I’ve been talking to a couple people recently, and I was reminded of something that I think is very interesting. Everyone is pretty much the same in at least one respect: we all have major problems in our lives, and we all try to hide them and give ourselves this well-put-together appearance. Sure, some are better at it than others, and maybe some people don’t even see the problems they have, but it’s easy to forget that these other people don’t have perfect lives.
And really, nobody has a perfect life. That millionaire with the mansion and five luxury sports cars? I’d be willing to bet there are some insecurities there somewhere. I’m a firm believer that life only gives us as many problems as we can handle (although I suppose even life makes mistakes sometimes, because how else do you explain the people in mental institutions?). What might seem like a ridiculously mundane and easy-to-solve problem for me because of the serious nature of my own issues might in fact be an impossible mountain for someone else to climb.
Does that mean I think I’m stronger than others who have better lives? Well, to be honest, yes. But not by much, and I haven’t let it give me a swollen head because I’m still a mix-bag of psychological problems otherwise. On the rare occasions that people open up to me and I see their fear and insecurity, I still try to help. I know what it feels like all too well. Even if they’re a complete stranger, I want to help. Even if they hate me and I found out through someone else, I want to help. Unless they act like they’re something special and look down on everyone. Then they could use a little bit of the humbling effects of their problems.
What’s weird though is that even though I want to help people on a personal level, I never get involved in a charity or volunteer effort (charities and the like for pets are my exception because I love animals in general more than I’ll ever love people in general). I think in a way it dehumanizes things for me. It takes away that personal aspect of knowing someone, of knowing their problem, and helping to solve it. I’m not saying charities aren’t a valuable service, mind you. They are, for sure. But for me to really feel like I’m helping, I’d have to get to know the person I’m helping face-to-face (or computer screen to computer screen, on rare occasions). I think unless you take each problem on an individual basis, and treat everyone uniquely, then it’s impossible to truly fix the problem. Instead it’s like putting a band-aid on the situation. It’ll help to mend the wound over time perhaps, but only in a superficial sense. Your body (or in the case of a person’s problems their own mind) mends the wound. The band-aid merely stops it from getting worse than it was from exposure to outside elements.
But sometimes a person’s own body can’t mend the wound. Sometimes a band-aid just isn’t enough. Certainly my own problems are not the sort that any charity efforts can help. And I’m stuck in the situation I’m in because I actually care about people too much. I can’t bear to break free of them because I know the kind of pain I’d be causing them. I’ve been told I need to ignore that and just make it quick, but I feel there’s still time to make things better so that breaking free doesn’t have to hurt them. I’ve given myself a time limit though, and I pray I have the strength to stick to it, but until (or if) the time comes I can’t possibly know.
But by now (as usual) I’m far off topic, so lets return to the concept that really when you break it down, people are all the same. It’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? To think that the creepy guy on the bus is just like you in a way? Or that lecherous boss of yours has some deep dark insecurity just like you? Or perhaps that blogger you read sometimes “really gets” the way you feel inside even though you’ve never really talked to him about any of your problems at all.
Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Everyone needs someone they can count on, don’t they? I’m just offering to be that someone.