I think modern day sensibilities are characterised by a complete vituperation of inertia. The need to radically keep transforming your life is the only conduit to ascertaining your identity.
Our worst fear is not unproductivity alone – it is also the ridicule that comes along with leading a ‘lax’ life. The need to be ‘hyperactive’ all the time masks a rather uncomfortable need to be acknowledged. You have to keep working to be fascinating and relevant enough, and to be ‘something’. What if you stop being part of the grid and people realise that you are indeed ‘nothing’? That is our collective nightmare – of being written off.
This is why there is a perpetual tiredness that is common to our generation – an incessant sense of guilt and anxiety when you sleep an hour more or when you take a day off. What’s worst is that people are not ready to acknowledge this idea that worth is something that lies outside as a problem. From evoking Biblical ethos to justifying happiness based on models of utility, they’d have their defences up.
These people are the front-runners when someone chooses differently. They’d come banging at your door with ‘what are you doing these days’ – well knowing that the answer to that is simply nothing. Then follow the sympathies which have no particular well-meaning, but are a plain mockery.
The space for real talk is barely perceptible – instead, it creates the monster in the room. Weighed down, carefully- packaged small talk is what we are served with, because our ideas of competitiveness and a free flow of data do not permit us the patience for self-transcendence. Immediate gratification and clicks and memes have replaced emotional connect – making mental fatigue and claustrophobia available over the counter.
Our self-satisfaction affects the nature of reality around us. Sadly, the former is constantly interfered with by the pace of capitalist innovation. It only comes when notions of corrosive desirability and recognition are satiated, which is a false paradox because one desire leads to the next and so forth. Desire – is it really something personal? The desires of others make us desire things – and reflexively, our desires influence theirs till the web gets big enough to influence market systems.
And then we wonder where we went wrong! We cringe at every advertisement that talks of suicide rates and blame the person – while the idea in question should be that of ‘the necessity of an external gaze to reaffirm our place in the world’ on which global consciousness thrives. It is our opium for likeability (which has illusion at its behest) that creates an atmosphere for complex elaboration, judgement and existential nausea.
Immediate sensual reality is in itself an ideological fantasy that lies within the symbolic realm. Therefore, if ‘worth’, as a concept, lies in the outside world – it is an endless universe sustaining our drama of self-identification.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.