Caveat: This fable is my personal reflection from the course Philosophy of Education at KUL and my observation of my sibling Quyet, who has experienced a depression for the last 6 months. I’m aware that this fable is somewhat romanticized and therefore could be deemed as an act of ignorance. But trust me, I don’t have such intention. My intention is just to introduce another perspective to depression. If this fable accidentally hurts any readers, I am so sorry for that. Deep down, you have my warm embrace, always!
From the perspective of education, depression is possibly regarded as an educational experience of freedom because it enables the possibility of disrupting the normal linear time to look at oneself and to grow up. When the time is disrupted, one can immediately enjoy the free time* and emancipate him/herself from following the conventional activities that the society tells him/her to do. One therefore starts to look at his/her body, his/her time, and his/her space very differently:
1st, the body: One starts to accept that the body now has some inner injuries that need to be fixed , so one has to spend much more time to take care of it. One also acknowledges that his/her mind-body works much less efficiently than it used to be yet learns to be synchronize with its pace.
2nd, the time: One may have a really high-achieving and ambitious past, but now one lets the past behind and no longer authorizes it to determine one’s future. The perception of past-future renews itself when one starts to think seriously about how he/she wants to live and wants to be in the future.
3rd, the space: One’s space before depression may be something more social and outer, but the depression en-conditions him/her to go back to the inner space. The space after depression may be a closer and more intermediate than it used to be.
All in all, from the moment of depression onwards, one starts to live their lives meticulously and takes nothing for granted. Every action is taken into account and conducted in constant self-reflection. It is undeniable that one often suffers a lot from depression, yet at the same time, depression is of certain educational values in enabling one to start a new meaningful life.
*free time in the educational sense is the time that is free from production and deviates from the time of economy (the act of producing something implies the normal linear time). It is the time that either the past or the social backgrounds do not pre-determine the future. It therefore allows an experience of being able to begin with something new, or to try something new.