“It’s our choice.” It’s a question I ponder every time I find myself driving down a barren road hundreds of miles from my family toward a lonely camp or hotel room.
So why do we sometimes choose to follow a path we detest? Travel far from home to stay in dingy camps, or get up early every morning, struggle to find something to wear and fret over our hair and makeup all to perform a duty that you have no passion for? It’s a job to pay the bills, it’s what everyone does, it’s our choice to live this way….It’s our choice….I consider the statement again as I pass by a couple of ranchers on horseback pushing a herd of cattle down a fence line to a corral in the distance. A familiarity strikes me as I watch the cattle walk obediently in their tight formation and I realize, it is their choice like it is ours. The cows aren’t roped or drugged, just followed closely by a couple of cowboys on their horses, but yet they do as is suggested. It is their choice to follow that path. But they are encouraged to do so by the ranchers and supported in that decision by the other cattle. They could turn and choose another path but that would result in some consequences like a good kick in the ass or perhaps a poke from a prod, it would upset the herd and the cowboys. It’s just easier to follow along.
So how are we any different? We grow up in our comfortable surroundings, televisions, smart phones and gaming devices. It’s what we know and it’s what the majority do so we figure that is the normal route to take. When we graduate from high school and the doors open out into the free world there’s a bunch of salesmen sitting on the curb with their wares. “Here kid you want to make lots of money you’ll need more education, just fill out this form and we’ll get you all the money you need at a good interest rate.” Then the next one steps in, “Well kid whether you’re going to work or to school, either way you’ll need a vehicle. Just sign these papers and we’ll get you set up with some financing, I’ll give you the first timer’s rate.” And the banker, “The best thing for you to do right now is apply for a credit card because you need to build a credit rating to survive in this world. Just fill out these papers.” Like a bunch of carnies pushing their balloon popping and ring tossing games “Pop the balloon win a prize! Here little girl, try your luck.” They’re all fixed and we know it but we still play.
We could turn our backs on society and walk away, but what about our friends and family? How would we keep up with them? They’re all following the path of societies normal. It would just be easier if we took our number and got in line.
And that’s it. That’s how the great economy works. They need us to work, they need us to earn a wage and circulate money. The best way to ensure that is to put us in debt as fast as possible. Nothing is set up for an outright purchase these days it’s all payments with interest.
So there goes time. Chasing money to make payments, welcome to the real world. I wonder what it would be like if we bypassed the salespeople, if we took some time? Time to discover who we really are, find our passion in life and follow it. What would the world be like then? Would we still be energy thirsty vampires sucking the life from the earth, or would we find a cleaner technology? Would we allow our lives to depend totally on an economy, or would we find a better path? Think, if we took all the skilled and talented people in the world working at jobs they truly don’t care about wasting their time in their cubicles searching ebay. If we took all that human resource and turned them loose to do what they wanted, provided the money and the resources to show the world what they could really do. Then how advanced would our species be, what would our world be like then? I think it would be pretty fucking amazing….But as it is right now there is no money in that. So we’ll go to our cubicles, log into ebay and dream of doing something else.
Maybe that’s part of the master plan. “Congratulations young person on your new engineering degree, here come with us and help better our oil drilling things we’ll pay you well. Or just sit at your cubicle and play on ebay. We really don’t care as long as you’re under our thumb and not out trying to reinvent the world.”
Now that I look at it from that perspective can I really agree that it is our choice? Was it really us that did this to ourselves?….Maybe I should ask the cows.