Saturday, January 31, 2009

I watched the Revolutionary Road tonight.

the system

"All those rules," my friend pondered, "waiting in line to see someone, getting tickets from a machine, going from one office to another... so many obstacles are raised in our way each day, limiting our lives in so many ways..."

I found this thought very refreshing. But then I thought, these rules are there for a reason, right? They are the result of years and generations of experience and hard thought, negotiation, common sense. People built this system over hundreds of years. This is what they came up with after hundreds of years of conquest for happiness, freedom, security. And all the consensi (I assume this is the plural of consensus?) in between. Will revisiting it, trying to go against it make us any happier than everyone else? Trying to swim against the current?

This is the best we can get. The best consensus. The equation with the optimal outcome. We are not completely happy, free or secure, but each of us are in a happy medium with enough of each to get by. Because too much of one wouldn't leave enough room for the others. And we want them all. We need a little bit of each.

We might as well go with it. Close the book on all the questions our forefathers found answers to. Like an exam you already passed. This is the answer.

"When in doubt, conform," said another friend. Even if you're not totally convinced, conform. Even if you don't see the point. Even if you think you could be happier if you did things another way. Just believe that this is the best way of doing things, even if you can't get your mind around it. Know that you couldn't be better off any other way. Get on with what you have to do.

People are not stupid. You are just a bit slow.

1 comment:

Jerusha said...

hey, you might be right, i don't know... i would do the opposite, 'when in doubt, don't conform'... but then that requires being very humble when you find you are wrong (and sometimes when everyone else congratulates you on being right!)... i haven't got that right though... but it is just in my nature to do the above, but i wouldn't recommend it!