sense of it.

Right now, I am striving for optimistically ideal realist, or perhaps, optimistically realistic idealist, if that is possible. Is it possible to be aware of the all of the craziness of the world without being jaded? Without wanting to fall to the ground sobbing because of the hurt we inflict on each other and the destruction we cause to everything we touch? Is it possible to be so present and happy in our own life despite it all, so fully engaged, that the weight of every heartbreaking thing doesn’t ultimately break us? I would like to think so.

Who am I then? Well, I’m still figuring that out myself. Perhaps we will figure it out together right here.