Disappointment While It Lasts

A Reaction to Tony Blair’s Demise

Humans have a tendency to believe in what they would like to see happening. It is a natural reflex to invest your energy somewhere where you expect to harvest success and satisfaction. This little flaw of ours, however, makes us highly susceptible to social and political propaganda, and as a recent example in Britain shows, political figures rely precisely on that weakness in order to gain their following. In the case of Tony Blair, although this technique was initially successfully applied, the vast gain of supporters was a huge mistake that caused the shift in the public attitude towards him by the end of his rule.

1997. Tony Blair was the embodiment of hope. With promises for social reforms he appealed to the British nation’s common desire to see these changes implemented. We fell for him.

2007. Complete disappointment. Somewhere along the 10-year rule Blair had lost his focus and by that point none of the promised reforms mattered anymore. The country was facing the serious threat of a war crisis. Blair had fallen out of grace.

In the 10 years of his prime-ministership, Blair managed to fall from the top of the social support ladder to the bottom of public resentment. It seems as if the attitude towards him by the end of his office was so extremely hateful because he had set the expectations for himself way too high. Once extremely supportive, the public response can never become neutral. It is in human nature to either dwell in the middle, or go from one extreme to another. In Blair’s case, it was the latter.

The war crisis in Iraq was indeed a huge mistake of Blair’s government. However, the response towards him personally wouldn’t have been so outrageous had he not appealed to his followers from the start. Having created this image of himself as a person rather than a distant political leader, Blair gave a reason to British people to hate him personally. Thus, political dissatisfaction turned into a particular dislike for Tony Blair.

The man who promised Britain equality and social stability would have been hated even without failing to prevent the war crisis in Iran. A personal promise is much more binding than a political campaign, and a failed promise is enough to break the trust and create hostility towards that person.

Blair is so fiercely hated because he used to be loved. British people /me included/ are disappointed not so much with him as they are with themselves. We all allowed for this person to step into position. We regarded him as a savior. Hating Blair is a defense mechanism: otherwise, the entire nation of Britain would have to confess that we were simply seduced by Tony Blair.

Advertisements

After the Happy Ever After

Imagine a fairy tale.

A Princess. Or a beautiful girl with the potential to change the world with perseverance. A boy. Prince Charming. Loyal and determined to win the girl of his dreams.  Despite the circumstances, their love prevails and they end up together. And live happily ever after.

Or do they?

There are a number of possible ways to imagine what happens after the happy ever after.

  1. The End of the Fairy Tale

Soon after the marriage, Prince Charming is not so charming anymore. It turns out that he is just as flawed as every other human being. The Princess, as high as her expectations were set, is in despair because of the sudden realization. What happens after the “happy ever after”? Life happens. And it is a matter of maturity to comprehend that the more you believe in that eternally bright future, the less your reality will resemble a fairy tale. Chances of life-long happiness decrease exponentially as the unrealistic expectations nurtured by romantic tales with happy endings grow and become the standard of evaluating personal happiness. To dream is one thing, but to become completely detached from reality is bound to create dissatisfaction with one’s life and is unnecessarily painful.

2. Eternal Sunshine in the Garden of Eden 

Prince and Princess Charming are truly meant for each other. There is nothing else beyond the “happy ever after” because it literally depicts their entire lifetime. Naive as it may seem, let’s pretend for a moment that this is the case. A lifetime of unbothered happiness. An endless supply of positivity, mutual understanding, considerstion, and not even a single argument. Life is as if taken from a typical 1950s American movie.

It just doesn’t feel real anymore, does it? As if all this happiness and cheer is fake, like it is only a scenario in a Hollywood production. As human beings we fear perfection. With phrases such as “too good to be true” we mark the point at which reality becomes so distorted in the fairy tale that it starts to creep us out. It gives us chills. We need those moments of doubt, uncertainty, sadness – even despair – in order for all of it to feel real.

3. Universal Attraction

“We are the way of the universe to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

Why does the end of the fairy tale have to be determined beforehand? Who is to say what would happen when two human beings, both generators of complex mental processes and intense emotion, interact?

There are certain things that we know for sure. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow the Earth will revolve around its axis, the sun will rise and then set, and so the natural cycle will go on. Humans, though, are much more unpredictable. We seem to operate logically, driven by our prime survival instincts, our main goal being the well-being of ourselves, as programmed by nature. And all of a sudden the perfectly rational human being encounters another human being; feelings emerge and logic evades.

Interpersonal relationships are the way of the universe to know itself. We do not know what awaits after the end of the fairy tale; we can not say which path will be ours. All we know is how we feel, and if the feeling is the driving force of our actions, then we can at least be sure that what we do resonates with our sense of happiness. Happiness is relative, just like Time and Space, and if there is one certain thing in our cosmos, it is that People Determine the Way of the Universe, and not the other way around.