A to Z Challenge: Camaraderie

Camaraderie, companionship, teamwork.

This, I feel, is essential for any human to solidly operate.  Sure, one could survive without them, but not well, and certainly not happily.

There is something about being alone that kills us.  Not just physically alone, but emotionally alone as well.  Being a nerd in a room full of football players and cheerleaders that they have nothing in common with can kill a person’s self as swiftly as being along in a forest could.

But, why?  Why does a person need the camaraderie of other people?  Myself being someone who has always preferred solitude, I still understand completely the excitement and necessity of having people with you that you can trust.

Ah, but that’s probably it, isn’t it?  At least, it is for me.  After all, attempting to take on the burdens of life by yourself is very difficult, so having a trustworthy person to help share that burden is the best thing in the world.  You see this in something as big as the military, where camaraderie and trust in those comrades can be the difference between literal life and death.  You can also see this in something as small as finding someone to chat with about your opinions on last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.  Doing things alone sucks, and can sometimes be absolutely dangerous.

Still, I find myself confused.  To me, the entire concept of camaraderie, and our basic need of it, is based on trust, even if it’s as simple as trusting someone not to laugh at my opinions.  So, why is it, then, that trust seems to be such a very rare commodity in our world?

Not only is it hard to find, but my experience in the current way of the world is that it’s hard to find someone who cares about trust.  People assume that you can’t trust others, and so are comfortable with being around people who they know would turn on them at any moment.  Because trust is so rare, people also don’t care about being trustworthy.  Every job that I have ever had is full of people who don’t care if their own boss, the person who keeps them employed, trusts them or not, let alone any of their coworkers.

I spend most of my life now trying to convince my children that trust and honesty should be the most important things in their life, but then they go out into a world that teaches “every man for themselves.”  How can I convince them that trust is important, when everyone else in this world works so hard to lower the bar?  They both strive to be average, not to excel, and unfortunately today’s average is dishonest and selfish.

Camaraderie.  A necessary, but I also lost, part of humanity.  Why is fighting others such a big thing now?  Why are there so many people who are depressed?  The answer is simple; everyone is lonely.

I am lucky.  I have my husband, a man to whom I have entrusted every aspect of my life.  And, by every aspect, I literally mean 100% trust, something that I thought would be impossible for anyone but my mother, yet here he is.  I also have a friend (yes, a single friend, and that is all that I feel I need) who I trust with all of my secrets, and who is so like me that I almost feel like we are twins.  With her, it almost feels like talking to myself, but with someone else.  Because I have these people that I can trust so thoroughly, I can say that I am living a perfectly happy life, and can’t imagine ever being happier (although, I must say, I am kind of looking forward to when my two teenage kids are finally out of the house and capable of taking care of themselves…)

However, from what I see around me, I am an exception.  Most people choose to surround themselves with people that they will always be suspicious of.  How can someone live like that?  Honestly, it’s no wonder at all that most of the people in this world are depressed; they have no one to trust, no one to share themselves with, no one to support or be supported by.  Most people find that when they need a comrade most, that comrade has selfishly disappeared.

In conclusion, the leading cause of death in this world:  loneliness, caused by a lack of camaraderie, caused by a lack of trust.  Become a trustworthy person, save a few lives.

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