“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?“
You know what’s wrong with the world?
What’s wrong with the world is that we’re all falling trees. We sway this way and that, our roots becoming tiny bit more exposed with every movement, until finally we come crashing down to the Earth. Face first.
But that isn’t the problem. The problem is that as we face plant on to the dry soil, we also insist on screaming our brains out, so that it is clear to the rest of the world that we are, in fact, falling. Here’s an example
Mou: Hey girl, what’s been up with you?
Ne: *bawling her eyes out* You have no idea how terrible my life is! Everything is falling apart. I don’t know what I’m going to do…actually, no, I have pretty good idea: I’m going to end up on the streets, selling my hair like the woman from the Gift of the Mage! *dissolves into hysterical, incoherent speech with intermittent high-pitched wailing*
Mou: Wow…you have issues, huh?
Ne: Only mental…
Mou: Oh you poor girl
Ne: *sniffs* Yeah…I’m a mess…
And as sad as it is, I am no exception myself either. I do wail and sob and complain about everything and it is pathetic and I would like to stop but I can’t. It gets old real fast, doesn’t it?
A friend of mine, while we were talking, made an observation, he said that for him, when he does something even remotely worthwhile, he doesn’t think it actually matters until someone praises him for it. He wasn’t really proud of the fact but he thought it highly unlikely that that side of him would change.
Does that mean, as humans, we’re always seeking validation? Is that why we stand up just a little bit straighter when somebody acknowledges our achievements; why we feel considerably better about ourselves when appreciated by complete strangers?
I think that is one thing I don’t like about being human…you get needy. When you’re down, you seek sympathy; when you’re happy, you absolutely have to shout it out to the world (like dear old Leo in Titanic); when you do something good, you demand for it to be noticed—just doing it is never enough (you might convince yourself it is, but there is always a tiny, dark, deep-down part of you that would feel just a wee bit better if somebody were to know of your good deed); when you’re scared, you need company—reassurance. You need people to know you, think about you—remember you, because if they don’t then your life never amounted to anything. Basically, you are nothing except for the joint compilation of others’ ideas and opinions about you.
So about the tree, I suppose what was being said was, even if it did make a sound, it wouldn’t matter, because no one would be there to acknowledge it—hence, it would be as though it never existed in the first place.
I don’t like the fact that humans can relate to that. I don’t think self-worth should be based off other people’s words. I don’t think you are any lesser of a man if you were to paint a masterpiece and never show it to the world, than the boy who sings his heart out to everyone and then scours the audience for validation of his talents. It doesn’t matter if anybody actually remembers you—a worthwhile cause, is a worthwhile cause regardless of the amount of recognition it receives.
You’re you—not that girl, or the boy with the crazy eyes, or nobody or even anybody. You’re you—not just an empty body.