Life

We cling to life. As humans, we cherish it more than anything. Faced with death, we will do almost anything to get a few minutes, or even seconds, of extra life. But do we take time to examine what life really means?

A good 90% of our lives is based on routine, or habit. We get up at a certain time, eat breakfast after washing and other ablutions. For the largest part of our lives, we then set off to work, in jobs that most of us would rather not do. Mostly, we make more money for people who already have enough. They in turn make even more money, for people who will never need any more, but just like to know that it is there. A small percentage of the working population do some good. They work in fields that help others, generally for much lower pay and expectations. But they do it anyway.

Most people have children. Some do this to continue their line, others because they are too stupid to know better. A few even do it to avoid work, and to be able to enjoy their leisure time, courtesy of the benefits available. But they are few and far between. Most people struggle. They struggle to learn, to fit in, to raise families, and to earn enough to provide for them. They struggle with jobs that are beneath them, on salaries that barely meet their needs. They try to relate to family, to siblings, even to their own children, in a world that constantly fails to live up to their expectations. Most times they fail, falling at every hurdle.

We live in societies that make rules, demands, codes to live by. We often don’t understand them, but we do our best to comply. We observe the rich getting richer, their children reaping the benefits. Then we accept that as ‘the way things are.’ Lives spent working hard, doing our best, and playing the game. Avoiding criminality where we can, trying to do the decent thing, and live a quiet family life. When nothing improves, and things just get harder, and more difficult, we often blame ourselves for lack of drive, or enthusiasm. Perhaps have another child, see if that gives us something to aim for. More fodder for the deteriorating education system, someone else to work for a minimum wage, no contract hours job, in years to come.

Life is hard, but we rarely face that fact. After working all your life, you are derided as a pensioner: sidelined, of no consequence. Before you even start out on the road of work, you have mountains to climb to gain acceptance. Once employed, you are grateful to be little more than a cog in a wheel, providing services for the elite that don’t even really need them. In short, there is no golden age. Life remains the same as you grow. A struggle, rarely a joy, and something you never asked your parents for in the first place.

The truth is, like it or not, life is overrated. So why do we love it so much?

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32 thoughts on “Life

  1. a great discussion going on Pete, and your shelved books character has some very valid points, but I’m with V~man and his roller-coaster, heights and depths my whole life through.. so far. πŸ™‚

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  2. The way I see it Pete, life can be complex. Anyone who expects life to be always happy isn’t experiencing life properly. There’s joy to be found in the world. I guess what I’m saying is life is a roller coaster that can go either way.

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  3. Life is hard… but it can also be wonderful. Maybe I am very lucky but I love my job and I have been surrounded by people all my life who have loved and supported me and made me feel like they needed me. Now when we come to the question of whether life has any point…. well then I would say no. It’s all completely pointless but it’s easier if you don’t think about that too much.

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    1. Great comment, Abbi. It can be wonderful at times. The stillness of water in a lake, the clouds in a blue sky. Just more of that, and less of the rest, and we might have it sorted.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I don’t love life at all. We are told that’s wrong and selfish – even in a godless age it is still regarded as a sin, because it makes other people uncomfortable. Staying alive for the sake of the few people or single person whose own happiness depends on you – love, in a word – is the only good reason I see for putting up with it.

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    1. Making others uncomfortable is something I have often done, though not always intentionally. As you say, sometimes we own the debt of companionship to some around us. As good a reason as any to carry on. This is a segment of a longer piece that was originally about equality. I thought it might work as a stand-alone post, to provoke thought.
      Best wishes as always, Pete. x

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  5. I’m with you on this one, Pete. In every respect. My job turned into to a very hard struggle and left me burned out. Then I faced so many hurdles over the past couple of years to step out that I was questioning all my actions, but now I have left that part of the struggle behind me, finally! Then, just a few days after we arrived in Norway, my mum had a stroke. Life is precious.
    Best wishes for you all and big hug for Ollie,
    Dina & co x

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      1. Thank you so much for kind words, Jude. Yes, she is recovering well, which makes us all happy and gives hope for the future. The problem is, her house is old and not fit for old age, but she is attached to it and the garden as well. This is everyday problems and decisions in families all over the world, one day we are right in the middle of it and when it hits you, it has an impact. πŸ™‚
        We’re managing, a positive attitude helps a lot. πŸ™‚
        Dina xx

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        1. Good to hear that, Dina. I well remember the shock when my own Mum became seriously ill, at a time in my life when I was still not really ready to deal with it, despite always expecting it to happen. I am sure that you and KB will manage, as you have each other as great support. X

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        2. Yes, old age can be a huge problem to families not just the elderly person. My M-i-L is in a sheltered bungalow so it is fit for purpose and she still thinks she is independent (she is 92) which she is as the rest of us paddle away madly trying to keep everything running for her. Keeping positive is a good attitude to have, my OH gets very stressed about the situation unfortunately.

