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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Live YOUR Life

"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life...

But why would I want to do a thing like that?"
- Trainspotting
People go through life pretending they're doing things for themselves, but really, we all know that people do things because it's what they THINK they should be doing.

They do things because society, family, friends, or work expects it of them. They dress a certain way to fit in with their friends or workplace standards. They go out to places because it's where their friends like to go. They get involved with people that their friends and/or family would like them to be involved with.

Acceptance is very important to people, and the only way to be accepted by a group is to be like that group.

Even the so-called 'rebels'' are fitting in with a group of other rebels. They dress the same way, they do the same things, and they discuss the same subjects.

The only times people are actually doing something for themselves is when no one else is involved. But even then, under some circumstances, they might be doing it so that they can talk about it to others and allow them to be accepted for it.

People do things because it's what they think is expected of them. They feel completely uncomfortable doing something that no one else is doing, because of how others might think of them. Every time someone has the option of doing something new and different, a very strong thought is, 'How will others react to this? Will I still be accepted by them?"

A very big influence on people's lives is how they were raised by their parents. Even though they may disagree with some of the values and 'rules' of their parents, continuing to be accepted by one's parents is still a very strong influence. 'Mother wouldn't approve', or 'my father told me never to do that...' These and many more such things continue controlling how people live their lives.

The programming of the past does not need to determine how we live our lives today.

Our parents programmed us to be as they wanted us to be, which was usually a reflection of themselves. They don't take into account our own individuality, and it's often as people become teenagers and begin to explore who they really are, that conflict between themselves and their parents occur.
"I brought you into this world, I can take you out."
- Bill Cosby
Parents generally believe their children to be their 'creation', so to speak. They raised their children to be a particular way, and while they 'program' them to be that way, they are also programming themselves to always be the programmer. When their children start to exert their own individuality, conflict often occurs because the parents are generally unable to accept that their 'creation' is becoming something separate to themselves. A certain element of control and ownership is being taken away from them.

Those children who continue to grow up by avoiding conflict, and generally following the wishes of their parents, are the ones who live the lives their parents want them to live. They are unable to live their own life.

Society itself is probably the biggest influence on people's lives as they grow up and become adults. They are the 'victims' of manipulation and conformity.

Society and the media work together in convincing people that they must be like everyone else in order to fit in and be accepted. This is good for society in general, and for those who control it, but it isn't exactly good for the individual who THINKS they are living their own life.
"The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
- Morpheus, The Matrix
The Matrix movie is an excellent story about the control that society has over individuals. People believe that they need to conform to the expectations of society, family, friends, etc, in order to be accepted and continue living their lives.

As Morpheus said in the quote above, people who are part of the system will fight to protect it. And anyone who is not part of the system is their enemy.

Don't we see this in our world today? Individually and globally, people who are not part of accepted society are perceived as a threat. People who live their lives according to different rules are a threat because those rules aren't OUR rules. They are therefore an enigma.

Anyone who prefers to live life according to their own rules is to be shunned, deemed an outcast, a weirdo, a loner or even a loser.

I have a simple philosophy - "If it feels right, and if it feels good, and it's not harming anyone or has the potential of harming anyone, then do it."

Live your life for yourself, respecting yourself and others along the way. Do what feels right for you. Don't live your life according to what you believe others expect of you, whoever they might be. Live YOUR life.
"I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."
- Neo, The Matrix

Posted on 3/29/2006 02:58:00 PM Backlinks

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Blogger Moghal said...

People do what society expects them to do because it feels good for them - enlightened self-interest is served by following the majority lead. This allows the development of societies in the first place.

Without societies, and mutual acceptance of a core set of standards within that society, we'd all still be hunter-gatherers out on the plains chasing down our next meal.

Society requires a sublimation of some personal desires and wants to suit co-operative living, on the understanding that we all benefit from co-operation, whereas only one person benefits from rebellion.

A society without 'rules or controls, borders or boundaries' is anarchy, where the biggest, strongest and most determined prosper at the expense of the rest.

3/29/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

and what's wrong with that? Maybe a good, solid shakeup of the entire system is needed, to come out with something different and possibly more beneficial?

Sure, it could be worse, but it's been worse in the past. It WILL be worse in the future. Nothing is guaranteed, and the only guarantee is that everything changes.

3/30/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Moghal said...

Anarchy leads to absolutism - and we all know what absolute power does. I'm not fond of democracy as a political system, but the enlightened self-interest involved leads to moderate societies, a drastic improvement on anything else we've seen so far.

Roll on the first Meritocracy and we'll all be better off.

3/30/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

Maybe you're right. :-)

3/30/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Hagerty said...

Meritocracy is wonderful in theory like most things. Who decides what is and is not worthy of merit?

Creating systems to try and manage the everlasting interaction of human needs, wants and emotions is a noble task that is inevitably doomed to failure.

When people learn to govern themselves, their own needs, wants and emotions and find themselves in the centre of their hearts... they will not need external governance.

Some would say that you can't create a system that engenders that sort of personal responsibility within others and you obviously can't. A system will never do it.

All you can ever do is teach through example.

"In this kingdom of existence
The heart is my sovereign.
When I tire of the treachery of reason
God knows I amgrateful to my heart."
- Idries Shah

4/03/2006 05:40:00 PM  

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