My Aim Is To Help People, Connect With Humans And Write About My Social Opinions

The more of the world I see, the more I realise how much of a crisis the western world is truly in; children are no longer learning the values of mental strength, solidarity, community and patience. The reality is that my generation have been consumed by a culture that revolves around the individual, not the unit and the change in the nature of families and communities means that people are becoming less used to facing and resisting emotional pain with each other - instead, those that never really learned fall victim to the mental torture and anguish caused by depression, unrequited love, debt, family and marital breakdown etc. It is against this backdrop that I feel compelled to help those who are being overwhelmed by their quotidienne lives; when I read of peoples' suicide attempts and tales of depression, I think of how all of this could have been so easily prevented. Why aren't people taught the importance of emotional health anymore? The ability to believe in oneself and fight against the challenges of life? The conviction to seize the future by the scruff of the neck and define it? Our society is going through an even worse social breakdown than last century and I'm afraid that the lack of pain people are exposed to is giving them the impression that pain is bad and to be avoided at all costs; but we're too late - by the time a significant test of resistance is sprung, it is overwhelming to the point of suicide and more needless deaths come to pass.

I have great admiration for this website and I am uplifted to see it help people who have come to the brink to avoid falling over into the abyss. It is always great to read people speak of how connecting with others helps them get their lives on track again and survive the pain they go through. I am always so surprised at how people can be consumed by such a strong self-hatred, insecurity that plagues them night and day; in my own life, I have witnessed the lack of confidence that my own generation harbours, from those who are simply afraid of being judged to those who don't believe in themselves at all. When I experienced pain (physical and mental, mainly the latter) in my childhood, I used to dig my heels and resist it with all my strength; it made no sense to me, therefore, that the same pain had broken other people. My difference in viewpoint would go on to be a divisor between me and my friends right up to the present day. It is the hope that pain may be seen as a necessary obstacle to be overcome, not an impassable doom, that motivates my drive to help others on this site.

As well as this, I also use this site to interact with others. My friends in school simply were never pre-occupied with the underlying issues of this life. When one's only interactions with one's social group at large is at a party where the majority are drunk, something is indeed wrong with the social condition. Many people simply aren't interested in friendships and many simply prefer to remain aquaintances. It's sad to see this happen, because it allows insularisation to take place, taking the very people one cares about away into friendships where they remain cut off from the rest. Indeed, the people I used to like socialising with four years ago I have severed my friendships with and the people I care about I will only be friends with if I meet them again at college. There are still people who think about the world and want deep personal interaction and engagement, but they are harder to find and they were nearly always in the years above and below me in school. Without a doubt, personability is a quality no longer cherished in Irish society.

I see Experience Project in many ways as an antithesis to Facebook; this site is meant to be personal, profound and invigorating. Facebook, meanwhile, is a breeding ground for ego-strokingm judgementalism and a desire for novelty that puts quick, meaningless status updates above any real engagement. I never had an account, but I've still seen what goes on there and I worry when people feel the need to broadcast to their friends (or followers on Twitter) what they had for breakfast. It has pleased me from the very off that users are encouraged to share their stories and not to be afraid of being judged - there's a big problem with people and self-identity since they have become afraid of being judged by others who disapprove of their personalities based on trivialities. There is a profound world to be experienced out there and I greatly enjoy reading some of the fascinating stories from all over the planet on this site.

Speaking of stories, I love contributing them too. I have always liked having an audience for my thoughts and since Experience Project is full of like-minded people, I am better placed to find people who will contribute and discuss here than on other sites. It always feels good to express oneself and to deepen one's understanding by writing articles and responding to other peoples' and one of the things that makes this site particularly apt is the fact that each individual group attracts a range of people around one topic. In fact, the name "Experience Project" is very suitable because that's what it is - an initiative to bring stories and anecdotes together and to facilitate peoples' communication with each other.

I really hope that this site survives for a long time yet, because it would be a pity if some of the longer pieces written here were to disappear. Even though the western world is not heading in a good direction, it is possible gradually to change peoples' thinking through applying a refreshed viewpoint after learning about other peoples' experiences - after all, one of the origins of the present crisis is the fact that people are becoming less and less accustomed to striving for what they get and resisting pain when it comes. I have always believed that there is a certain need to express memories and knowledge from the past because if they stay in the mind of one person, they die with the person. If they are expressed, their legacy is preserved. Each story takes a long time to write, but it is always worth the time, especially if someone else is reading and trying to get a feel for that which is written. Of course, that which is posted will be preserved, hopefully after our very deaths. As John Keats wrote in one of his poems:

"When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain..."

He expresses therein the very value of writing for him; if he had live for even ten more years, his repertoire would be even more phenomenal; and he would still have been considered to have died young. Is this any surprise? No; after all, John Keats was a man particularly infamous for his ability to express his experiences.

Laertes

Laertes Laertes
18-21, M
2 Responses Jul 22, 2010

Hello Honeybit,<br />
<br />
I'm glad you enjoyed reading this piece, thinkers appear in all generations, mainly because a sophisticated culture will encourage and nurture thinking whereas a shallow culture will always have people who reject and will as a result analyse it and contemplate an alternative. There is definitely a consensus among certain sections that western societies have become fundamentally flawed - for my own part, some of friends reject the nonsense that has infected social culture. Others, meanwhile, embrace it. The majority, however are apathetic - I don't think they know how problematic this will be for them when they enter the real world.<br />
<br />
Laertes

One of the things that I like to do is deliberately not pay attention to who wrote a story before I read it. It never ceases to amaze me how often I am wrong about who I imagined the author to be. It is a whole different ballgame when you are introduced to a person's thinking before you are introduced to the person. Young, old, male, female... it doesn't really matter... on the inside we are humans and it is nice to converse with others of like minds... whoever they turn out to be. <br />
I have nine grandchildren and I am noticing a turn around of attitude recently. I hear them speak of yearning for a more decent, sweeter time than the times they are in... I say that's up to you what you make of your hey-days... you could be the ones to make holding hands and talking to each other an acceptable thing to do on a date instead of engaging in mindless nonsense and meaningless sex. <br />
How refreshing to read that thinking people such as yourself hail from all generations. Thank goodness.