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Ask The Old Hippy: Why, Why, Why???   (Views: 23,491)


Contributed by skip on December 13th, 2001

hello old hippy. I need someone wise to talk to. I have these questions in the back of my mind. What are we? What is the point? Day in day out all we just go on living our pointless boring lives hoping to make a mark in the world. Then we die quicker than we came in. And its all over. Like we go thru a load of crap everyday only to die and let it all be over. It doesn't make sense. I just feel like there should be more.

Why should my best friend suffer from depression? Why should i worry about my mom losing it? Why should we all be so concerned with the way we look when we leave the house and so concerned with being a succesful doctor or lawyer? Why should people get married if it is easier to just be in love and stay together til death? Why am I judged by the size of my breasts? And why does being young hold me back from so much when this is the time of my life I will always refer to? Why am I who I am? Why do we all think we're so right and everyone with a different point of view is so wrong? I don't get it. there has to be more.

Please respond. I know my questions might be a pain or a bore but I really need someone or something right now. I am questioning not only my existence but everyone and everything.

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


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