Partly it’s due to the fact that my interests are limited. I’ve never been interested in the things that are important to most other people. The things that give their lives meaning are meaningless to me, so it’s been difficult for me to make my way in the world they’ve made without getting lost.
Partly it’s my age. I can no longer think as clearly as I did when I was young. Recently I’ve been going through my papers, rereading things I wrote years ago, and I’m in awe of the mind that wrote them. I’ve lost my way over the years, and no one can help me find it because most other people are even more lost than I am. They just don’t know it.
I should be helping them. Or so I used to think. They seemed to think so, too. At least they asked for my help. But they never took it.
They wanted me to tell them what to do. I don’t know what other people should do. I’m not sure what I should do.
It’s not merely that I know nothing with the absolute certainty that other people claim to know whatever it is they claim to know. I don’t even know what works, which pragmatists claim is all we can know. I don’t know what works for me.
Things haven’t worked out for me as I expected, and as others expected for me. But my failure seems to me typical, as does everything else that happens to me.
Despite what others think of me, I am a typical member of my race, and it is the human race that has failed. Like me it began showing promise of doing great things, a promise it never fulfilled; and now its time, like mine, is almost up.
I tell myself there is no path that I was supposed to take; therefore I haven’t lost my way. There is a path I wanted to take, but it was difficult. I did what I could, but I couldn’t save those who were determined to destroy themselves.
I’ve known many self-destructive people, but I never understood until now that most people are self-destructive. Or rather I didn’t want to know it. Now there’s no way I can avoid knowing it.
But this is not true. I did have a path in life, one I chose for myself. I wanted to save them, and they said they wanted me to save them. But I told them I could only help them to save themselves. That they would not or could not do.
Most people know what they should do. They don’t need someone else to show them the way. Common sense tells them what to do. But they cannot or will not do it. I don’t know why. This is the mystery, the thing I want to understand before I die.