“Live the Lie Until it Becomes Apart of Your Life”
From the moment we are born, we are preordained to embody a particular status and subsequent societal standards. These standards encompass a broad variety, including socioeconomic status, stereotypes, values, morality, language, identity, and so on. And we are meant to uphold these standards based on our corresponding category. We learn our status through our upbringing, the lessons that our parents teach us, lessons that they believe to be true, lessons that teach us how to navigate our worlds. And we learn our status in the schools they send us to, through the means of a punishment and reward system and how we behave accordingly. We enact what we’ve learned by navigating within our social lives with peers and friends, finding additional guidance within the media and our television sets.
And our lives move forward, as we become adults, taking with us what we’ve learned, and behaving accordingly. It is at this point, that I might postulate, some of us begin to stop asking questions. We stop wondering about what is right and what is wrong, we stop trying to understand how the world works and who we are supposed to be. We are following the trajectory. We are doing as we are told. We have graduated our pubescent years of curiosity and now we have been afforded the opportunity to become someone, to become something. We have our answers and now we are meant to be productive members of our economic society.
I can’t step into the life of someone of who was raised differently, someone that was prescribed a status unlike my own. For quite some time, I had attempted to do so. I wanted to understand a diverse perspective. I wanted to penetrate the core of life’s trials and tribulations in the shoes of someone else… to understand the human condition and find truth among different perspectives. I wanted to exchange stories, realize new understandings, and perhaps most significantly, I wanted to remove what was instilled within me, unlearn my status, and create a new identity. My reasons were selfish… my personal experiences had not afforded me a position in which I felt fully achieved, self-actualized, or some attainment of absolute knowing. I had thought that maybe the answers would lie within another status, within another life or purpose unlike anything that I have ever known. I grew wearisome of those who had it all figured out… mourning each person that realized a trajectory, slinking away to find others who didn’t quite have it right, much like myself.
I bought into the lie. I let it become my life. I had thought I was forging a new identity… when all I was doing was running amok… trying to find purpose in someone else. I was looking for guidance outside of my upbringing… I was wandering aimlessly in naivety. For, I stopped asking questions, and was focused solely on blending within someone or something, looking for someone to hand me the answers so I could be who I’m supposed to be.
My point in all of this?
There is no right and there is no wrong. There is no correct way to do anything, there are no absolute answers that will guide us along the appropriate path. We can choose to follow what our upbringing taught us and act accordingly, finding an implicit faith in the lessons that society afforded us. We can choose to remain in our neat, little boxes because that’s the way we are taught, that’s all we’ve ever known, or we know deep down that it’s easier that way. Regardless, there will be instances when life shakes us down, when life presents the opportunity to look beyond yourself. Perhaps, instead of turning our heads or allocating our judgements upon the situation, we can understand that there is much to be learned from another perspective. And not only for the sheer sake of our own, personal wellbeing, but for the sake of unifying among our similarities as opposed to dividing ourselves among our differences.
We are taught within the earliest stages of our lives the standards of our society, the status that we must uphold, the way we must live our lives, and to conform. If we stop asking questions, we are refusing to grow. If we accept the limitations imposed upon us, we accept our neat, little boxes, and we never reach for anything more. Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we accept what we have been taught? And if we believe the answer to be yes, then do we accept the conditions of our society, the happenings of the world around us, the leaders that stand before us, the problems we encounter in our day to day existence? And, allow me to say this, I am not stating that our lives should necessarily be all honky dory, or that it is possible to achieve absolute wellbeing for everyone and everything, because conflict does arise when we are speaking in terms of opinion and perspective. All I wish to say is that we should never stop asking questions. We should never accept one absolute truth or understanding. We should never neglect the opportunities to both look inside ourselves and look out into the world outside of our bubbles, outside of our boxes. If history has taught us anything, it is that life necessarily evolves and circumstances are continually changing. Even within our personal lives, our loyalties change, friends fade away, family members pass, lovers become distant faces. It may be easier to follow a particular trajectory, pushing forward with our blinders on, but at what expense? We may be productive members of our economic society, but what about our connections with others, what truly motivates us?