October 5th, 2017: Dev Thoughts: Everyone Has Their Own Struggles
Written by Ajané J.K. Celestin
I used to write editorials, analyses, and personal essays about a variety of things. During the development and research of our games, we often find ourselves growing and seeing and realizing things. I thought that I’d begin sharing my personal thoughts here from time to time.
I had a dream last night that I wasn’t me. It was, maybe in some alternate universe—my dreams are rarely about this one. The details of the dream aren’t important and scarcely remembered anyway, but the feeling I had when I woke up is. The feeling of remembering the universe I do live in, and the feeling of all of the worries and pressures of my life that settled back down upon me.
It got me thinking.
When you’re the sole one responsible for your own life, other lives, and for the success of all of it, the pressure of just waking up can feel suffocating. It made me think…If I feel this way, how does someone like a member of BTS feel? With their fans and success increasing all of the time—and so rapidly too—I can’t imagine the way just waking up feels.
Those moments when you wake up and don’t want to go to school or work… Those moments when you don’t feel well enough to go out or maybe you just need a mental health day to clear your head… A day where you just want to have fun and do something you enjoy without any worries.
When you’re solely responsible for your own success, the number of times you’re able to satisfy those desires dwindles under the stress and pressure.
Often, all you’re able to do is acknowledge that desire, and acknowledge you won’t be able to satisfy it. “Maybe next time” becomes a lie you tell yourself to get through the day.
There are also many small heartbreaks that occur through a day for each and every one of us, no matter who we are. We all have our struggles, our hopes and dreams, our hurts. It can seem small to another, but things like a friend misunderstanding you, getting a low grade on a test, or even just not getting to eat your favorite thing can hurt. These become heartbreaks; tiny fractures in our heart that weaken us, and make us more susceptible to the daily burdens of stress and worries that we carry.
I’ve always thought that we all have own our crosses to bear, and some are heavier than others. Although a person may with the heavier cross may be stronger, for a weaker person with a lighter cross, the weight will feel the same. So, you never know what someone is going through that day. You never know if that last tiny fracture will be what allows the pressure of their life to shatter their heart.
Whether you are under the pressure of the entire world watching your every move, or under the pressure of getting a good grade on a test, or working to get your rent paid… Your worries and stresses and feelings are just as valid as someone else’s. And theirs are just as valid as yours.
Recently, I saw a quote attributed to Plato that resonated with me.
“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”
I interpret this as how you see and think of the world from your point of view is irrelevant when compared to what reality actually is. Your perspective serves as a valid reality for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s Truth. The only way for us to get closer to what reality actually is, is to use empathy to try and understand how each other feel. Barriers such as ethnicity, religion, status, nationality…All of those things are imaginary walls we put up to make people seem different from us. It’s a result of fear.
But we all share the same feelings and struggles, albeit on different scales and at different times. That’s why understanding each other is the highest form of knowledge—you’ll begin to understand that we’re all the same, and always have been. he saying “Treat others as you want to be treated” stems from this kind of understanding that we’re all the same, with the same feelings.
Whether the person in question is a simple farmer or famous, someone that hurt you, or someone you hurt…Whether it’s BTS whom so many idolize, I hope everyone will take time to see things from the other person’s perspective before forming an opinion, saying something or acting. I know it’s difficult—it’s difficult for me as well—but I believe it’s the way to a better, kinder world. (And, if you already do that, then I hope make sure you’re taking the time out to remember that YOU’RE the same too. That you have all those needs and dreams and hurts, so you should be a little easier on yourself. Be a little kinder yourself, just as you are with others.)
This is all why I respect each and every member of BTS so much. Because they’re just the same as everyone else. Just the same as you and I. And they inspire me to keep going because they have the courage to carry that cross everyday, no matter how heavy it is. As their burden grew, they became stronger to be able to continue on, but that means they’re still struggling the same amount as you and I.
Namjoon has said there’s many times he’s wanted to quit, but he can go on because of those that tell him he’s changed their lives, he’s saved their lives. BTS struggles against their burden in order to go on because they want to lighten your burden…And it’s the same for me, too. Creators are all working to lighten the burden of daily life for everyone. It’s through art that society can put down their burdens for awhile and feel something more.
But we shouldn’t forget that every living being—including those that seemingly say or do bad things, and including those that give us so much happiness, like BTS—has their own worries and stresses, their own tiny heartbreaks every single day, no matter if they choose to share it or not. That’s reality.
I hope that we’ll all continue to try to understand each other better, and never forget that we’re each just as human as each other, with our own thoughts and feelings, desires and needs, stresses and worries, whether they show above the surface or only lie hidden beneath.
The thoughts contained herein only reflect the personal thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and feelings of the writer.