The world is a cycle. History repeats itself. Humanity forgets.
These are inescapable truths to … existence, really. We’ve never broken this cycle very long. We think we can. The only other thing so inescapable is our belief that we can, indeed, escape it.
But can we? We build societies, hoping to avoid societal degradation, but the harder we work to avoid degradation, the closer we push our societies to it. Like a man with a relationship he thinks will bring him fulfillment, we cling so tightly that we eventually destroy the very thing we so desperately seek.
And then everything burns.
Whether through the war of exterior conquerors or revolution from within, eventually the government designed to preserve today’s peace is invariably destroyed by those born who want no part of what their predecessors created.
Our conceit is that we can design a society that all generations will appreciate.
But we can’t. We never have and never will.
Our first fault is in failing to learn the depth of history and, more importantly, having a quality lens in which to interpret it. Knowing a fact is fine, but understanding it drives how we use that knowledge to better our future. If we fail not only to learn it, ourselves, but then fail, also, to teach it our children, then no society, however wonderful, will last the emotional ignorance of easily manipulated children.
Our second fault is believing we’re different from our predecessors because we’re not our predecessors. “We’re modern, therefore superior. Obviously.” This conceit drives us gladly into the same mistakes as those predecessors of whom we think so poorly. Know what that makes us? We are our own predecessors’ poorly regarded ancestors.
This cycle will last us as long as humans remain human. I don’t think I’m wise enough, nor evolved enough, to see beyond our humanity. I’m okay with that. I’m a human. I’ll die among my own kind. Humans have been doing that for decamillennia. That’s good enough for me.
However, it can be hard for someone who watches the patterns and sees them repeating. I’m no Churchill, but some patterns are more obvious than others. Namely, the immolation of a society’s foundation byBut then, the conceited ideals held by youth who don’t understand how it was built
The question, then, persists: If the world is but a cycle of building and burning, how does one find happiness when the world constantly shifts between one and the other? Are some blessed to live in building cycles while others are cursed to live in burning? How can we be happy if we can never be too sure of the cycle we’re in, or when it will end?
I would pose that placing hope in the cycle, itself, is the fault in our pursuit.
Happiness is made, not found. It is in the present moment where we might kindle hope and love life. Whether in a building or burning cycle, happiness must be embraced regardless of the times or their quality. We must not wait on politics or economics or even war to choose happiness for us, and while difficult seasons may come, they also go. We breathe and, therefore, have the opportunity to find happiness today.
While there is more to finding happiness than a paragraph in a blog, I argue only that that pursuit should remain independent of the world-at-large. Whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton which keeps you from procreating, I think you should remember that they, like all people, will one day die. Their policies will one day fade away. So will America, but there’s no guarantee when that will happen, either. I hope later than sooner for America, but all nations fail. America will be no different.
So why set my happiness upon it? You will die before America does. So love your life no matter what happens to the country or its president. To the economy or world affairs. The only affairs which will ever truly matter are the ones you embrace, yourself.
So love your life and make the very most of it. Today.