Save those two glazed eyes Boring a hole into nothingness Close your heavy lids And give in to the beckoning darkness Plunge into oblivion Lose yourself in apathetic slumber Let your limp body drift It’s so much easier to surrender
“Do you remember what it was like in the world before?”
“People had more than they needed. They had no idea what was precious, what wasn’t. We threw away things. People killed each other.”
~Denzel Washington (Book of Eli)
I look up ahead of me and there are all these walls covered with daunting thorns, freaking me out and telling me to just stop right here. These harsh obstacles make me worry about the scars I would have to put up with if I continue this direction. They keep pushing me back, using my fear to keep me rooted on the spot and prevent me from seeing the other side of these walls. But what else can I do but carry on? There are definitely options to choose from, but if I am to live a fulfilled life, there’s no way to it but to start climbing the seemingly insurmountable hurdles. It’s easier to turn to the road more often traveled, but I refuse to give up on the path I am destined for.
It is very difficult nowadays to come across that rare moment of clarity, that dawning of comprehension, about what really is and what we are about. We are swimming in a deluge of noise and we try our hardest to avoid surfacing to silence. We find it hard to think, just shut up and think, because we preoccupy our minds with blabber. There’s not much time left to question and seek for answers about the world, the enormity of life, as we are too busy with the everyday tasks we put upon ourselves. There’s not much space left to allow discovery of the essential, the learning and understanding of the truth since we are too filled with trivial things. To find someone who is open to queries about the state of society or someone who will not dismiss a lengthy discussion about ideas and insights is to find a grain of sand among the rocks.
It’s heartbreaking how money has torn us apart. I recently had a party with my closest friends and this event was quite difficult to put together because almost everybody was busy with spending weeks in overtime trying to earn extra or in hospital duty gaining experience for future employment. And at the party, work was such an inescapable topic of conversation, you know, the usual discussion of frustration about customers, bosses, salaries and bills. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the party as much as we can. But it’s just sad that this, enjoying the company of friends, had to be so hard to make possible. I can’t even remember the last time we were almost complete in a gathering like this. All because we can’t make schedules meet due to the priority of work and money.
It is apparent that society has evolved into this money-making machine, constantly moving to keep the money coming and going. Our lives are indoctrinated with the norm that money be a priority in everything we do because we just can’t do without it. If we want to live a civilized life with proper food, shelter and enough basic necessities in order to survive, we have to have money. We could detach ourselves and live in the wilderness without money to sustain us, but if we still want to stay in touch with friends and society in general, it just seems impractical.
We have become slaves of the almighty money, growing up to believe that it is something of great value. It isn’t. Money is just a means of exchange, a way to distribute resources – a distribution that must necessarily be fair and equitable for all.
In the beginning no one owned anything. The land, its fruits, the minerals, water, everything is for everybody to share. And labor is the only thing that the people had a sense of ownership of. But because majority of our wealth is now “owned” by a few powerful individuals, we are constrained to give what we do have, our labor, just so we can have a bit of the wealth they hold hoard. Since money is concentrated in and controlled by the hands of these few, it has become a means to stratify the population and create class warfare.
Today’s society has inequality and injustice as the very foundation of its system. We, the working class and the poor who are the majority of society, spend most of our lives striving to earn money in order to survive. All our distressing effort, frequent overtimes, sickness from fatigue, loneliness from being away from families and unhappiness from the routine work – which is really not what we want to do in life but are forced to do because it pays the bills – are all for the bidding of the minority on top.
And worse is that these big shots have us believing that there’s no way around this inequality, that this is just the way life is. And if we want to prosper like them, we must sacrifice everything we have and be as ruthless as them while climbing the ladder, not minding the lives we trample on. And when we do get to the top, we’ll be as soulless as these profit-making giants.
But what can we do to break out of this unjust monetary system? I do not have the answer to how or if we can do this, yet. Right now, we are very much tied to it whether we like it or not. What we do have the power over are our own perceptions and decisions. We could try to open our minds and see that money does not have value in itself. Its worth lies in its use; it is just a means to an end. We can try to not worship money or material things so much, and instead find real value in our relationships with other people and with the earth. We can stop seeing money-making as our reason for living, and instead turn our priorities to loving and sharing – genuine happiness. We can change the system by starting with the change in ourselves.
I have always been baffled by how society works. In my solitude I often ponder on why certain things happen and how people think or act this way or the other. Asking questions has always been a past time when my brain is not occupied and seeking to understand has been an obsession. But there are times, genuine times, that I discover actual answers to the questions that I have barely formed in my head. These tiny pieces of revelation come in different forms – a short story, a novel, an essay, a film, a picture, a song – and the feeling of fulfillment in this unearthing is very compelling, it pushes me to write about it, to share the bit of precious insight.
The people behind these inspiring lessons have done more than enough in being able to substantiate and illustrate the most difficult issues to explain. The matters that most of us fear to touch because we are unable to make sense of them, as doubt or apathy sometimes beleaguer us, are brilliantly portrayed by these people. So in my gratitude to them, to give their work due credit and to further the purpose of their creation, I pass them on to you.
One of the ingenuities I recently stumbled on is this short film about a new kind of revolution, narrated by Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, directed by Ian MacKenzie.
“This is not crazy. This makes sense. This is how to live.”
This second film is about the shift of civilization towards a world that is not oppressive but rather fosters a sustainable way of living.
“It is really up to us to determine at what point this wake-up point will happen.”
If you’re also searching for answers and seeking to learn more about life and the world around us, or perhaps pursuing the change you’ve been longing for, these sites might be of help: Curious, very curious
Life. Should I map it out? I mean, I only have one shot at it, I don’t want to mess it all up. Every day I feel this nudging in my gut that I should be making the most out of life, especially now that I still have the time and dexterity to do all the possibilities that will sooner or later be taken away from me. But here I am, fumbling and figuring out how to proceed with this vast unknown hovering in front of me.
I know who I am, not entirely but at least a greater part of me. I am aware of my likes and dislikes, my capabilities and weaknesses, my convictions and apprehensions. But still there are times when I find myself stuck. I don’t know if this is just a feeling, a petty thing that I’m making a big deal of.
Modesty aside, I do believe that I am meant for great things. I mean all of us are, we just have to choose to be. And I choose that path. I know it’s hard and despite my determined efforts to shun fear, it’s still there. But I understand; it is part of human nature. Even the bravest person on earth can’t really be fearless; there will still be that occasional drop of cold sweat, their only difference from cowards is how they take that fear and use it to push themselves further.
So here I am, on the process of taking anxiety and doubt by the handle so that I can propel myself. I have faith in me because I have faith in Him. Amid the uncertainty of this labyrinth, I know that I will be guided because I am not alone.