Is it coincidence that I would choose to write about futility on April 15th, the deadline for Americans to file their taxes each year? Perhaps, it is. Years ago, I read an article on the web: Intuition, Your Invisible Guardian Angel, by Thejendra B.S. in which it is asserted that intuition is an important way for us to understand the world around us. I tend to agree, but I assert that intuition can have a dark side, as well. After all, if there are angels out there influencing people, then it stands to reason that demons my sway people, as well.
I know that intuition is not always right, that it can cause a person to fail to take action. I hope that these thoughts and expeiences that I share with you today may be a positive influence.
Last summer, back in 2011, was one of the hottest summers on record where I was living at the time. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment. As soon as the first of the hot weather began, I realized that there was a problem: the HVAC system in my apartment was not keeping my apartment cool. I could have the system running at full power all day long, and the temperature would still rise to 85 degrees Farenheight every day. So, I called my apartment manager, who was rather sluggish about getting expensive maintenance issues taken care of. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and my apartment remained uncomfortable.
After several months of this, my wife and I finally decided to start shopping for a new place to live. We visited several other apartment complexes in my neighborhood, but none of them were to my wife's liking and they were all more expensive. Finally, one day I want to the apartment manager's office to complain about the situation again, and what she said to me was quite a surprise. She was surprised to see me complaining again because the apartment company had ordered a brand-new air conditioner for my apartment. She pulled the receipt and paperwork out of a cabinet; I walked around the back side of my apartment building, and sure enough, there was a brand-new air conditioner attached to my apartment. Still, it was 85 degrees in my apartment. To add insult to injury, I received a nearly $200 US electic bill for the month. Other people I know paid not much more than that to cool an entire house!
As you would imagine, I continued my complaints to the apartment manager about the situation. Their maintenance staff made unhelpful suggestions, such as keeping the window-blinds shut all day long. (Why bother to have windows in the first place?)
At this point, a very strong sense of futility came over me. It seemed as though there was some sort of magical curse upon me or my apartment; that I was doomed to pay high power bills and be uncomfortable every summer. It is difficult to put words to it, but it seemed almost as though the situation I faced were as permanent as death and taxes. It seemed as though no matter what I thought to do about it, the voices in my head would tell me, "Don't bother. It won't work. This is the way things are supposed to be."
I didn't listen. I continued complaining to the apartment manager, and eventually, she sent someone out to inspect the apartment. The inspector suggested that the insulation in the ceiling needed to be replaced. I though that insulation sitting undisturbed in the ceiling does not need to be replaced. Days later, the apartment manager had someone else come out and install new insulation. The problem was solved almost immediately. My electric bill went down dramatically and my apartment was once again cool and comfortable.
Looking back on these events, I think about how this situation felt to me. It seemed as if nothing could be done; that anything done was as futile as trying to make a river flow upstream. I felt a strong intuitive sense of futility that bordered on despair, and just about this one problem!
However, I must agree with Thejandra that intuition can be at times as a guardian angel. I can attest that I have had insights that were so strong, that I felt as if I were hit by lightning when I had them. These insights have been profitable to me, indeed; and it makes me wonder where these darker, negative intuitive feelings come from.
From now on, as far as I am concerned, a feeling of futility is just that: only a feeling!