The Best Thing We Do

Today I have mostly been questioning reality

Not in the philosophical existential sense, but in the movies/sitcoms vs. real life sense.

I have spent today watching stupid tv dramas and sitcoms. I could have done assignment work or something else productive but instead I decided to have a proper crashed out day off. I felt I deserved to just collapse for the day. So I found myself booting up my laptop and searching for tv episodes online. And while watching a variety of differently predictable story-lines, I got to thinking.

So many of these shows, and films, lull us into a false sense of hope when it comes to the way life works. Everything always works out for the best, the protagonist gets a happy ending and all the people you care about end up with good things happening to them. The bad guys get their just desserts, and all is well with the world. And yet we all know that this is not how things go in real life. How many of us have seen people get away with bad behaviour again and again, and see the best people afflicted with countless tragedies?

Life does not seem fair at the best of times, and it certainly never runs as smoothly as it does in films and television shows. I used to get frustrated by these things. It annoyed me that the creators were never truly realistic about it. Guy meets girl, girl meets guy, it was always the same. Everything was focused on the ultimate conclusion of people falling in love and living happily ever after. And of course, that just isn’t true.

It doesn’t annoy me in the same way anymore, I suppose because I don’t worry so much about those things never happening to me. As a teenager I went through much the same angst as any young girl. Would I ever find love and when. I was impatient to find my happy ever after. I was never the ‘boyfriend’ type though, being single is generally easier for me as my various issues with personal space, touching and grouchiness are better handled without other people around all the time. When I was younger, however, although I preferred being on my own I did wonder whether I was just completely unattractive and therefore spent a lot of my time wishing I could be a grown up so that romance and all of those other things that come with being an adult could start happening for real.

Now, on the other hand, it doesn’t bother me so much. Life happens and I just get on with it. I’m still happy on my own and I’ve got so much to focus on that I don’t have time to worry about silly things anymore. So watching these shows today got me to thinking about real life and romance from a somewhat detached viewpoint.

There are instances where reality is reflected, and people end up in situations that could actually happen to any person on the street. At other times, however, things are so far-fetched that I wonder whether the writers are all drunk or on drugs or something. Or whether they just never grew up from those Disneyfied views of Prince Charming, beautiful Princesses and happily ever afters.

I also started questioning why everything in these shows comes down to love, to finding ‘the one’, to on/off relationships, failed marriages and catching someone’s eye across a crowded room scenarios. And from one line in one of the shows, I realised why.

Love doesn’t make any sense, but it’s the best thing we do.

Through all the mire of heartache and war and pollution and corporate exploitation and poverty and pain, human beings don’t have a lot going for them. We are a predominantly selfish race, out for our own gain and constantly taking from the world without always giving much back.

Until it comes to love. Love is the thing we do best and it is the best thing we do. We love with a strength and ferocity that reminds me how wonderful we can be. It is a much commercialised concept what with Valentine’s Day and all the lovey dovey crap, but at the end of it all, love is so much more than teddy bears holding hearts and boxes of chocolates.

Love is a wild, fierce, deep emotion. It is not restricted by any means, nor is it easily controlled. When I talk about love I refer to any kind of love, not necessarily the love between a couple. I mean love in families, between human and pet, and in the kind actions of a stranger. We are all guilty of love and we all feel its effects in some way or another. We all know what it is like to lose love, and we have all taken it away at one point, whether or not we did so consciously.

It is not that we can atone for all our sins by saying “but I love, too”, but it is certainly something to be able to say that we love. And perhaps if we remember how much better we are when we do, we will take less time to do lesser things.

Because love is the best thing we do.


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