So, I seem to have been running a theme of happiness, or at least optimism, through my last few posts. I like optimism, you see. Anyone who knows me in person will be slightly bemused by this, because outwardly, I’m not always optimistic. Sometimes I’m downright pessimistic. I like to refer to it as realism; I like to know how things work, and I don’t like things that hide how they operate from me. For example, homeopathic medicine unnerves me slightly, because I don’t always understand how it works. The chemical reactions in medicine however, are something I can understand.
I think this is the same for lots of people; the emergence of science began to disprove, or at least make unlikely, the existence of divine powers. We are human, and so we tend to believe what we see and what we can feel. We don’t like power we can’t control, and I think it’s almost an arrogance of species that we think we can control everything our world consists of.
Some people however are remarkably strong in that believe in whatever they want to, even when evidence, or events in their lives challenges the ideas they have. Everyone, at some point believes in something different to someone else. That’s why during Fresher’s Week, at university, politics and philosophy are generally topics of conversation that are avoided. Part of the bonding process is avoiding contention, and finding common ground. In a university setting, the common ground tends to be making arrangements for a night out. We don’t moan about the washing up until much later on, until we know each other better. You don’t know people you live with until such time as they’re grumpy, and you’re grumpy, and you’re all feeling awful. Or when you’ve all got upcoming deadlines. I think people reveal themselves then, because the stress, and the hangovers bring out the worst in people.
I suppose this idea could apply to all environments, in all walks of life. In a work environment, you don’t moan about your job until you know people better, until you know what the atmosphere is like. You don’t take liberties until much later on. It’s probably one of the hardest things to do in the world; establish what the appropriate code in a social situation is. In computer games such as Sims 3, relationships pop up in little measuring bars; in life we go in completely blind, and feel our way through the dark.
Moving through the dark is character building though; you have to offend people sometimes, to know how to apologise. Most people aren’t born with the innate ability to know when they are wrong; sometimes you have to apologise. At some point during adolescence, people have to realise the difference between hiding from someone, or just thrashing it out. Relationships aren’t formulaic, and what offends one person won’t offend another. We just have to bridge the gap between regional differences in humour, and try to know when we’re wrong.
I did warn you all; I’m feeling philosophical, and rather optimistic, too.