I have this sense that each person, throughout all of human existence, has uttered the phrase, “What a time to be alive.” It is almost the truest facet of the human condition to feel like what you have experienced and are experiencing is the end all be all of what could ever have ever happened. It’s disconcerting, really. But with each of us being fully aware of only our own full story, I feel it is imperative to reach for each other’s contexts as much as possible.
What I mean to say is this: Context is very important. Without context there is but a sentence fragment; a partial thought; a soundbite. Whose equivalent is a song with just a hook, lasting 20 or so seconds and then stopping. Think of “Sweet Child of Mine” with the riff but nothing else. That song would be fine. It would still get stuck in my head. I’d still like it, maybe. But why a song is affecting, is how the song is complete. And that goes for any work of art.
As I see it, a life lived is itself a work of art. Social media does a lot of things, I suppose, but what it certainly does is to allow for a constantly crafted piece of living art; a storybook of sorts to show others (hell, anyone) that we matter to each other’s context, that we’re important to society’s function.
It’s important, that’s for sure. Because we are.
You know what I think is rampant, though? Being wrong. So many of us are so goddamn wrong. We misunderstand each other; we constantly omit both the basics of empathy, and the complexities of mercy. We think we are informed because of all the information, so our beliefs are self-validated. We are selective in our judgements. And we are lost in our own hysteria. We don’t look for context. We don’t care about motivation. And we don’t even know what subtext is. Stories are long and complicated. And we no longer give a shit what they mean. We’re addicted to the climactic scene; the show stopper; the conclusion.
The “In your face!” The “I told you so.” The mic drop.
I’m gonna try and give it a rest. Especially if all I have is information. Because information is not knowledge. And an unbending belief in what seems to be cannot be construed as enlightenment.
Especially if all we have is a highlight reel, or that hook of the song whose verses aren’t heard.
We are all Very Stupid.