And found this.
I originally wrote this in 2006 in a very different time in my life. It was a very different time in all of our lives to tell the truth. But there's still something about it that resonates to me.
I hope that all of you enjoy.
But if you don't, remember this was written by an idealistic college student who didn't know the real world. It took me two more years to graduate with my bachelor's and move on to graduate school. Two more years from there before I actually entered the workforce and saw what the real world was like.
Damn, I was a different person—a kid—back then. :)
For years, I’ve wanted to say something profound. I’ve been wanting to say something that would make everyone go “shit” or “wow” or something exclamatory, and thing that that kid, that guy, hit the nail right on the head. That day has been a long time in coming, and to tell the truth, it probably will never arrive. It would be too much if I were to peak now. That just isn’t life. But then again maybe it is.
Last time I checked, life was a pretty fucked up gig. I mean I have heard of some messed up stuff before, but life is just one of those things. The joke between men and women is that just when a man comes close to figuring out how the game is played, the women go and change the game. But life not only changes the game but the rules also. What was once a foul, now will send you directly to go where you will get $200. It doesn’t make any sense.
But that is the beauty of it. It never will, as long as we let it. And yes, it is up to us to make it change.
We are a culture who is obsessed with the latest gossip about Bradalina, or what happened last week on Impetuous Homemakers, or the latest CD coming out. We look for solutions amidst ads of women’s perfume and dromedary cigarettes. Our kids debate which is better, the big, purple dog or the red dinosaur. The media tells us what to wear, what to do, what to think?
Where does that leave us? In years before, generations had things to rally around. Our parents had Vietnam, our grandparents the Nazis, our forefathers the Stamp Act; but we are a generation in a void. What rally cry do we have? Iraq? Sure. Which side do you want? Global warming? What global warming? It is colder now than it has been before. Animal rights? I like my meat.
We are a generation that is lost in nothingness. We want hope in our breakfast cereal, love in our job, and absolution in our sex. We are obsessed with being happy and not upsetting anyone. We are offended by people profiling, but yet we buy music that openly uses such phrases as “niggers” and “bitches and hos”. Our lives are contradictions upon contradictions. We look to sports stars to teach us wrong from right, and are shocked when they use “performance enhancers”. The family has been degraded to such a place that if a mother has the AUDACITY to reprimand her child for throwing a fit in a store, that she will have child services called on her. It is suddenly Un-American to question President Shrub when the freedom to question is one of the key points of our country.
This is the world that our children are growing up in. A world where common sense is outlawed and intelligence banned. Where we are scorned for following the rules and rewarded for cheating.
Where has the happiness gone? When did it become fashionable to brag about being lonely or to drink yourself into a stupor each night? Day in and day out we drug ourselves through the pain of another day, just to have the life sucked slowly out of us.
We must cut ourselves free.
I listen to people complain that they cannot fly. I hear people bitch that they are constrained by rules and politics. That they are unhappy with what they have and nothing seems to make it better. We all know them. They stand there, day after day, slowly dying and doing nothing.
Life is an interesting thing. We hear the turn of phrase “Get a life” and think of it meaning for us to get more into the grove of the culture. The ironic thing is that instead of freeing us, it binds us tighter.
When things get tough, we talk about just putting one foot in front of the other and just trying to make our way to the next day. We put our heads down and force our way forward, despite everything else. But the thing is, that it will slowly kill us, just as the daily grind will.
Life begs to be lived. We need to look up. We wish to dull the pain, but the pain is what tells us we live. What would evil be if there was no good? What would black be without white? How can we truly know happiness without knowing the depths that the spirit can fall? What is height without depth?
By crushing one, we crush all.
Without a rallying cry, each person in our generation must find their own. Sometimes they will scream it loud and long and never be joined. But sometimes others will join in. And then we won’t be alone. We fear to be alone, but we fear rejection more. No one understands me.
We are never alone. Our supports are always there, we just need to know where to look. To explore. We feel that the popular people must be happy—look at their groupies. But a man with too many friends has none.
We must cut the ties that bind. We must free our minds until they are alone and then we can bind them to friends, to family, to lovers, and even to haters. Instead of looking for happiness in the bottom of a box of Cracker Jill’s, we need to find it within ourselves and what we already have.
"But it isn’t that easy," the masses say.
The thing is….. it is. We really don’t know what we have until we lose it, or think we have. We really don’t know what we can do until we do it. We really don’t know anything about ourselves until we push ourselves to the limit and beyond. What I am talking about is not a physical thing, but rather a mental or spiritual thing. Only we can judge our self worth, and if you have to drink yourself to sleep each night, or over the letter “M”, what does that say?
As we go through life and hear the commercial jingles and see the sex on TV, we must stop—completely—and think. How much of this is real? Will it really help us through the crucible and save us? Can we trust those pushing their ideas? Or can we trust ourselves and those around us?
Who am I to judge for you? All I know is that there is hope for everyone. Redemption is not just an idea from whatever god you believe in, but nor is it something given away by them. Redemption can only come from within. When we have a clear conscience, we are truly free.
And then we can live.