Often repeated in pop media is the slogan, “Only WE are responsible for our own happiness.” This notion is one of the greatest denials of of life ever foisted on human beings. It is a symptom of the split between humans and nature, and humans from one another – a denial of the essential connection between ourselves and all life.
There ARE things terribly wrong with society in the US that we as individuals are not solely responsible for. By placing the blame on each of us for not being able to cultivate enough internal happiness and bootstrap-pulling in the face of these conditions, those who pretend to know best for us shift the responsibility from the source of the problems to those who suffer as a result of them. The poor are told that their impoverished existence is “their fault.” The starving are told they are not “entitled” and are “lazy whiners.” Those who seek respite in drugs and alcohol from the harsher aspects of Western culture are told that the problem is with themselves, and that society is just fine, thank you. Ironically, people are prescribed in record amounts medications to allow them to tolerate the “just fine.”
We ARE entitled! As unique and precious whole/parts of the web of life, we are entitled to be and think and feel, to be regarded as sacred citizens of all nature, deserving of its abundance – and not discarded as standardized human blame-units. It is OKAY to be depressed. It is OKAY to feel anxiety. It is OKAY to experience incomprehensible grief. By doing so we realize our essential humanity, and are empowered to take action and bring about change: not just for ourselves, but for the society that would prefer to hold us at fault and at bay for not “being happy” when things suck.
Friends Along the Road