Good evening ladies and gentleman
Throughout much of cinematic history- the “hero” is always hailed the king. Whoever he or she are and whatever daring acts they must fulfil or personal demons they must conquer on this path as we sit there, slack jawed and wide eyed at the spectacle on show- they always prevail.
In the space of an hour and a half we see this person, in essence- save the world.
Truth is, and as far as i can tell- its not quite that cut and dry.
I have never had this strange hedonistic desire to be a hero, to be famous or adorned with vast riches for what i do. It’s often felt to me we are pummelled with these huge characters in society as we gravitate to these heroics, shown how “good” it feels to do “good” and we should all be doing it more. What does good even mean in that sense? Does that mean if i don’t run into a burning building to save someone i’m a bad person? Does that mean i have aspirations far below what i should do?
It seems to me that we are led into a false sense of security by these ideas of everything being “fixed” in an instant, convinced that winning the lottery would fix all of your problems. Instantaneous gratification has started to become more common place though, we seem to live in a world of instants. Instant food, instant “connection,” instant “love.” Everything is happening so quickly, blink and you’ll miss it. Worse than that, is it’s only getting faster and fitting to leave you behind.
Our understanding of what it means to matter to something, to someone, is what is lost in the ideologies this hedonistic heroism is putting out into the world. I once went through the same thing, the desire to “save the world.”
I’ve never been able to figure out what i was trying to save the world from, the best reason i’ve ever come up with is to save it from itself. I thought by living on this “higher” level of logic and rationale, seeing the world so differently to the point where i felt like i was broken that i could. There are almost 8 billion people on Earth these days, its very easy to feel so very small and massively insignificant, so looking for something to make you matter even to yourself.
It’s not that nobody is insignificant. I’m not one for cliches because the truth is you cannot be significant to every person you know and to most of the people you aren’t. You don’t matter to them and why should you? You aren’t part of their world and they are far from a part of yours. They have their lives and you have yours- why is it important to feel important- why is it so important to feel like you matter at all?
We need to be seen as important, i think, in order to feel like we matter, so life is worth living. This way it makes waking up to another day of the grind a bit less…grinding. You develop this idea and scale it up, you have a hero as we understand it in modern society. Someone who is going out to “save the world.”
But who are they doing it for? Think of the heroes we have been watching in films and movies for generations and ask that question- ask why? Why do they do what they do? Why do you do what you do? Why did i do what i do? Why is the most important question in life but so many of us are too dam scared to find the right words to answer it.
The why is because it’s the right thing to do. They don’t go out to save the world, to matter, to be seen as relevant or important. The idea of saving the world is the last thing on their minds, the next moment seems a much more prominent priority. So why do you do it? Why do you live the way you live, act the way you act, do what you do? Because its the right thing to do- or because of what it could bring you?
Answer these questions, you owe it to yourself. I have spent so long feeling so isolated and disconnected from a world i have had no desire to be a part of because for many years because i refused to look at the questions. The world as i understand is cruel and manipulative, society is led by masters, feeding decent genuine people into the heart of the fire and creating another clone to fix another problem that should never have happened. I once thought i was nothing more than a glitch in the system, or maybe there was just a glitch in my system.
Maybe i was mis-programmed, if i gained enough knowledge it could fix my programming and then i might be able to help someone else do the same. Then it would explode and it would meant i matter because i set the wheels in motion not just to save the world but change the world too. I look back at these beliefs and the self ignorance, through fear, through lack of grace, through any form of belief in what i was doing. Whatever it was, done now.
It doesn’t matter why i thought what i thought, felt the way i felt, or deal with life the way i do. None of it matters because it’s already happened. If you single handedly try to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders no matter how much weight your loading onto that squat rack on a Tuesday, you’re still fitting to fall flat on your ass.
Even if you could hold it all up, nobody is watching. We have this strange tendency to fixate on people judging us, wandering what we are doing and why we have made the decisions we made when in reality most are so worried about this nobody has time to think about anyone else. We want to be recognised, to matter. You could look as far back as evolutionary psychology to see those who are more noticed are more likely to complete their role in the ecosystems across the world. It’s a natural and necessary requirement for one’s plumage to spread as high and as wide as possible.
So how does one save the world? The most important thing i have found is that as an act, you can’t. You are one person in a society of billions and there will always be something or someone bringing it down. Forget the world, forget society. You cannot, i cannot, nobody can save the world. Changing the world as you know it is possible for any of us in our own way though.
Look back to the people in the films and how they indadvertedly saved the world. If you look deeper into them, the decision that led them to that point resulted in them saving themselves. Society is a bitch, but you, you have the means to be the hero in your story. Be the one whose life is fucked, where everyday feels like your on the edge of falling apart. Be that person and own it, look at your life and understand where it’s gone wrong. Look at what happened and what you were able to learn from it and carrying on growing.
Learn, evolve and don’t ever stop. Changing your world- it takes time. It’s slow, methodical, difficult. Its so easy to want it all instantly and so many times I have got lost in a sea of nothing wandering why i didn’t feel better about myself. Again and again, you will fall. You are going to fail again and it will hurt again. Failing, screwing up, losing, be it in life, love or anything in between isn’t going to get any easier, but you have to carry on, as do I.
Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. Because without it…it’s hard to know who you really are.
Without what you say? Without hope.
Yours, with love as always.
D. R x