Monday, 22 February 2016

Please keep to the right

Why do so many of my generation feel so entitled? I used to hate it. I used to think they were lazy, and unimaginitive. I used to look down on people with that attitude  because they lived as if it was easier to be lost in the garden of eden, even if it was all made of cardboard and eventually sucked them dry, than it was to find themselves.

I don't feel like that any more. The previous generation had Holden Caulfield, and mine had Neo. Someone who stepped outside the world and seen it for what it is. Someone who has seen the machines we set in place to keep ourselves comfortable. We live in a human zoo.

People feel entitled because they have done everything they were supposed to do, that they were told to do, in order to have a good life. Yet they don't. And they can feel it. They have seen actors pretending to enjoy products and widgets and trinkets in TV advertisements so much that they ape them and think that's how to live. Doing what they are told to do.

Our whole society is built on behaviour/reward. You do what you are told to do, what you are supposed to do, and you receive your reward. The problem is, for being obedient, going to school, getting good grades, going to work, putting the hours in, raising a family, getting a loan to buy a car, getting a mortgage to own a home, for all of this, the reward has been mis-sold.

Although it might seem like it in the prospectus, in the recruitment material, in the adverts, the reward for obedience isn't happiness. It's comfort. It's someone else's definition of what is a good enough standard of living for you.

So when I see people of my generation feeling entitled, I no longer feel angry at them. I feel angry for them. I feel angry for me. I spent 30 years without knowing what I know now. I was caught in a scam.

Everyone knows that in the long run, in blackjack, the house always wins. The problem with our society is that we think we can influence the house. We think that if the dealer is our friend, or someone like us, we might get a better hand. We might last longer in the game. We might end up with more for ourselves. But happiness is rarely found in quantities, and it's never in any hand you are dealt.

The reward for obedience has been mis-sold, and comfort is not the same as happiness. I don't blame people for feeling entitled any more.