An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley was one of the only books during the English Literature studies that wasn’t torn apart, dissected and spoiled by studying it. Perhaps that is the true test of a classic.
In fact, I think that the only books that survived intact in my opinion were An Inspector Calls and Wuthering Heights.
I supposed I liked the stark reality of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and how relevant Shakespeare (who was an INFP like me) still is today in terms of how human emotions and hoe certain actions never change.
But I lived, with my head in the clouds in those days, immersed in my own world, seeing it through rosy tinted glasses.
Still do do a certain extent, as its too painful to be aware of everything that goes on in the world. I can’t help and it eats away at me and I can’t live day to day like that, so I withdraw from it all and reach out to the people that fate puts in my path. There is always a reason why connections happen, even if its not fully apparent at first.
Which leads me back to An Inspector Calls...
This play had a profound impact on my life as ever since I read it, I have been acutely aware that no man is an island and that your actions no matter how small, or offhand they seem to you can seriously impact other people’s lives. As all these things that happen in our lives adds up and seemingly unrelated events can lead to an outcome that be incredibly sad. Or the opposite rings true too, it can be something positive that springs from the pain.
I have not managed to live my own life without hurting some people significantly in relationships and such like. I doubt there are many people who can say they have never done anything that negatively impacts on someone else, as it is nigh on impossible to keep everyone happy in your life and it really is true no man is an island.
Sorry Simon and Garfunkel you can’t be a rock or an island as you will feel pain and sometimes you will cry.
But for the main part, how you choose to live and interact with other people is a choice you can make. I try not to stand on others toes on the way up, rather I try to bring people with me, that’s how my mind works.
The question is to care for other people and consider them, or be all for yourself and not care who you trample on. If you go with the latter, do you have the conscience to deal with the consequences of that decision?
Often life experiences determines this path, but at any point something can happen that makes you view the world in a different way.
For example, a story close to home is cheating on someone - how does that affect the other person? The answer is it tears them apart, reduces their faith in humans, maybe all humans and it opens the doors the hate. Do you, or would you take full responsibility for that? What if that person went on to do something awful (like murder the person you had an affair with)?
Reading an Inspector Calls as a teenager was definitely a defining moment. Whatever happened in my life, I would try to spread kindness. I have failed dramatically on several occasions, but overall it is my ethos and it actually makes me happy to help others.
I have to remember that I have to be kind to myself also, as I tend to forget that bit. For others, it might be they need to think of others more. I don’t know, I am just me sharing my thoughts.
I am nowhere near perfect on either, but I try to consider what it is like to walk in the other persons shoes and how what I say or do affects them, so I will not be cruel or mean, but instead think how to approach the situation in a way that is fair - how I would like to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot.
Recently, I have come to realise that sometimes truth hurts and it is necessary to be honest and transparent, even if people don’t like it. Well, people don’t like it.
Not speaking what you truly feel is a form of lying.
Not admitting it yourself even, then you are lying to yourself.
Hoping for the best, when no-one is taking action to make the best happen is another example.
There is a balance to be found somewhere.
Would you rather someone lied to you for half a lifetime, or told the truth even though it hurt, so you could get on with the rest of your life?
The most important takeaway is that no man is an island and that you need to take responsibility for your actions.
What does that mean to you?
And I highly recommend adding An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley to your reading list and absorb its profoundness and see if it makes you look at the world any differently.
There are always lessons to learn everyday.
(Images from Pixabay, unless stated otherwise)
With <3 @hopehuggs