Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
( Few song lyrics have caused more discussions and/or arguments about their meaning. Roger Waters wrote the lyrics and Dave Gilmour wrote the music to this song. Over the years they have each given many accounts on the meaning behind them. My view on the title and lyrics has always been quite different)
The superlative lyrics of Pink Floyd’s timeless song can, in my mind, be applied to a state of being that we have all experienced, whether we were conscious of it or not. I believe the two words in the title of this song combine to deliver the most powerful wake-up call to anyone who is willing or able to listen and understand.
“I have become… comfortably numb” !
As a realisation, as a self-admission or an awakening, these two words together when referring to yourself must surely be as profound as any in the English language. The feeling of actually being aware that you have allowed yourself to slide into a state of inertia, of finding yourself into a comfortable daily routine where you are not being mentally (or physically) challenged, of doing something that’s making you a comfortable living…but it’s not what you love, of having somehow reasoned with yourself that there is little point in dreaming, or wanting things you were once passionate about…. THAT to me is being comfortably numb.
We have all been there. We grow “accustomed”, we grow lazy, we grow complacent, we fear change and we “avoid” anything that’s going to shake us from our comfort zone. Familiarity is queen and instant gratification is king. Why go through the wrong door, when going through the same door everyday leads us to the familiar, the safe, the comfortable?
The answer of course is that the land of the comfortably numb is the land of the living dead. No dreams, no goals, no desires, no passion, no adventure, no surprises, no new learning, no new experiences, no challenge. Commonly known as “same shit – different day”.
Ever since I first heard this song all those years ago… the first verse has always been in my mind. I have looked at people and silently asked “is there anybody in there…nod if you can hear me” during business meetings, dinner parties or casual conversations. I have asked myself over and over “are you becoming comfortably numb”?
At times the answer has been “yes”.
We all need a simple reminder… a phrase, a word, a nudge. Comfortably numb is the word combination that does it for me.
The song is timeless and my own personal meaning behind the lyrics is like a permanent pinprick that stops me from going numb!