Resisting a rest: the modern student

It's just about Dunn

Sean Dunn

Think about the last time you really felt well-rested. I’m not just talking about “eight hours” rested. I mean, when was the last time you felt like you could take on the day, no questions asked, with nothing bothering you? Was it days ago? Months? Years, even?

I ask because it seems like the all-too common response to “How are you?” is “I’m tired”, or the dreaded “Same shit, different day.” I know we’re a little more interesting than that. But, I also know that some of us are the kind of tired that sleep won’t fix. Maybe it’s because we’re just so busy, that to try and explain why we’re busy requires way more energy than we have. We could be nervous about something that’s bothering us, but don’t know how to respond. Hell, we could even just be plain ol’ depressed. The wonders of life.

I think it’s important to realize that we live in an incredibly different day and age than we are used to, even 20 years ago. The values, the expectations, and the methods that our culture were used to have totally changed. This paradigm shift that we’ve gone through is still taking its toll on people.

How does this relate to being tired? Well, I believe that we’re at odds with ourselves and others around us who are in different eras. That’s nobody’s fault; we tend to make the reality we want to see. But, when our realities clash, we tend to more than just disagree; we get angry, we learn hate. You know what’s exhausting? Trying to convince others that we are right, trying to see a point of view that’s not ours, and trying to convince ourselves that we aren’t the bad guy while not trying to spread hate onto our neighbors.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are people that you could talk rationally to until you’re blue in the face and they still wouldn’t agree. For those people, don’t wait until your face is blue; spare your breath for something else.

In my own experience, the only time I’ve ever even considered trying to convince someone of my own view is when I know that they will listen to me (which really isn’t a lot of people), when I can trust them to pay attention, and when I know they have the empathic intelligence to see themselves in my shoes. Even with these criteria satisfied, I mostly approach it with the idea that they will not agree with me. The most I hope for when I try to change someone’s mind is to just give a little nudge.

Putting all that time and effort in for just a fraction of change in someone’s mind? Forget it. I could be putting in that time to make myself happy, you know? Going on a walk, talking to a friend, doing something fun and nurturing and productive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to change someone’s mind, especially if it’s very important to you or to them, but I’m just tired of picking up the shrapnel of my clay pigeon opinions. Eventually, we all get tired of convincing someone who can’t be convinced. Is anyone paying attention? If they are, they sure aren’t responding back.

Maybe they’re just in quiet agreement.

If we were all just a little more willing to hear each other out, I think we’d be ready to take on the day with a bigger spring in our step.

Ain’t it a little ironic that I’m writing about how it isn’t worth changing minds in an opinion piece in a newspaper? I think it’s a little ironic. Even a little bit funny. Six-hundred and twenty-five words of irony; now that’s something.