We have all heard the old saying about doing what you love and never working a day in your life. I find that we rarely ever live that. Not because we do not love what we do or because we aren’t doing what we love. Hell, I just enjoy reading books, writing poetry and writing short reflections. I know for a fact it would be rather impossible to make a living off something like that. I’m sure someone out there would be more than willing to argue this statement, seeing as I don’t actually know if it is a fact.
Anyways, enough of that, let’s move on to what I’m really here to talk about. My generation, technically the millennial and Gen Z aged people seem to spend a lot of time in the Doomer mindset of things. They expect to be let down and for some reason the media and society has convinced them that someone really far away cares, or that others are meant to make their life better or that some celebrity is the difference maker in their small bubble of a world. I know this is not a fact for everyone in the world but for the majority of the people I interact with it seems to be the reality in their little bubble. They never think for one second about anything but the external. I’m sure it has something to do with the amount of screen time they have, the media, the drop in book reading, social media and a plethora of other unaccounted things. At least that was the way I was looking at it for a long time. It was everything else’s fault that this was happening to everyone. It is the phone’s or the social media accounts or the lack of understanding and response from politicians that is creating this strange world where everyone is defined by who they vote for, what they share and what they are willing to argue about.
Well, two weeks of isolation in a room has a way of changing that perspective if you do certain things right. I spent these two weeks focused on me and my family, who is back home at the moment. I spent it reading more, writing more and listening to more organic music than I usually would. I walked away from politics and political news. I wanted to see just how impactful these were in my daily practice. Reality can be harsh, like getting t-boned at an intersection. It can send you flying into a realm other than what you thought existed. Watching people on the internet tear eachother apart, figuratively speaking, brought to rear the ugly truth. People think and expect other people, society and the world to bow to their needs and wants. Even if it is not something very extreme. It is truly embarrassing to see others fall into line with society’s status quo. Entertaining, yes, but overall embarrassing. Who could really invest energy to insult someone? Who would really go out of their own way to ruin someone else’s morning coffee? Who would willingly interrupt someone’s dinner?
Do not be surprised that many are more than willing. An embarrassing quantity of people are willing. And if you ask yourself why I see it as embarrassing then ask yourself this question, “Why is it when someone else is angry you change your emotions and behavior around them?”. I mean, I am not the one that is angry so I do not care. I genuinely do not. You may also ask, where is all of this coming from so suddenly? From a few reflections and a reality check.
I have spent many years sitting in the rain, not for want but from job occupation. Stoicism has seen me through it time and time again. I cannot change the weather but I can determine how I act and feel about it. I clearly remember myself smiling in the cold rain and laughing at how others scowled at the sky. As if glaring at nature would make her change her forecast or course. In this same way I find myself facing away from the oddity that is society. A politician, an election, a news anchor, a celebrity, a social media post or even my neighbor. What do they have in common? That they are not me and can therefore do nothing to make my life good. The world can sell you the lies and you can convince yourself otherwise but they can do nothing. In fact, if you reflect on what they have done for you as of recent events they have made it all worse for you. It does not matter what side of the aisle you stood or currently stand on. These people are no good and to pretend that they are the one that will bring you good news and fresh fruit is stupidity. As you read this you may argue to yourself, “Well, I don’t fall in this category”. You are lying and denying a reality that is full of evidence. You will simply spend your whole life pretending and bending in order to fall in line with your world’s status quo.
“Do nothing which is of no use” -Miyamoto Musashi
Pretend that the things you have been doing and the people that you so willingly listen to and the actions they encourage are useful for you. Pretend. Because that is what this generation of our’s seems to be talented at. Pretending and complaining that everyone else is responsible for their joy and fulfillment. Only you, everything comes from you and to pretend is to lie. Comment what you like and complain as much as you want but your own empty is your creation. Every bit of joy, betterment, strength and improvement come from inside of you. Same as every amount of bitterness, anger, hate, lack of discipline and sadness. It is you. You can pretend it isn’t but we both know if you simply tuned out and looked at you and focused on making your own day a little better and therefore the week and so on and so forth you would find yourself making your own joy and giving a little away at a time.
That is not the case now. You have no balance, no understanding and no inclination to make your own lifes joyful or good. Instead you focus on things that really do nothing for you. Celebrities delivering messages and political investigations. Who really cares? I know I don’t anymore. Why should I? To waste my own time? To waste my own energy? To waste my own emotions? On what exactly? People who will never hear your words or your cries. We fall right in line and follow destiny and expectations.
Truly look it over. Who is really, truly worth the air you breathe? Air that you will one day never taste again. Who is really worth your time? Time that you cannot count on because it is rapidly ticking away as you waste it on nothing. Do you really want to pretend that your life depends desperately on the actions of people who do not even know that you exist? That your joy is truly the result of someone else’s inaction and not your own?
Do you want to enjoy what you do and feel like you never worked a day in your life? Or simply put, wouldn’t you prefer to plainly enjoy living? Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air? I’m sure someone out there will take the time to complain and someone else will correct my misspellings and grammar. I suppose that is their mission in life but this is what I’ve written out and what I feel good with.
Just remember, if you really want to make the world a better place then go ahead and do that but don’t pretend you need to shatter everyone else’s lives for it. Don’t pretend that everyone else must be held accountable for your lack of joy or fulfillment. Quit looking at things, people and ideas that have nothing to do with how your life goes. I mean, if the guy in the next town quit smoking would it really impact your daily life if you kept right on smoking? Would that really make your life brighter? Or would it improve his health? Ask yourself this when you try to follow someone whose actions have never really done anything for you. Do good by you first. That’s important, and tell society to go fuck themselves when they call you selfish for it. That’s probably the only reason you aren’t doing good by you right now.