Group therapy yesterday was interesting. We discussed the delicate balance of the world and how it can all change when you remove one seemingly unimportant individual from the equation. Therefore, we can understand that everyone is important and that no one person means more than the other. I'm not sure if this helped or not.
Think of it this way: if everyone is important equally, then no one is really important. We are all the same. However, the good doctor continued to insist that we are not all the same; we are all equally important, yes, but we are all different from each other - unique. It is our uniqueness that makes us special, makes us needed. He used the example that a blacksmith and a baker are of the same importance, like everyone else. But without the blacksmith, you would not be able to have weapons, shields, wheels, horse shoes, etc. Without the baker, there would be no one to make the bread, no one to supply us with the ingredients we needed to feed our family.
I countered that without the baker, people would have to learn to make the bread themselves. They would have to cook with and for their own families and perhaps this was better; it would bring them closer and teach them how to be self reliant.
He then asked, what of the blacksmith?
I replied that it was the same. They would have to learn how to do it themselves - making and fitting horse shoes, wheels...
His counter was: And without weapons or shields? How would we fight and defend?
I simply replied: I'm Buddhist. I don't fight. I make peace through reason.
He was stunned and insisted that while self reliance was good, it was the lack of relying on people with things we couldn't handle on our own that got us where we were right now. That being self reliant is okay, but there is such a thing as too much self reliance. We all need someone we can turn to, someone to depend on, and vice versa. He said that was the difference between individuals living in the same area and a community.
The example he used this time was a clock. All the cogs fit together perfectly and work in harmony to make the clock run. But what if they all moved independent? What if they just went whichever way they felt like because they only relied on themselves, not others? What if they refused to fit together? The clock would not run.
It was quite interesting and gave me a lot to think about last night. I can see by his reasoning some of what I had done wrong.
I lived for my work; it consumed my life. I had no social life - no friends, no family, no girlfriend to lean on... And when work was suddenly taken from my life (I'm still on leave), what did I have? Nothing and no one. I had no one to share my troubles with and in place of work, I let my troubles consume me. Then, I felt I could not handle it and had no one to help carry the burden, so... I hung myself.
On a whim, an old friend stopped by. He knew that the holidays were rough and that I was taking leave from work and that was what I lived for. He thought he'd surprise me since I haven't seen him in years. Thankfully, he found me in time. I had just fallen unconscious. I can talk about it now without pain. Though I still don't really see him (he lives far from me), I at least know that there are people out there that would miss me if I was gone.
I think that's the point the doctor should have made - not that the baker and blacksmith were needed for a functioning society, but that people would miss them. Because they cared.