Adulthood

28 February, 2018

In every single generation (really, Helen Keller wrote about how it was common knowledge that society was becoming decrepit in 1932), people start saying “I wish things were more like back in my day” or “kids these days” not because things are inherently worse in some way, but as a way of blaming the world and staying unaccountable for their own happiness.

You might not connect with the movies or other media being released, and say that they’re not like the ones you used to see, but it’s because your values were shaped by what you saw first. These experiences were formative because they were the first ones that you had. What’s made today is made with today’s values, so they’re just different, but more importantly they’re simply not the first thing that you encountered.

As a kid you suffered, just like you suffer now. The level of suffering is actually constant throughout life. But you don’t remember all the bad times, just the good ones, because that’s how our poor memories work. So today seems worse. As a kid, you were forced to grow. Everything was new, and so it was a challenge. And when you do everything in your power to avoid that growth once it’s not required to survive, tending towards conservation of energy (“laziness”), you’re actually skipping over the essential nature of being alive. So you remember the good parts of the good old days because you were growing and being stretched. No wonder you’re bored now, wishing that things would go back to how they were!

There is no excuse not to really challenge yourself and strive for new things. If you’re excited about what you’re learning and doing for the first time when you’re 90, today can be just as good as your memory of yesterday. Saying that things are shit is just an excuse, a way to keep yourself stuck instead of being brave and facing your fear.