It Gets Better; A Discussion of Life, Skittles, and Difficulties

Some time ago, someone commented on my article about my Evening With The Critic by stating that “Lifes not all beer and skittles.” At first, I was taken aback, not because of his blatant disregard for the one thing I love in this life more than skittles (Grammar), but for the abrupt and blunt manner in which he spoke. Though, at the same time, I wasn’t entirely sure if my literate acquaintance was a spambot or not; I reasoned that, if he was a spambot, clearly he was of a philosophical and pessimistic persuasion, (not to mention he was a reasonable creation), which is why I responded by agreeing with him (or her, or it I suppose) and providing my remark. However, it wasn’t until I thought about it more, a few hours later of course, that it dawned on me how wrong my answer was. Once again, it wasn’t because what I had said was wrong, but because I misinterpreted my own thoughts on the matter.

The commenter was, and still is, right; life is not all beer and skittles, though for the purposes of this article, allow me to provide my own interpretation of his beliefs by changing the second clause in the sentence. “Life is not easy.” This is an almost universal truth and to be completely honest, life will never be easy because there will always be some problem in the world that needs solving and, most importantly, there will always be someone or something harming someone or something else. It doesn’t matter if an economy is being destroyed, or a country is being bombed, or a person is losing their job, or even that a a child in a first world country is complaining because their parents are only letting them online for an hour a day, because at some point, someone will be wronged and someone will be hurt.

An important matter to consider is that the concept of “bad” changes from person to person. I must apologize for not remembering the exact quote, from the exact page of the exact chapter, but during a particularly thorough monologue, a character from the popular Jump manga One Piece stated that “…a child growing up in poverty does not have the same definition of fear as a child growing up in wealth,” which is entirely true, quite frankly. A child growing up in England will not have the same concerns and fears as a child growing up in Zimbabwe and, until a point where the child can understand the “truths” of the universe that they live in, this will not change. That being said, however, the comparison of war and peace is one that is far too simple to make, because even those lucky enough to live in a safe, first world country will know that “bad things” change as we grow older and experience more.

As a child, I remember complaining and whining to my parents when they wouldn’t buy me a certain toy or present, and as I reflect on my actions and thoughts at the time, I’ve come to the realization that the sadness and despair I felt then still exists now, though my fears and insecurities no longer manifest themselves as physical, but as psychological, and yet the fear of never getting what I want is a deep-rooted one. The same can be said for my Zimbabwean counterpart, though while I shed tears over an action figure, he shed tears over his country. The contexts are largely different, though the pain and sadness we both felt was the same; it was one of longing and desire, of not getting what we wanted, of never getting what we felt we deserved. It was the fear of complacency and indifference, and while my Zimbabwean counterpart had a more important reason to be sad, our emotions were relatively the same.

I digress, however, because my point isn’t that the pain was the same, it’s that my concept of “bad” was different from his concept of “bad,” and that it always will be, no matter how much I try to reason it out. Once again, I digress, because my point isn’t that my Zimbabwean counterpart and I will never be able to relate, because we will. There will always be a unifying point between the two of us and there will always be something that relates us and brings us together. I suppose, if anything, my point is that there will be a point in all of our lives (and please excuse the generalization, though the statement is true) when the universe will decided to sucker punch us in some way, shape of form.

Whether it’s the loss of someone we love, a failing economy, an ineffectual government, war and famine, the loss of family, or even if it’s as simple as watching Zac Snyder’s Sucker Punch only to realize that the entire film is nothing more than an amalgamation of special effects and Snyder’s dreams and desires as a child, the universe will, at one point or another, sucker punch us. This September was an exercise in futility; without getting into too thorough a retelling of the events that transpired, allow me to state that when September ended, I knew that one of the worst months this year, if not this decade, had ended and that my life could not get any worse. I suppose, if anything, it got better, and that is my overarching and ultimate point: It gets better.

Not just for the Gay or Lesbian students being bullied at school, or for the National Democratic Party of Canada members, and their voters, who are recovering from the loss of their leader, or for the immigrants moving to new countries for better futures, or even for the children being forced to endure the tyrannical rule of a Tiger Mother, but for everyone, everywhere. This is directed to everyone, including my nonexistent readership: It gets better. Though, not all at once of course, and certainly not without your input. Considering my previously stated point of views and beliefs, the aforementioned statement should not be surprising because it’s only once we try to fix ourselves that the world, and the universe, starts to fix itself.

Life is not easy, and there are times when the universe will try to sucker punch us for no adequately explained reason and, most importantly, it gets better. I however, ask but one thing, when you look into the abyss and feel the darkness staring, do not blink. Under any, and every circumstance, do not lose hope and do not allow the pain to get the better of you; quite the contrary, endure and focus on the single point that everyone must understand: it gets better, and all it takes for it to get better is a single voice to be heard.

As always, this has been your Admin; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!


  1. Your post reminds me of a framed quote that my Mother gave me during the darkest time in my life. It said, “Endure and keep youself for days of happiness”. Once you do endure and the next dark time comes along (because we get sucke punched more than once), it is easier to believe that it will get better. Truly inspirational. Love the way you connected us all.

    • Thank you so much for your kind and personal words. I’m glad that I was able to write something truly worthwhile and connective and it means the most to me knowing that it was something close to your heart.


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