By Cleophas Opaty
The fact is that our world exists within a sad reality. We are completely alone in this world and anyone that tells you otherwise is simply lying to you or is too ignorant to understand what it is they are truly saying. You yourself are the only person that you can and ought to rely on. You may say to yourself that you have friends that are there to support you and that you have family that is there to help you when you need help.
This may be true, but it does not change the fact that when push comes to shove and the end is nigh, you are alone — completely. As the saying goes: you come into this world alone and you depart from it alone.
The sooner you come to accept this statement, the sooner you can begin to rely on yourself for all it is that you need from life. Friends are very important in our lives and if we are lucky enough they love us. If you were to tell me that your friends would be there for you if you called on them, I’d believe you. If you were to say that your friends will always be there for you 100% of the time and would sacrifice anything for you, then I’d have to ask you if you were serious.
There will come a time, sooner or later when your friends let you down — no matter how good of friends they are, they are bound to let you down at least once during the duration of your friendship. This is only human nature; we all make mistakes and poor decisions from time to time.
Even if your friends were to always have your back and be there to support you, you have to keep in mind that they have lives of their own. You may be besties at the moment and may remain so for a long time. However, one of you is likely to get married, start a family and drift away. Even if you do keep in touch, you will no longer be as important to them as their wife and kids — as it should be. That’s what it comes down to: how important could you possibly be to other people.
If you imagine life and death situations — the most serious of situations — how many people do you know that would risk their lives for you? How many do you know that would sacrifice their lives for yours? The answer is zero. The fact is that there will always be a circumstance under which your friends will let you down. If there is at least one situation in which your friends would not be there for you, then you should conclude never to rely on friends.
If you can’t rely on something 100% of the time then you should not rely on them ever — by definition, they are not entirely reliable. The only people that you could arguably say may consider giving up their lives to save yours are members of your family — most likely one of your parents. Parents share a bond with their children that at times can be extraordinarily strong.
But again, we are not contemplating over whether our parents would risk their lives for us, but rather whether or not they are entirely reliable and therefore deserve to be relied upon. Of course, the answer is again no. I am sure that you have plenty of examples yourself as to why you can’t always count on your parents.
The reason why human beings are unreliable is because we are egocentric creatures. In our world, we are the center of it. Everything we know and experience involves our existence. Our mental properties are focused on us and always put us ahead of others. This is not to say that you cannot put someone else ahead of yourself — but in order to do so, you will have to be focused and do so with strong intent.
When things are important then we can easily put someone’s well-being ahead of our own. However, if we don’t give the particular event importance — even if it were to hold importance for the other person — then we are unlikely to focus on that other person and will automatically hone in on our own wants and needs instead.
We are built to survive on our own, yet simultaneously could not stay sane if isolated indefinitely — we both need and don’t need other people. Nevertheless, one ought to learn how to rely on oneself and not on friends and family. There will come a time when they let you down or are no longer there to lend you support.
Learning to stand on your own two feet all the time will make it easier to stand alone when things get ugly and there is no one there to help you; it could mean a matter of life or death, if not of your body then of your sanity. This is not to say that we shouldn’t ever ask for help — we should ask as often as possible. However, we must be ready to take on any burden ourselves if that is the only possible solution.