Of Humans and Cycles

I was lying on my bed on a Sunday night in February 2012, watching a TV show online, when a single thought fell into my head and has not yet made its way out:

I and a hell of a lot of humans are living a life of bullshit.

It’s all a cycle, isn’t it? It’s a never-ending cycle that we follow throughout our lives. It’s a cycle of play turning to work and following repetition forevermore.

Think about it. You spend your childhood being told to walk and talk only to grow up and be told to sit down and listen for the rest of your life. Now, if you were lucky, like me, you had a great childhood. If you were lucky, unlike me, you had a nice transition from childhood to adulthood. But what really happens when you hit adulthood? Once you hit that magic number, eighteen (or twenty-one, if you’re interested in drinking), what does the cycle continuously throw at you and other emerging men and women? What is expected to happen to them, to us?

Here’s what happens: we work our asses off for our high school diplomas, then we sell our souls to earn our bachelor’s degrees. We play the grade game to earn points with our professors and our deans, we twist our words so they agree with others’ and do whatever it takes to get all ‘A’s and nothing less. Did you know that fifty or sixty years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to get a ‘C’ in a subject? That was considered normal. Nowadays it is expected that you get ‘A’s. Now, ‘C’s are looked down upon, and lower your grade point average, which is really another scheme set up by universities to get you to cry, scream, and go to the depths of Hell to raise that number until it reads 4.0 or higher. God help you if it is lower, society doesn’t like it if that number is any lower.

Once you’re out of college and saddled with about twenty years of mind blowing debt, you spend the next forty years of your life going to work in a tie or a skirt and blouse. You work eight or ten or twelve hours a day nonstop then go home and numb your mind by watching TV and go to sleep and wake up and do it again. Every day. For years. We kiss ass to the managers and, if you’re like me, stare at a computer screen for hours on end until you want to stand up and run and stretch your legs for once and never look back at the mountain of papers on your desk. We score points for paid vacations, for better benefits. It’s college all over again, but it’s your salary at stake this time, not your GPA.

And where does that salary go? Well let’s see – society demands that you pay rent, insurance, electric, water and sewage, garbage pickup, car insurance, gas, car bills, phone bills, everything bills. We buy a lot of food and a lot of clothes. We like to put money into savings and some of us attempt to hold off spending it as long as we can before it gets brutally ravaged by medical bills or house damages or whatever. Oh, but we shop, too. We love going to malls, we love picking out shiny things. I’m guilty of wanting everything I lay eyes on every time I go to a mall. It’s sick. We need bigger TVs, bigger cars, bigger houses. We need more gadgets and more jewelry and more things we can proudly display for our friends to show how awesome we are.

And speaking of gadgets, we increasingly, increasingly are slaves. Not official slaves, mind you, but we are bound to something that has changed the world for the better and for the worse: technology. God, how I hate how technology has made me its slave. I hate that desire to check my phone every few minutes for new texts, I hate wanting to leave my facebook open on my laptop so I can see new notifications instantly. I love it when people “like” my statuses and pictures. In fact, right now I just thought about whether or not this note will get any likes. It’s a sickness, a death grip on this generation, and I hate it. I despise it. I played outside today with my sister and all I could think about was uploading pictures and talking about it on facebook. I tried to read today and all I wanted to do was see what other people had posted about their lives. I don’t call my real friends anymore to ask how they are, I can’t even remember the last time I dialed numbers into my phone. I text them.

We spend our lives in this cycle where we abuse our planet and the resources she gives us. We abuse each other. People judge, people hide the meaning of their words behind fake smiles, people classify one another like insects in a biology class based on race or religion or economic status or whether or not a girl has blonde hair and huge breasts. People hate. God, how people love to hate.

All our lives we are told to do things our way and be creative only to grow up and enter the cooperate world where you have to follow a formula in order to succeed. We survive college only to earn a degree that will get us a job that will be hated and despised. Maybe we get married. Maybe we raise a family. Maybe we find incredibly wonderful and beautiful friends to share our lives with. Maybe little bits and pieces of what life is all about get through to us. But I feel as though we, for the most part, have been sucked into a shameless rotation. Each generation learns from its parents, and with every new generation of people we solidity that pattern that is getting harder and harder to break. And it’s madness. And it has to stop.

There, my friends, is my rant. Do with it what you will. “Like” it and move on. Read it and weep. I hope you take it to heart. As for me… my God, I don’t know how I’m going to break this awful cycle. All I know is that from here on out, I am going to try. All I want is to be happy.

Shouldn’t that be the greatest goal of all?

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