Saturday, March 22, 2014

Damage Control

Yesterday, I was given some life advice in the form of a philosophy, and it has been on my mind ever since.

"All of life is damage control".'

My first reaction was to tell the person who said this to me that it was depressing. What do you mean, all our lives are is controlling potential damage?  If that is the case, why strive for anything?  If there is no dream to be attained, and we are really destined to spend our lives containing one flare up after another, then what's the point?

Not being very philosophical myself (I really try to live in the here and now), I had to think about this statement for quite a while before it made any sense to me, at which time I realized that it is actually incredibly true.

Truth: we are all going to get old. As we do, our bodies will begin to deteriorate. We will inevitably develop health problems.  Ultimately you could put it under the category of "we're all gonna die". However, so many humans spend huge parts of their lives eating healthy, researching their choices, exercising, building muscle, and taking care of their bodies. Damage control! Sure, the sad part of life is that we are all going to get old, but all those other things can put our bodies in a position to make it easier and less painful.

Another truth: everyone has to live their own life. We are all responsible for, at the very least, making sure we get ourselves up every day, clothe and feed ourselves, and provide for any other need that may occur.  We know we have to do all these things, so why not find someone to help us and make it enjoyable along the way?  Ta-da, the hunt for the significant other.  Sure, we all dream of finding the perfect person for us, the one who makes us so blissfully happy that we truly believe we are living a fairy tale.  And some find it, and that's wonderful.  However, one of the truths behind the striving to find a great partner is, again, damage control.  Everyone has to meet certain needs, and those who choose to have children are responsible for even more needs.  Having someone to help you (both literally and emotionally) can control the "damage"- making it easier to handle everyday obstacles.

A third truth: we are all consumers. Everything costs money.  So, we go to school, maybe get a degree, and find a job where we can make some.  There are people that love their jobs.  Sometimes, I have considered myself one of them.  But a paycheck is more damage control.  It costs money to put a roof over your head, food in your stomach and clothes on your body.  All a higher paying job (what most of us aspire to) is, really, is a way to afford to control the damage of LIFE. Clothes wear out, roofs deteriorate, food prices go up (or, like many, you get scared of what they are putting in your food so you spend the extra to try and be healthy - see first truth). Striving for a better job is just a way to keep the damage down, too.

I believe that if you think about this, you can probably come up with several instances in life that fit this model.  And I am not saying that all of life is a series of reactions to things, but rather that we prepare ourselves to control the impending "damage".

Well, now that I have gone and gotten all philosophical on you so early on a Saturday morning, it's time to go do something rash, in the here and now.

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