Obedience and compliance

Please sit down. Use your number 2 pencil. And ask if you want permission to go to the bathroom.

We have had 20 plus years of indoctrination. Of being told that this was the blue print of happiness.

Put your head down, do as you are told, and we will pay you. And it worked for a short time. You got a pension. You had a house.

So the lie continues until…

Until there is no social mobility. Until debts systems grow so far out of control that you can’t get out of them. Because we have been trained to be told what to do, we continue to follow the step-by-step set of instructions are parents (or boss or teachers) told us to do.

Work harder.

There is an oversupply of those willing to be told what to do next.

We must understand the other part of the lie that many are told:

“You need us.”

We need capitalism (big business) to provide us jobs, healthcare, vacation, safety, security, abundance, and yes, fulfillment.

But none of that is true. Because finding humanity and authenticity and joy, all things that each of us profess to want to find, can’t be found in the stuff that is sold to us. Capitalism is the perfect system to produce average stuff for average people. It is perfect for producing for the masses. But what it can’t do is bring the happiness we seek.

That fulfillment requires none of obedience or compliance. It’s about embracing risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure. It’s about throwing away the map and carving a new path. It is about vulnerability and sharing your art. It’s about solving interesting, complex problems. It’s about commitment to see something through that has a higher probability of failing.

Capitalism continues to find someone who is faster and cheaper. What happens when a car can drive from Cleveland to LA without any pitstops. A driver that makes fewer mistakes and doesn’t demand dental coverage.

Over the next several decades, we have to ask what it means to be human. Because it isn’t defined by a paycheck. And it is more than your job. We can’t be told the answer because this is a new chapter in history. Instead, we can embrace the unknown and take a step.