The millenial paradox.
The 21st century is confusing. Divisions between people are broadening while others are contracting. People are more confused than ever about their place in a world that is constantly changing, brimming with technology that threatens to disrupt every idea about life that they’ve ever had. We are unsure of what, how, and whether to think at all. Like a recording stuck on repeat, we repeat the same motions over and over again, walking the same paths, meeting the same people, making the same pointless conversation, and thinking the same thoughts, all in a bid to find meaning, or the lack of it, in monotony. We are afraid to dream because we are afraid to fail. We are afraid to hope because we are afraid to dream. We are afraid of freedom, because with freedom comes the chance to hope, and to dream.
At the heart of it all lies a conflict. It’s a three-way struggle between utility, individuality, and meaning.
To accept your place in the world as what you have been given, or, in other words, to fit in. Meaning is what you want it to mean. Meaning could lie in expression, or it could lie in acceptance, or it could lie in rebellion. We accept that humanity is concerned for itself, and so, by choosing to fit in, we convince ourselves that we are working for the betterment of humanity. Meaning has been given.
Rebel, and choose to go your own way. Work with only one goal in mind: happiness. It’s not so much about the destination, as the journey. Meaning has been found.
To be of benefit to everyone, or to make yourself your priority.
As it happens, they need not be mutually exclusive. Rebellion most often benefits the large majority of people. Although it might come from an altogether more selfish place, the act of rebellion is more collective than it might seem. In encouraging people to become self-aware enough to make, and act on their own choices, meaning is found.
Then again, choose to find meaning in monotony, and there’s an entirely different kind of rebellion to be had.