During high school, a friend of mine and I would walk and talk about really welcome and deep stuff, meandering for maybe a hundred blocks through many quiet neighborhoods. It was obvious to us then, that we children were being conditioned to a certain kind of life; and we didn't like that, it wasn't something we had consented to. We vowed to resist it.
A few years later, adult life struck. All those molding forces got stronger and came from everywhere, as I tried to fit in, earn my living, get my shit together. After a few more years, I forgot about that oath and applied myself to being normal. Buy a house, get insurance, explore all the available consumer goods, vote, read and stay in touch. Life grew complex (because I let it, not realizing I had a choice about it).
My earning potential has always fluctuated. In my slow periods, my friends noticed my spendthrift tendencies and expressed concern. I listened and took their advice to heart, pulled myself together some more and brought my cost of living way down.
As I pared my life down, the effects of being conditioned became apparent to me. I had been purchasing things I desparately wanted but did not really need. I had pursued life goals that were ultimately meaningless. As I cast a lot of that aside, my vow all those years ago reemerged and I felt this tremendous desire to play.
Now I am asking myself some deep questions. Does work have to be dull and hostile? Can we make it fun? Surely we ought to take advantage of the abundant fruits of civilization, right? Is optimism practical? Is trust of each other damned important? Is it possible? How do we do it? Who can I play with and ask?
Lately, I feel a clear headed passion for my species, it's happiness and survival. I've resolved to make something meaningful of the rest of my life in aid of us all. I am convinced we blundered into a gawdawful mess and are intelligent enough to wrench ourselves free.