Whew, that's a lot of good questions. I'll try to answer a few.
Depression: It can be caused by many things, but it certainly is a
'dis-ease'. It can be a dissatisfaction with one's place in the world,
personal events, life in general, etc. It can also have biological roots
with a chemical imbalance in the brain. People who are obsessive can find
flaws with themselves and others and just obsess over it to the exclusion of
all else, including the beauty around them. For those without a biological
cause, a change of venue, routine, job, living arrangement, etc. can be just
the cure needed. Also helping out those LESS fortunate can help because not
only doesn't the world revolve around your personal problem, but then you're
also doing something that makes you FEEL GOOD. For those with biological
problems, consult with a recommended physician or naturapath (healer,
massage therapist, accupuncturist, herbologist, etc.). Hopefully they can
help restore the balance need for a healthy body and outlook on life.
Your Mom: I assume your mom is on the verge at times. You care because you
love your mom, and want her to be happy. That's perfectly natural. But
there's no need to worry too much about it. It's better to focus your
energy on being the best you can be, and this would include caring for your
mom. It's very difficult to help others until you take good care of
yourself. Then others are helped just being around you. Give your mom
POSITIVE ENERGY, not worried emotionality. That always helps! Good luck!
How we look, and what we do: People care about their looks because it's a
reflection of how they feel inside. People who obsess over looks and social
status are never happy with themselves or others and tend to be very
judgemental. The key here is to love yourself, and your beauty will shine
regardless of how much makeup you put on (or how little) or what kind of
clothes you wear. We are socialized to be successful and this means not
just a good career, but also a good mate and children are signs of success.
This is important on a species level that people who are good providers are
the ones to reproduce their successful DNA. So society reinforces this with
hundreds of social cues (fancy cars, exclusive memberships, first-class,
etc.) to indicate that that individual possesses traits that are valuable
given the prevailing values of society. In our society competition is the
means by which people are valued. We have sports, game shows, exams,
contests, promotions, etc. to give us a chance to "excel" in some way, thus
flaunting our superiority in public.
The problem is that these values are relative from one society to the next.
The best hunter in the Rainforest = the best herder in the plains = the best
Java programmer = the best looking babe on Baywatch. These people get
rewarded in their societies and are admired and have the best selections for
mates. Well maybe not the java programmer! :)
Anyway this shows how important it is for alternative communities to agree
on values so that they can offer other means to be successful. On a commune
it's important to cooperate, work hard, and get along with others.
Competition is minimized. Individuals are supposed to measure their own
success by how well the group succeeds meeting its self-sufficiency needs.
Hippies reject the competitive role and seek not success but true happiness.
This comes from finding peace within and loving oneself. Then sharing that
love with others. Love is its own reward!
Marriage: Again marriage is part of the social success that society rewards.
It has ancient roots and is bound up with religious dogma. It's presumed
(by society and religion) that stable relationships yield healthier
children. This may be very true. There is a correlation (statistically)
between juvenile deliquency, and other serious social problems and broken
families. So by laying a heavy guilt trip on people to get married, society
is trying to encourage long term relationships and stable families. Once
upon a time we had extended families with several generations living
together. This is a very "natural" situation where more social roles are
available and the family ties grow ever stronger as the family ages.
Grandparents make the best baby sitters, and have the time and knowledge to
pass on to grandchildren. The rise of the nuclear family has just about
destroyed this concept in modern society, and is a great loss for all.
Then again marriage also lays a whole set of expectations upon people
(especially young people) that they are often unable to live up to. Thus
the high divorce rate. In Europe (esp. Northern Europe), there is a whole
nother attitude towards marriage. People now wait until their thirties to
get married, if at all! This has resulted in a very low birth rate, which
is causing problems too.
So marriage has several important functions. It serves to provide a stable
family life for children. It acts as an important legal contract giving
rights to spouse and children - esp. property and inheritance. It's a
measure of social status that supposedly keeps the partners from spreading
their DNA around.
