Whales are highly social creatures who stick together in families. Like humans, they also experience depression when they are void of hope and have lost their purpose. The more I looked at this, I found that the life of a whale in captivity seemed to be highly relevant to the human state. When life is a monotonous task with nothing to hope for, nothing to work towards, and no purpose, what else can we expect to happen?
I was recently talking to a friend (who is proud of his Finnish heritage) about the folly of fighting the Russians in winter. He said "We did it, and we won." I checked the facts on this, and sure enough, the Russians had maybe 4-5 times the casualties as the Finns. Finland however gave up some land with high economic value and had to pay Russia for reparations. Who really won, if anyone? Sometimes the cost of winning doesn't actually look much like a win at all. So which battles will you win today?
Don't start the day out with a loss. Even if you manage to keep "that parent" from cutting you off in the school run by riding the bumper of the car in front, is this really a win? Really? Does your day or world become better because of this? Start your day by cutting out some stress, measure the importance of your battles, and give youself a chance to win your daily war.
Have you ever had that expectation that something was going to happen, and when it did happen you knew you were going to be angry? It could be anything. Maybe the neighbour has a noisy car and at 6am every morning he gets in his car and wakes up the neighbourhood as he drives to work.
This week we have taken a long look at how the world is actively trying to manipulate your mind to make you think that happiness can be purchased. It can't. Take a moment today to think about what you want to achieve, and take the first step into a world of possibility. What are you waiting for?
As a follow-up to Father Frank's wise words, we could also state that we are human beings, not human havings. Your value as a human is not based on what you have, what you do for a living, or how much you experience.
We like to feel in charge of our own destiny. We like to think we shape our own future. We see inspirational messages about shaking off the past, but how can we do that when our past is the only resource we have to make decisions and create new ideas? We'll be looking at those questions this week.
The one things this guy got right is that positives in your life will help. Keep a journal of the good things that happen. Is this a simple cure for mental illness? Of course not - mental illness, like physical illness, requires treatment. However, it may just help give a little lighter view of life.
What if instead of telling people they need to "be happy", or "pull themselves up" we ask how we can help? What about if we offer a word of encouragement and help someone get some wins in life? Maybe, just maybe, we can bring a little bit of positivity to the world. Can we make a difference to everyone? Probably, not, but we can for one person at a time.
It seems we are sadly some way from being a society where mental illness is not given the same respect and understanding as physical sickness or pain. However, while people are still making the choice to be slow and clunky as they move around with a broken leg, we have some hope of helping people understand that behaviors aren't always a choice.