What we are

Shower thought time: What we are, as a species, at the core of it, is hunger. Thirst. Desire. We are our needs.

There’s a reason people go to the desert to seek enlightenment – it’s because it forces us to understand our essence, which is that we are helpless in the face of our needs for shelter, food, water, human connection, and so on.

I threw human connection in there because… I was exploring a train of thought that I visit often, about how people learn to resent and dehumanize one another, and how easy it is to do when someone has something that you desperately need.

For example, a person lost in the desert dying of thirst would be justifiably furious to learn of another person turning down tap water because of the contaminants. That doesn’t necessarily make the person turning down the tap water any less rational, from their point of view, but it makes them seem heartless or even cruel, in a twisted way, to the water-deprived person.

If you know me at all, you know that this is an analogy for sexual economics, in my head, but it works for a lot of things and is an image that often pops up in my brain.

I don’t have a bow to tie this thought up with, but I guess maybe it’s worth thinking about the times you’ve been on one or the other side of this situation, and whether you could have either been more gentle with a friend who was lost in the desert, or treated someone with valid concerns about contaminated water and/or a different take on its scarcity unfairly because you were projecting a skewed world view onto them.

Personally, I’ve been on both sides of this situation many times, in various ways, some of which I’m probably not even consciously aware of. I guess that’s why I think about it so often, I’m trying to tease out the unhealthy patterns and address them.

That said, while it can FEEL like a matter of life and death, loneliness is not a situation that can be fixed by taking out your frustrations on a person with more water on-hand than you. I do understand the impulse. It may be shocking, but sweaty creeps with deep seated emotional problems are not everyone’s cup of tea, so I have been there. But. I’ve been hurt worse in the situations where I was the one in the “position of power,” which makes you start to wonder how the situation could be made better on both sides. You dig?? You jive?? Am I vibing?? Um… sick pipe dude? I think it’s time to stop talking now. Am I making sense here, to anyone?

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