“Sweet dreams are made of these. Who am I to disagree? I traveled the world and the seven seas. Everybody’s looking for something.” – Eurythmics
In life, you can only be one of two things, the hammer or the nail. Accept it. I used to spend most of my time thinking about how it’s not nice to “pound” on people. You know those conversations about how we need more love in the world, violence is wrong, peace on earth, and debates about who is responsible for it all? That was me. Swinging between denial and disgust, all the while failing to realize the most important factor. It may not change. For some time I held onto this naivete that the majority of people in the world will choose compassion, morals, love, and good karma over exploitation, destruction, and pain (of/towards others of course).
As I age, I realize that most of life revolves around the need to survive. Things like drugs, sex, violence, war, politics, materialism, genocide, love, hope, and success really are derivatives of the survival instinct. Everyone is trying to LIVE which means everyone is trying to survive. If survival simply consisted of the need for food and water, it would not be so bad, however, people also deem love, power, money, wisdom, and status as integral parts of life, making the temptation to “pound” you more like a necessity for existence. Such a grime picture, huh? Sorry. But, I think it’s an important part of life to realize. I promise, I am not trying to turn you cold, cynical, numb, or encourage selfishness.
To be honest, it really is essential, biological, and innate, however, you do not have to place survival over love and compassion. But just understand that not everyone will do the same for you. So in actuality, life may really be the balancing act of defense, offense, strategy, love, forgiveness, and pain. If you can understand why people do what they do, you can prepare. If you can anticipate the maneuvers of others, you can avoid and dodge more hurt or disappointment. And if you can avoid more instances of being the nail, you can eventually possess the hammer. Herein lies the possible only redemption within the dynamic of the hammer and the nail – do not spend most of your time complaining about how this dynamic is not fair, justice, holy, or “right,” but rather become the hammer and choose to use it to build rather than destroy.
Life, Life Me, please…