Let us start by reminding you of what I believe are the secrets to a happy life – for all.
The catch being, of course, that these principles only work is we all apply them.
However, there have been Communist states, Fascist states, Democratic states. I want to believe there could be (I have to make it up) an Individualistic state.
So, here is the core of the Constitution for this spanking new state, the State of I, an Individualistic State, for those that missed it.
The implications of applying those principles to anything are so massive I don’t know where to start. Just think of anything, anything at all in your life in this society that isn’t perfect or completely beautiful, and you will see at the core there is someone who is not getting enough attention, for better or for worse. A person who is unhappy, or a greedy little bastard, or feels lonely, or was brought up spoilt and so knows no better. Is it so absurd then to presume that, assuming we CAN change things around so that society actually can care and pay attention about every single individual out there, society itself can change?
Just think of all the sweeping assumptions we make. Think of everyone around you, this very moment. Look at every person sitting in desks, in the bus, on the train. Then look again. See where they might come from, where they might be going, who they might be feeling. It doesn’t matter whether they are “chavs”, “middle class”, “stuck up their arse”. Do they stop being “people”, “colleagues”, “nurses”, “bus drivers” and become individuals? Individuals who have a story to tell, a life to live. If that doesn’t happen, look again. Keep looking. If nothing happens still, then you are a very, very bad person. Your job should not involve dealing with any people at all. Which is good, no harm in it, as long as you’re working on your own, for yourself, by yourself.
I am only pointing this out to make a start in this long journey of speculation. Once you recognise we are all individuals with all sorts of issues and stories and so on, that doesn’t mean you should skip work and reach out to each one of them, help them out, lend a hand, be the Good Samaritan! It just means: please, start from this assumption.
Now, if I go to work, and my boss is in a bitchy mood, she will take it out on ME. Making my day at work hell. I will in turn take it out on my children when I get home, and my husband will have no sex and the next day he will be grumpy and I will will be most unhappy and go to work all grumpy and make my colleagues’ day miserable. And we all lived unhappily ever after and this is just the interaction of a few.
Now, let’s say for a minute that my boss feels entitled to bitch about whatever is troubling her, to “someone”. If she does, nobody will blame her. Nobody will berate her, or lose respect for her. “What!? Complaining about something? That’s PERSONAL. Leave it out of the work environment”. None of that. Let’s say she CAN. By the time she gets to me, she doesn’t make me miserable, I don’t make my children miserable, my husband has sex and I am all cheerful ad happy the next day and ready to put in a perfect day’s work, ready even to let a colleague who wasn’t as lucky as me bitch about why her day would otherwise come to a bad start.
As you can see, there is nothing caring or good-hearted about my individualistic approach. It is actually something we should do for our own good, so that WE can live in a better environment and have less need for violence and policing and correction and all that.
For today, let’s leave it at this. Just think about it. How much easier would your daily interactions be, if the person you are facing each time actually had the chance to start the day well? How much better is your buying your lunch sandwich experience if the sandwich lady is cheerful or at least serene? You get your sandwich even if she’s in a foul mood, but be aware of how that detracts from you, how your energy levels rise and fall depending on the mood of the person in front of you, for whatever reason, and for whatever length of time.