Why Fix It?

September 25, 2015

“Oh, damn, my phone stopped working, I need a new one!”

“That Spiderman movie sucked, how about we make a new one with a different cast and the same story!”

“Sorry, I dropped one of your cups.” “Don’t worry, they cost $0.50 at Dollarama.”

“My computer is acting up. Well, it’s already one and a half years old, I think it’s time to replace it.”

We don’t live in an environment that values fixing things, material or not. I’m going to switch to first person here. Culture around me doesn’t value fixing things. Jury rigging something shows you’re cheap, using a cracked screen phone tells people you can’t afford a new one, in the end, what all these situations and readings imply is “if something is broken, it’s faster to replace it. You’ll get used to the new one too”. The sad part is that this kind of thinking crosses over to any other situation – “I’m having trouble with my roomate, I guess it’s easier to kick him out” – and so we start thinking people and relationships are just as replaceable as a cracked plate.

With our increasing need of happiness immediately, as soon as something starts to go wrong, we give it up and move on. It’s not on purpose, we don’t mean to be mean or to ignore the issues, we just keep postponing it indefinitely until the other person gives up. As I was reading an article this morning, people don’t even break anymore, they just stop replying to text messages and it’s up to the other person to read that lack of response as “I’m not into you anymore”. How shitty, yet ubiquitous is that? I’m not proud, yet I acted like that before, I still act that way sometimes and it’s never because I dislike you or anything, it’s because… you know… you probably did the same thing to someone else just yesterday. That never-read message on facebook, the muted whatsapp conversation, all the ignored skype calls at inappropriate times that you never return, the email that has already dragged a bed and books into your inbox since you’ll never get to actually reply.

These are all examples of us not caring about other people. It’s like leaving a book out in the rain and expect it to miraculously survive on its own. The single most important thing I learned in these recent times is that problems won’t solve themselves if I don’t actively do something about them. It’s hard to analyze if it’s worth the effort. I have a few things of late that I look back and think “why did I persist on that, when simply jumping out and starting from scratch would be faster, easier and (almost) painless?”, but then, how could I give it up something that’s so important, something that’s a part of me, something that truly represents myself, just like that, without any second thought?

I like fixing things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the process always leaves me with all kinds of memories. I get some weird/confusing pride by trying. That doesn’t mean I like breaking things, just to be clear. It took me years to not cry whenever I accidentally broke a cup, glass or plate, no matter how cheap it was. I still don’t understand it clearly, I have the feeling that I killed that object ahead of time, that I prevented it to achieve its life goal, its reason for existing. Hence, if I break something I’m gonna try hard to mend it until it’s fully restored, maybe with a few dings here and there, but sort of improved – or unique – when compared to the original, or until I reckon it’s beyond my ability to recover its essence and it’s time to let it go or transform into something else entirely.

Crap, I don’t remember why I started writing this post. And no, I won’t try to fix it. If you got something from it, good, if you didn’t, well, maybe try reading the one below?