There are just so many rules in social life to follow… too many rules! I know them all so well that I am aware of many many opportunities to to break them, but I don’t break them on the world stage. Instead I break them in my mind. I play out the entire scene for my own amusement and often detriment. Generally the penalty for breaking social rules is embarrassment. If perchance you happen to not get embarrassed then people go out of their way to explain why you should be embarrassed while giving you those looks meant to teach children to behave and conform. Having broken many social rules, I am conditioned to be highly aware of rules, so aware that I automatically leave social gatherings with a feeling that I did something wrong. It is an automatic response that typically lasts until I finish reviewing the event for validation of the feeling. On a good day this feeling doesn’t bother me, but if I have been stressed, hungover, or not feel particularly well, my ability to deflect irrational thoughts decreases and I become unable to shake it off. Dwelling in these irrational thoughts only makes me feel worse. Awareness of what is going on helps but doesn’t fully cure my episode of despair. All I can do is hope that my general sense of well-being returns to brighten my day.
So there is a whole wealth of knowledge out there and we study it either diligently or grab it out of the time gust that blows by us, regardless we have to take notice of it and think about it in order for it to serve a purpose and be useful. I cannot state enough that no amount of education is worth the money and time if in some way one fails in their attempt to communicate that knowledge to the masses at hand, either indirectly or directly.
Anyways… on to the meat of things….. There are somethings that I cannot say any better than our predecessors, neither do I need to, but it is important to be reminded, so here it is:
“Perhaps we know more about the world than we used to and insofar as knowledge is prerequisite to understanding, that is all to the good. But knowledge is not as much a perquisite to understanding as in commonly supposed. We do not have to know everything about something in order to understand it; too many facts are often as much of an obstacle to understanding as too few. There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding.
One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned [radio, TV, etc.] are so designed as to making thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener of radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements – all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics – to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.” – Adler from ‘How to Read a Book’
My problem is that American life style relies too much on what package of life we choose for ourselves. It isn’t about the package or packages, it is what you do with your knowledge and how you put it together without letting others know what package you’ve purchased for yourself. It is easy to plug into the system, join a club or social group, go to school, work in a specific field… that is why we do it, because it is easy, especially when you can get positive feedback and be accepted by those around you. But what is the point of joining a group and uploading all their facts into your brain of you can’t apply it to everyday life without their logo on your T-Shirt or cheerleaders on your sideline. Perhaps I’m going off on a tangent… give me some space to come back into orbit….this gets better….
What really has got me going tonight was the above quote, which you have all heard the message from millions of times hopefully, and a friend of mine who pointed out that “we are the luckiest people in the world.”
And what are a lot of so called lucky people here doing? Watching shitty TV shows so they can numb themselves from reality by turning off their brains for far too many hours a day and possibly as a result drugging up the 4 year old because mommy is too tired to play with him since she was working all day to buy the big new TV. But at least she has something to mindlessly talk about at work the next day. How is that for a nice packaged life? You can buy that one too, on clearance in this market.
People are slaving themselves away all for an illusion of a packaged lifestyle that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist people, you can watch it on TV as much as you like but it ain’t you in that story, you are in your own story. So why not make it unique?