Is marriage necessary in today's world? My opinion is that it reflects the
maturity of those who enter it or don't. It's a serious commitment and not
to be taken lightly. Depending on the couple's moral development it may be
needed to provide the guidance (rules) they need to promote stability in
their relationship. Or they might not need it because they find social
rules stifling to individuality and personal freedom. Or because they
reject the values behind the contract or feel that love transcends laws
while society limits love. Ultimately each person must decide what's right
for them and their dharma.
Breast size: Are yours large or small? Just kidding....:) This again has
to do with the first question - why we are judged by how we look? Breast
size is important in 'primitive' societies as they can indicate a woman's
ability to feed children. In American society breasts are kept hidden
(relatively) and as such are novelties and the subject of much speculation
and fantasy by men and esp. adolescent boys. In other countries where
breasts are not such a 'hidden treasure', men often fantasize about legs or
ears or hair or body smell. It's always what you can't have or see that
piques your interest. Unfortunately in our sexually hung up society, people
tend to make judgements about others based upon how they look. Depending
upon how you flaunt your assets you can be labeled (whore, dyke, old maid).
Again this serves the purpose of indicating to the opposite (or same) sex
your availability as a sexual partner. It's such an instinctive thing.
Just be aware of the signals you are sending out. It will determine the
response you get from others.
Being young: They say 'youth is wasted on the young'. This is because when
we are young we have all this wonderful energy and enthusiasm and a healthy
body, but don't know what to do with it. Your point is well taken because
society tends to limit what young people can do in terms of activities (like
driving, sex, drinking) and opportunities (dating, jobs, travel). So it's a
dilemma to be so virile and vivacious but restricted to utilize it for fun
or pleasure or gain. It's like the eternal complaint that you need
experience to get a job, but you can't get a job without experience. We
older folks with lots of experience find that we can't do the things we used
to because our bodies aren't what they were. We're slower, heavier and
can't think as fast as we used to.
Those things that you feel as limitations will soon be lifted. And once
they are you'll get to do everything you want. And guess what? They'll be
a thrill for a moment and then once you've done them, you won't understand
what all the fuss was about. I think it's best for parents to decide based
upon a child's maturity (not necessarily age) when they are ready for
certain activities. No two people are alike, and they need to be treated on
an individual basis, not based upon random criteria (age, grade, breast
size, etc.). If you feel you are being unfairly limited, speak up, give
examples of others you know who have more freedom, and be adult about it.
Reason with those in charge. The worse situation is that you have to wait a
few more years. Just don't make such a big deal about it because few things
are worth it.
Who are you? You are who you are because of genetic, social and moral
evolution. You are a product of your parent's DNA and your social milieu.
If you're not happy with yourself you need to delve within to find out why.
Sometimes the social situations we face are not to our liking. Once you
reach a certain maturity you can do something about it. Leave town, go to
college, find a lover, whatever. One thing you can be sure of, things
change. Sometimes we must initiate the change within ourselves first, then
all the circumstances around us change, usually for the better. Just make a
conscious effort to understand yourself and those around you and you will
learn how to please yourself and others. It's really not so hard to do.
And once you find yourself, the path is an easy stroll, with you in control.
Right vs Wrong: Truth is a relative thing. That is; what I see is truth is
my truth, what you see is yours. We are subjective beings, and objective
truth does not exist. If we all saw things the same way this world would be
very boring indeed. The real trick, and one path towards enlightment is to
Realize Empathy. That is to be able to relate so much to another person's
point of view that you merge. Love is pure empathy. You become the other
by feeling what they feel, no longer judging them, thus loving them
unconditionally. That is the highest form of Love. When you experience
this you become one with everything since that is TRUTH. Truth therefore is
neither subjective nor objective, it's totally immersive and inclusive.
When you love there is no I and you and them. There is only love. And
THAT'S the truth. =:)
I hope this answered your questions! They were the best I've seen in
awhile. You are very intelligent, and continue to question EVERYTHING, may
you find the answers!
-The Old Hippy