Life is the summation of experience. To say we have lived isn’t a statement made lightly. We grow old, and as our lives progress, we realize that living is about learning and that learning does not occur without suffering. It is the one constant of the human condition. To truly live is to live with the knowledge that we are all infants grasping at the tendrils of hope just over the horizon, recoiling from the inherent dangers we perceive real or imagined. To honestly exist is to realize that we know nothing of our fellow man and his struggles, we cannot grasp the depths of his insecurities and genuinely understand the turmoil that exists just beneath the surface. It is the folly of youth that seeks to reprimand and tell others right from wrong.
It is only the foolish that know all and seek to address the perceived shortcomings of their fellow travelers. That is why when we are young, we tend to believe we have it all figured out and that our way is the right way. We disrespect life without ever having lived a day in it. Each individual is unique, and each has its crosses to bear upon this grand journey of misery and despair. We find solace where we can and moments of peace that make it all worthwhile.
As we grow and evolve into more seasoned human beings, we realize that we don’t possess any inherent wisdom because our lives and our perceptions of reality are often much different than our fellow man’s. We have no more right to tell a man how he should behave or live than we have the right to muscle our way into a stranger’s home and take it for ourselves just because we can force our will upon him. We don’t sit by and watch harm done. The incontrovertible truth is that we are all lost trying in most cases to make our way through this life honorably and seeking to harm none.
Those that believe they have the answers to another man’s follies without ever bothering to sincerely try to understand that man and his viewpoints often cause more harm to society as a whole than those that actively seek to disrupt harmonious discourse. The busybodies of this world think they know what is best for everyone while it’s clear they exist in purgatories created by their misconceptions and choices. Why then do believe that they possess the answers that they haven’t even contemplated for their own lives?
They lack the courage required to make changes in their own lives and are unwilling to alter their perceptions of reality, no matter how erroneous those perceptions may be. Perception of reality isn’t reality, but it guides each individual’s actions as if it were an accurate representation. Therefore, advice, no matter how heartfelt, is always biased and colored with a disingenuous hue of hypocrisy. We no matter how old we are or how many experiences we’ve had are all infantile when it comes to judging the efficacy of our own choices, and lack the credibility of judging others for their thoughts and perceptions. We can only protect ourselves and others from physical harm that is the only unbiased approach to living. We cannot under any circumstances imagine we possess some grand knowledge that bestows upon us the ability to see within the souls of others to then impart the wisdom that none of us in reality possess. The Oracle of Delphi claimed to know all and told everyone that would listen all “wisdom” it wished to impose upon the lives of those seeking the truth. The oracle was under the influence of sulphuric gases emanating from underground sulfur deposits. The Oracle had an excuse! What excuse do we have?