There is a peculiar weight that is set upon us born into the first world. It is that we are told we have no understanding of reality. Beginning in our early years we are perpetually reminded of how privileged we are and that the life we were born into is not a real life, but instead a dream. Because of this we predict that one day we are going to have to wake up so that the dream will end. And God, in the worst of ways, do we look forward to that day.
As much as we enjoy privilege, it is a torment that fuels our worst behaviors. For deep down we enjoy very little of it. Everyone in the depths of his or her soul seeks some sort of truth, and being brainwashed into believing that you were born into a lie is uniquely disheartening. For just like a child born into poverty envisions an endless struggle to achieving wealth, we born into wealth envision an equally daunting struggle to experiencing an undefined state of reality.
It is awful how both parties idolize the others circumstance. The poor youth longs for the power and opportunity that wealth delivers while the wealthy youth wishes to experience the poverty that they’ve been brought to believe is the “real world”. The cold, hard, and insensitive world where a seconds joy is of the highest privilege and only delivered from the most modest of channels.
I’ve always envied in a terrible way the people who enjoy the most humble of pleasures. Men who look forward to nothing more than a cold beer at the end of a days labor. I envy them because they receive such extraordinary pleasure from something that I can afford one hundred of, but only receive one-thousandth of their joy.
It is either that humans are inherently backwards or the world spins in the wrong direction. But there isn’t a person I’ve met who doesn’t have at least a flicker of attraction to what they have been told against. In today’s youth who are among the 1% percent, I’ve found this attraction to be poverty. Myself included, I’ve met many who idolize the struggle that only a lack of resources can deliver – but at the same time we are too fearful to commit to such an experience.
Instead we take trips that we believe allow us to taste reality. Backpacking Europe, trekking Asia, home stays in South America – we flock towards experiences that allow us to believe we can relate to hardship and better appreciate what we were born into. Meanwhile, a safety net has been forever placed under us casting an upwards shadow.
Over time though, this does results in a true hardship. That is the inability to look at ones self in the mirror – a hatred of any reminder that we are who we are. There is something in that reflection that allows a person to only see the aspects that they hate most about themselves, a showcasing of insecurities and self-loathing. For we have subconsciously developed an understanding of only two paths in life, one of success and one of self worth.
Constantly I’ve toyed with wonder over whether or not reality is a definable state – for it has most definitely been spoken about as one. Explained as something that’s incomprehensibly distant but I must acquire an understanding of. And a thing that would enable me to feel fulfilled if I only knew what it entailed. But looking back through my life, others lives, and history itself, reality has been the least of concerns for many of the most seemingly happy people. And for that, I take relief in that a life worth living is one that is far removed from the realities of life.