That is the first word I think of when I imagine my place in this world. It's also the first word I think of when I imagine how we may relate to our own deeply rooted humanity. It seems that as time has gone on, our humanity has been reduced to near-nothingness. No longer are we considered creators. No longer are we intimately acquainted with meaningful work. No longer do we know our neighbors well, or consider the strength of our communities. Humans, in the lens of our supposedly grand society, have become nothing more than numbers in a writhing mass of profit and utility.
How often are we expected to feel human in a society that doesn't seem to value us as such? There are submarines in the ocean right now carrying several missiles with nuclear warheads, each one having up to ~20x the power of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, which murdered 70,000 - 126,000 civilians. War is waged remotely via drones, laying waste to the lives of people whose thoughts, dreams, and aspirations are reduced to nothing more than visuals on a screen. Children are being enslaved to harvest ingredients for chocolate that does nothing for the world but sate a luxurious craving. And on a less morbid and more relatable level, many of us work for large corporations that seek to bleed everything out of us until our numbers are no longer convenient to them. There is nothing stopping any of us from being victims of nuclear warfare, of environmental terror, or the subjugation by corporations that seek to turn us into glorified serfs. Every single one of us, to an interested enough party, can be eliminated or replaced without mercy, without empathy, and with great prejudice.
Where then, are we to find our worth and value? In what job we work? In how much money we make? In how much we produce? Assigning value to oneself seems to be of limited utility to offset the effects of a society that makes it feel so incredibly arbitrary. A comforting lie that we hold close to keep our shaky foundations from crumbling under the weight of the great violence that keeps us here.
The air constantly feels thick and oppressive, and I feel as if there's very little I can do to breathe.