The following text is a reflection loosely based on the book “the subtle art of not giving a f**k*
Kids these days are raised within fortresses of WiFi, iPads, gadgets and snapshots of 3 AM drunk fries. Phones are our holy objects of worship. The teddy bears that we cling onto as soon as the slightest uncomfortable social setting has to be faced.
Kids these days have so few problems that their minds will make up some. But it’s not our fault. Problems are the engine that drives humans forward. The problems are just lighter and more manageable. Manageable in contrast to being in a war zone, or having to protect yourself from a hurricane.
Kids these days cuddle with trigger warnings and knit sweaters that cause our morals to itch. Kids these days wear sweaters made out of fears. Fears that we aren’t encouraged to overcome. Reality runs through a coffee filter of censorship in the name of mental health and for the prevention of trauma, but comes out distorted and in turn leaves people more fragile and distanced than before.
The only bits of suffering seen nowadays are snippets from the 7 o’ clock morning broadcast or the daily news. Kids these days see the extraordinary as the ordinary. We all want to leave a mark on this earth. We all want to be extraordinary and make it to page six. Yet, kids these days forget that success comes with a price. As Biggie smalls summarized in his single “Mo Money Mo Problems” – the more money we come across, the more problems we see.
Kids these days should try to see pain and suffering as something educative, rather than something to avoid at all costs. Pain and suffering is a school of its own. It makes us focus, it makes us think and reflect upon what actually matters in this one life. Pain and problems are what bring about contrast. Kids these days should try and understand that happiness is not a destination, and that there is perhaps no “you” to be found. It is all a continuum, and by riding our fears instead of pretending like everything is fine or panicking about the horrors of life – we can perhaps come a little closer to that infinite, unreachable cluster of happiness.
We think therefore we are. If we’re afraid to die, isn’t that a sign of us not living to our fullest capacity? Why not try and acknowledge death for what it is. This melancholic, yet immensely powerful, purposeful, and 100% certain expiry date that reminds us every now and then that we have to use our time wisely. It’s not about living for the sake of others, not about conforming to insecurities and toxic norms, but to live for our own sake and for our own dreams. Because the further we move into this journey, the more things will change, the more people will move around, disappear, and at the end of the day it is only ourselves that we’re left with.
Many social obstacles in our lives are simply echoes of evolution. We love to feel that we’re right and we are quite a lazy species. We perceive political debates as emotional attacks and respond accordingly. But why not try to fight that feeling of always having to be right? Isn’t it when we stand with the feet of our bodies on the ground and dare to admit that we’re wrong that we actually feel better after a discussion? When we seek out more perspectives, strive for peace, and aim towards being a little less wrong with each day – that we can be truly consider ourselves to be alive?
We are the Siddhartas of the 21st century. School and life is constantly giving us opportunities to leave our fortresses. Kids these days should dare to leave the fortresses built of the judgment of others, leave the fortress of excessive, sugarcoated optimism (or pessimism for that matter). Kids these days should at least try to not let money, greed or one-sided information poison their minds. Kids these days should try and dive into the waters of explicit content and disagreement, into the uncensored darkness and raw state of things. Then just grasp for air, and taste something closer to truth.
Cajsa Pettersson | 24 Mar
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