Many of us have emerged from our childhood years with feelings of inadequacy and concealed resentment that influence the way we perceive certain situations, events and people.
Basically, we’re damaged goods. Even more so because we were never taught to love ourselves.
One giant sign of lack of self-love is deriving our sense of worth from the opinions of others. This manifests itself in many ways. From only buying clothes that give one a sense of ‘class’, to reading books exclusively written by bestselling authors….almost everything one does is to live up to, or attain, a certain status. As defined by other people. Often at our expense.
The only way to be truly happy, society has showed us over and over again, is to fit in with the crowd. To have what everybody else has deemed ‘the best’. And this is not the problem, per se. We are social creatures, and our sense of community is one of the cornerstones of our existence.
The problem comes when we look at others as inferior for ‘not living up to our standards’. Homeless people are trash. Dropouts are dumb. Unemployed people are lazy. Divorced people are failures. People who cry in public are weak.
Society has perpetuated this template of what it means to be a person of worth in the 21st century- a person who wakes up after two hours of sleep, showers, chooses a cute outfit for the opposite-or same-sex, gulps a coffee and goes to work in a hurry.
Takeaways, twelve-hour workdays, and little to no sleep. This is what leads me to The Dream, you justify such living to yourself. And so the workdays get longer, weekends become shorter or even non-existent. But hey, at least you’ve got a sports car that makes the ladies swoon! At least you’ve got a luxury apartment which you rarely ever relax in!
The point being, we never get to fully use all the things that we say we’re working towards. Most of them are merely status symbols; ways for us to feel better about living dissatisfying lives. What’s worse is that once we have these status symbols, we have to work even harder to keep them. This is what we call The Dream. It was American, but now it’s a worldwide phenomenon.
And all this happens because we try to blur out the voices in our heads that tell us the truth. We can never just sit down, and enjoy the silence of our thoughts. That is why we have made entertainment the pinnacle of our social lives. Social media, television, music, celebrity gossip…we call this ‘escapism’, and this couldn’t be more true. We are escaping from our own lives.
This much is true: the big bad corporations of the world know this. And they use it to their advantage. We sell our souls to corporatism in order to gain money, which we use to support the very same evil that we say we detest!
We do not have time for our families, we do not have time to enjoy our successes because they’re never enough. It is from that perpetual place of lack that we grow disillusioned; like the work that we put in is never reciprocated in a satisfying manner.
This is not meant to be a demonization of the corporate world, or entertainment. Both aspects are necessary for the world to evolve in the way that it has, and shall continue to be. However, we need to remember our human needs.
We need to realize that we are human beings above all else, and that we are capable of achieving everything we’ve ever wanted, and not what the world wants. That is where we will find the meaning we’re so fervently looking for.