It is said that adults today are trying to be more like children. I don’t think that is the correct assessment, at least not entirely. I do think we are a culture which is progressively shirking responsibility, but that is another conversation entirely.
I think people are trying to feel more alive. I think there is an element in each of us which looks at the deluge of Corporate jobs and sees a host of zombies chained to monochromatic cubicles. Something inside of us recognizes futility when we see it, though the concept at that point may not be definable to us. Perhaps we know of no other way to avoid the appearance of a mundane life, so we cling to the promise of adventure; to the idea of Harry Potter.
In reality, we are screaming that we want a life which means something. It tells us that we are not satisfied with the status quo. Deep inside we are sick of the forced mediocrity. We have been asleep long enough and finally we awake to find a world which seems almost foreign to us. We’re poisoning ourselves with our poorly-made mass-produced products, and meekly accept tinkering of our food chain from a scientific community which has largely become less scientific, and more God-like in their approach to the subject. There seems to be a prevailing attitude of “let’s try this and see what happens”. Then we suddenly wonder at all the strange anomalies happening within the insect world, but staunchly refuse to acknowledge that there might be a connection to the changes in their food source. Yet the public is virtually powerless to bring true “science” back, or to require public approval. We have already become a mass of guinea pigs for the scientific community. There was no vote for those changes. We were “acted upon”. We realize life has become a passive thing, and we are figuring out that we don’t want that.
We realize that life is short, that it should be filled with living dreams, sharing talents, helping others, and embracing those we love. In a world which places ever-increasing demand upon workers to devote their lives to their jobs, we are realizing it might be too late to reclaim what has been lost. What do we do? We play video games which don’t make us feel helpless (unless you’re horrible at it, like me), we watch movies in which the underdog prevails or the superhero rises above insurmountable odds. We go on vacations, we might even do “real-life” adventures. The kind where you pay and someone organizes a strange thrilling real-life game of “search for clues” and whatnot. We find “extreme” activities like bungee jumping to try and satiate the burning inside us.
It is only a temporary fix, a band-aid, a shot-glass of water to slake a thirst which cannot be quenched. It is the story of a bland life, of the frustrated masses who desire and yearn to be so much more, but haven’t the means. It is a crushing reality; we have become little more than indentured servants to our jobs. That, in many cases, is the summation of our lives. Unrealized potential, dreams dead and scattered as carrion for the coming generations who still lack the means to pick up the pieces and reassemble them.
It is not the fault of the “wealthy”, but simply greed. Greed will choke our society to death, just as it did in Rome. We will die from within, without anyone needing to raise a single finger. We cannot continue to neglect our lives in the meaningless pursuit of more profit. Profit only matters if you plan to DO something with it: hire more workers, help the community, sponsor talent. After all, without the community and the dollars of the lower and middle classes, there IS no Corporation. We need to change our view of what “life” is all about, and what it should entail.
We made ourselves slaves to time; to the clock. We made ourselves slaves to production. We made ourselves guinea pigs to the scientific community by failing to educate ourselves. If we fail to care about our own lives, we become a spectator. I had a saying when I was younger, and I may write this and hang it in my little office:
Life is NOT a Spectator Sport.
I’ll add to that by declaring that I refuse to be a benchwarmer. I don’t know where I’m going in life, and if I answer your question (whether it was intended as an insult or not) of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, by saying “a Jedi”, know that this answer stands for so much more: ambition, excellence, challenge, strife, determination, achievement, failure, success, and the willingness to get up each day and greet the fight with my lightsaber by my side.