Monday, October 26, 2015

Escape Hatch Problem

I have always felt very uncomfortable when I don't feel understood. When thoughts are bubbling round my head, I am able to recognised that they are only partially formed. Some will die. Some will survive. They will all change. I used to think honesty was about opening your mouth and letting those thoughts run free before they were ready. I really struggled with this. Often my ideas change as they are leaving my mouth. Often they change as I read the body language of the person who is hearing them. Speaking is one way of giving ideas life. Of testing them out away from the relative safety of our minds. 

Unless you feel like the person listening is on your side, it can feel like each utterance, each action, even each thought, is a test. Will the person stay? Rich and I talked about the 'escape hatch problem'. The world is so big now, and we are so mobile, that as soon as things become uncomfortable, we can move on. We don't have to fight with ideas that conflict with ours. We don't have to sit with things we don't like that aren't going to change. We always feel like the world is so big, we just have to find our own individual Utopia.

My Utopia hasn't solved all its problems. It still has death, disease, fighting, and disagreement. It still has people who do things completely differently to me. It still has people I don't understand. The thing that defines my Utopia is that issues don't get more mental space than they deserve. Suffering is normalised. If a pain is Chronic, it is recognised. The sufferer receives empathy. The sufferer is not defined by their Chronic pain. They are able to participate and enjoy the other things life has to offer. My Utopia is defined by improved communication and an expanded definition of who we are.

I believe we are made up of connections. These connections are formed every time we interact with the world. What we do matters. What we touch. What we taste. What we say. The more we connect, the more meaning we create, and that is who we are. We are the meaning. I believe the more we are able to provide space for people to communicate without angst that connections will be severed, the more we will move towards my idea of Utopia.

Honesty isn't about the words. Honesty is space and time.
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