The universe doesn’t care if you’re having fun


By now, I suspect that most of you know about George Sodini and his shooting rampage in an aerobics class in Pittsburgh. [1] This is certainly a tragic situation, though a statement in a recent commentary on the situation struck me as a bit interesting. [2] It seems that Sodini and similar individuals feel some sense of entitlement towards life in general, and their failure to receive their expected rewards leads them to lash out in the manner that Sodini did. Fools. As the title of this post indicates, the universe really doesn’t care what you expect to get out of your life: [3] the fact that you are a living, breathing human means absolutely nothing, and entitles you to the same. I suspect that my saying this will mean little unless you know a bit more about my situation, so here goes.

While I’m not especially old at the moment (and nowhere near as old as Sodini), I have never yet had a successful relationship with a member of the opposite sex (and before you ask, no, I don’t swing the other way); I suspect that this situation will not improve with time – I am not a fine bottle of wine. While it is an occasional source of annoyance, particularly when I see others around me enjoying that which I have never had, I have also never once considered, say, picking up a few firearms and going on a shooting rampage. Ever. What distinguishes my situation from Sodini’s (apart from sociopathy, apparently), is that I do not feel in any way entitled to female companionship. Granted, I am a reasonably successful professional (or, I was, until last year), [4] and not entirely repulsive in a physical sense, well. I know with fair certainty that I am not easily approachable, my personality tends to be a bit prickly (to say the least), and quite honestly, were I ever to be approached (unlikely, I know, but I suspect that stranger things have happened), I probably wouldn’t be paying enough attention to notice. I say these things not because I desire sympathy (I really, really don’t care if you sympathize or not), but because I want to point out first, that, like everybody else out there, I have flaws, and secondly (and more importantly) that I myself recognize said flaws. This latter point is the more important: obviously, Sodini did not understand that in all likelihood, some personality flaws in his part were effectively denying him that which he wanted most; since he was ignorant of such personal characteristics, he was unable to change them. Of course, this does not justify his actions; rather, I point this out in the hopes that others like him may, you know. Learn something.

My point here is quite simple: again, just because you expect something out of life does not mean that the universe gives a damn. If there is one universal aspect to life, it is that one way or another, you pay for what you get. [5] If you want something out of life and you’re not getting it, very likely you have only yourself to blame. Its not because the universe hates you; the universe doesn’t care. Take my situation as an example: one can do most everything “right,” and still end up with next to nothing to show for one’s efforts. I certainly don’t think the universe “owes” me anything; the only things I deserve in life are those which I earn through my own efforts and achievements. For example, simply being part of a professional field does not entitle me to respect or even recognition from my peers; whatever of those I receive should be in direct proportion to the effort I put forth to earn such accolades. And again, even if you try your best, you may not get what you want; too bad. Try again, or find something else to pursue.

So for those of you who think your situation entitles you to anything in life, get off your lazy asses, or figure out how to be content with what you’ve got. And if you think you’re doing everything “right,” and still aren’t getting what you want, take a good look in the mirror: very likely, you’re doing something wrong, but you’ll never know that unless you take stock of yourself and your actions in a rational manner. If you’re simply expecting the world to bend to your whims, you might as well address your complaints to the nearest convenient blank wall. You’re likely to be more successful that way. Honest. Would I lie to you? [6] But if you do take stock of your situation, and don’t like what you see, don’t wallow in self-pity; do something about it. For my part, I may be single with no prospects for changing that status, but I most of the time, I’m okay with that; granted, I don’t always like it, but I can live with it. So fear not; no chance of a violent rampage from me.

Oh, and for anybody out there who’s seriously considering a murder-suicide similar to that which Sodini performed, do the rest of us a favor and carry out that second part first. You might be a pathetic loser with nothing for which you should continue to live, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us are just as pathetic as you; some of us do live happy (ish) and fulfilling lives.  And hey, if nothing else, suicides tend to garner more sympathy; granted, said sympathy is generally of the posthumous variety, but these are details. [7]


[1]: CNN article, 05 August 2009

[2]: CNN article, 07 August 2009

[3]: In case you’re wondering, I’m certainly not the first to express this sentiment; I first encountered it in a slightly different form as part of Larry Niven’s “laws.” I suspect that Niven himself is also not the first to have expressed the sentiment, either.

[4]: In point of fact, I was laid off twice last year, and while the first employer did not explain why (actually, they handled the process in a manner that was, shall we say, less than polite), but the second made a point to indicate that it was solely for economic reasons, and not performance-related.

[5]: Otherwise known as TANSTAAFL. Don’t know what that means? For shame. Educate yourself.

[6]: The answer, of course, is, “Yes. Yes, I would. In a heartbeat.” What can I say? I’m a heartless jackass. And before you ask, no, I’m not surprised that I’m still single. I know what I am.

[6]: Please note: I do not endorse suicide in general, only when it would save the rest of us from an even greater tragedy. Like when some closet sociopath decides that the world owes him one, and the best way to collect is to engage in wanton life-taking. The loss of one life is tragic enough, but quite obviously, the loss of many lives is even more tragic. Also, a CYA note: if you are only considering suicide, please contact your local suicide hotline, and seek help. Life is probably not as bad as you think it is, but it is very difficult to see things this way when you’re in the midst of a downward spiral of self-pity and/or loathing. Trust me on this one.


2 Responses to “The universe doesn’t care if you’re having fun”

  1. LoneTruth Says:

    This is completely true. I think many of us have felt this way at some point in our lives, but we don’t go around shooting others.

    Personally, I internalize. I’ve been drifting in and out of suicidal phases for several years (I am 35 now). The only reason I’m still alive now is (1) I have a toddler daughter to love and care for (and who loves me completely, at least till she turns 16), and (2) Getting guns is more difficult than it sounds.

    How do I cope? Well, my daughter for one. And two, writing/blogging/filming my thoughts and ideas. My next film is called “Final Crossing”, and it’s about a loser like us & Sodini, who internalizes his loneliness and takes his own life, but realizes (too late) that there’s no going back, and death is a one-way street.

    Fun for the whole family 🙂

    • seeker312 Says:

      Well, whatever you need to do to cope with your situation.

      Minor quibble: I do not consider myself a “loser,” though I suppose there are others who might. These latter opinions make no nevermind to me; I don’t give a damn what other people think of me and my choices. That I myself am comfortable with my decisions and my life is enough for me. I may also spend most of my time alone, but I am not lonely, in that I do not require much interaction with other people. My point in all of this was not to criticize or offer solidarity with individuals who experience loneliness and despair, but to argue against those who would use such issues as fuel for their petty, destructive, and ultimately narcissistic tendencies. I have neither sympathy nor tolernace for such irrational notions.

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