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          1. We figured we would deal with it as and if it happens, time slipping by and we wanted (or at least I wanted) to get close to the coast. We didn’t expect to be in rental accommodation for five years!

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    1. Sorry to hear about your Mum, Dina. I hope that the doctors are able to help her to recover, and that the worry and stress do not take too great a toll on your own well-being.
      We will be thinking of you, down the road in Beetley. X

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      1. Thank you, Pete, that’s very kind of you. My mum is recovering much faster than we dared to hope, so there’s a lot to be grateful for. Which also goes well with your text. What does one expect and hope for in life and what kind of attitude does one have.
        It’s a pity our school system doesn’t offer life lessons. πŸ™‚
        Dina xx

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  6. Glad I managed to escape much of the drudgery you describe Pete, but why do I cling onto life? Who else would, feed the pigs, rabbits, goats, dogs, cats and chickens?

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    1. This post actually started out as the introduction to a much longer piece. It has been knocking around for a while, as I was unhappy with the development of the rest. At one stage, It was the prologue to a (very long) short story; and in another incarnation, part of a speech from a character in a possible book.
      I finally deleted it all, but left this part, and thought I would post it, and see what was made of it.
      Cheers, Pete.

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  7. There is a lot of truth in your observations about life. A lot of people do find it meaningless. And those who find it meaningful are often too busy to actually enjoy it. We humans go out of our way to complicate the mechanisms of life. And we have little respect for the life of others, not only in terms of quality, but in terms of actual flesh and blood. All we can do is find some activity that deludes us into thinking it makes life worthwhile. Or we can treat others well, hoping that we’ll either receive a little goodness in return, or that we can at least feel good about ourselves.

    I do think that as we age, we ponder existence a lot more frequently, and more profoundly. We realize more than ever before how precious life is, at least in biological terms. Or maybe in terms of supply and demand (time is in shorter supply as we age, and yet we demand more of it). At any rate, as democratizemoney more or less stated, the “alternative” is much less desirable.

    To cheer you up, Pete, I’d like to quote Z from “Antz,” a film you said you’ve watched.

    “My father flew away when I was just a larva. My mother didn’t have much time for me… When you have five million siblings, it’s difficult to get attention. I feel physically inadequate–I’ve never been able to lift more than ten times my own weight. Sometimes I think I’m just not cut out to be a worker. But I don’t have any other options. I was assigned to trade school when I was just a grub. The whole system just…makes me feel…insignificant.”

    Oh, maybe that wasn’t so cheerful after all.

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    1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply David, and the Antz quote, which I do remember.

      As I answered to Eddy, (above) this was originally a speech by a character in a book I was once working on. It was an idea about a contemporary working-class revolution in the UK. This was part of a long monologue from one of the lead characters, explaining why he had become involved.
      I ditched the project, when I thought how preposterous it was, the idea of British people in this day and age abandoning apathy long enough to be able to organise effectively…
      It was later going to be developed into a short story, but that didn’t work either.

      Best wishes, Pete.

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  8. A sad cynical view of the world, some of us have children and experience e the wonderment of innocence, learning and joy. Some of us work to create, To provoke, to examine to continue and so much more. If we do not construct our jobs as above or beneath then we may see them simply as contributory. Routine is not bad unless we construct it so – it may be the rhythm of life – doing something we want to do – keeping our families safe and well – enjoying love and warmth and fun. What about the joy from music and literature and nature and all the other things explored on this blog- maybe we cling toife because it is good, enjoyAble, challenges us, and because the things and people around us make it worthwhile .

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    1. Thanks very much indeed for your alternative view, and thoughtful comment. I was hoping to get more like this, offering all the wonderful reasons why life can be so precious. This started out as a speech from a world-weary character in the draft for a book. I was aware that it reflected many of my own thoughts too, so thought I would post it anyway, and see what happened.
      Best wishes from Norfolk. Pete.

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