Systems of Struggle

The systematization of our lives, the ways in which we are ushered through space, time, relationships, and thoughts without a sense of our self, our surroundings, process, or potential effects, appears to have made us deeply emotionally constipated. We struggle to think something through in real time, in the moment, and we struggle to provide honest, coherent, personal reactions to stimuli. 

We parrot what we’ve heard.

Whether it’s the show we watched the night before, the movie we just saw, the book we read, or the painting in front of us, we struggle to articulate our reactions. We might give a simple opinion of liked or disliked, which might as well be a click on a device, or we give the response we believe expected. When questioned or pushed to delve deeper, however, we struggle.

We’ve been conditioned to struggle because we’ve been conditioned to cling to the possibility of accuracy. As students, we were taught to read, give our take on the reading, listen to the teacher’s “proper” interpretation, and then regurgitate the teacher’s interpretation for the test, which the teacher graded. This explains why reading rates have fallen with each successive generation processed through such a paradigm. There’s no reason to read when 1) you’ll be given the right interpretation anyway and 2) your experience will be discounted by a seemingly arbitrary authority.

Much of what we do in a given day was constructed on the premise of progress, the promise of accuracy’s potential, and yet, we feel deceived. Our trajectory doesn’t feel true to our experience. We were promised jet packs, and we’ve been given social media and obligations masquerading as convenience. 

We don’t feel the way we’ve been told we would and should feel. Instead, we struggle.

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