You’re a cog in a machine. The economy is in the shitter, you’re paying more for your mortgage/rent, you’re paying more at the grocery store. You’re probably earning more now than you ever have in your life, but you’re barely seeing anything trickling to your savings account. You want to stay at home, where you’ve been for the last 3 years, but your company management is triggering you with RTO plans. You can’t keep up with inflation but they say you’re going to hate deflation even worse. You seek solace in the forest, away from industrialization, but whatever we have left of the wilderness we have around is burning. The air causes cancer, the water pipes are full of lead.
You see the world outside the window is burning but your boss is droning on about some imaginary crisis affecting his internal world. It’s hard to pay attention because nothing is actually real. It sounds like a bucket full of sludge. Why have you forsaken me? Why is everything bad only happening to me when I followed the metric that has been laid out to you by some Scottish man 300 years ago? Let go of the rubric, let go of expectation that people set out for you. That there are rules you must follow to succeed and or feel successful. That you must beat out your personality and interests in order to fit into the machine whatever company employs you until you’re dismissed. Every step of the way towards standardizing your performance leads to your easy replacement by automation. It is then you have a moment of realization. Maybe you’re on a commute home and you hear that song you haven’t heard since you were 17. Full of revolutionary ideals about your place in the world and how the world could be. Maybe your anxiety hit you against rock bottom and as you stair out on the floor you think, this isn’t the way it was meant to be.
You’re not a cog. You’re an individual based in a community with unique experiences and perspectives. The economy is measured in metrics that interpret people as lonely islands guided only out of self-interest. But last week you sat in traffic like a good boy, you didn’t rip it on the oncoming lane out of self interest. You tipped for your coffee. Is 30 seconds of effort worth the $1 tip? You helped your neighbour with setting up a squat rack. Even though you’ve been locked up in your home for 3 years, maybe it’s good to get out and be around people a couple of times a week. While nature is burning, you still saw a seal swimming in a river chewing up salmon as they head home to die. You’re lucky you saw that you know.
You go to the library and check out a book. Any book. Any topic of any political leaning. Journalists don’t fall out of balconies, the neighbouring country hasn’t invaded you. Your child goes to school, educated individuals take care of them and teach them skills that set them out to the world. Individuals at a higher level decide on the curriculum and measurement of success so you don’t have to. If you’ve forgotten to make dinner, you can pay someone an extra 10 dollars to deliver anything you want to your doorstep. Your cog turns 30 minutes for $10. You don’t have bars on your window, no guard dog. You are free to do as you wish. To be whoever you want. You can even choose to laugh at the droning of your boss and imagine socking him in the face. Or imagine a brighter future where you’re the boss, working for yourself, doing something you love in exchange for money.
Life’s not so bad after all. Is it?