Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, meaning we had the least amount of daylight of the whole year. Personally, I’m not really a fan of the Winter Solstice except for the fact that every day following is a day with more and more daylight until we reach the Summer Solstice…when the daylight starts diminishing day by day again.
So with this newfound amount of daylight happening today and each day until June, there doesn’t seem a better time than now to start to wake up. To open your eyes and look around. To ask yourself, “Is this the life I want to live?”…and if it’s not, “What is?”.
I happened upon this clip this morning from the 1981 film, My Dinner with Andre . I’ve not seen more than this clip, but it’s on my list of movies to watch now. Heck, maybe I’ll watch it today…I mean, if that’s what I decide to do with my life today.
This clip sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. Obviously, the clip is a little more extreme with it’s exaggerations. I don’t think NYC is a concentration camp built by the inmates, but I do believe that we’ve created these lives that tie us to things (houses, cars, boats, furniture, clothes) that we don’t really need or necessarily want. But by making these things seem so important, we’re thereby tied to the jobs that we don’t necessarily like…and the friends and co-workers that don’t necessarily bring value to our lives.
I think we’ve built little hamster wheels and tethered ourselves to them. And whenever we see someone escape from the wheel…and step outside their little hamster cage…those still tethered freak out. They can’t bear the thought of life off the wheel….because if someone can exist outside the cage…well, then, what is everyone else doing trapped??? And why???
You see, for the mirage to be a reality, everyone needs to remain tied to the wheel. There can’t be an option for some to get off. We all have to be miserable together. We all have to clawing and scratching our way to the top together (even though there really isn’t a top to get to). But we all have to equally contribute to the falsehood. If we don’t…if there’s a crack…well, that’s just too much for some to consider.
The result for those of us that get off…while still surrounded by people tethered…is painful. Suddenly we see the misery…the pained expressions…the repetition of spending money so they never get ahead…of life choices made out of fear for what might exist outside the cage.
To know exactly what I’m talking about, go to any shopping mall and look around. Look at the blank stares on people’s faces…see how oblivious they are to you as another human sharing space with them. How many times does someone bump into you…as if you don’t really exist? They are programmed to retrieve whatever they are at the mall to get as quickly as possible so they can return to the safety of the cage. Don’t misunderstand…they are still very much on the wheel…but they are on it outside of the cage and that is terrifying for them!
They are robots. Their capacity for human emotion…empathy…humility…humbleness…connection…doesn’t exist. They assume that you are like them…and they are numb. They can no longer feel. They can use and say words that make you think they can feel but it’s their actions that give them away. If you look close, you’ll notice the glaze over their eyes. They are trapped…caged…within the system…lost to themselves.
It’s possible to break free, though. The only repercussion if you do, is seeing the truth. Of watching those that you thought were friends, fall away. Of feeling the lose of false connections. That’s the hardest part. But the freedom is breathtaking. Knowing that you aren’t tied to a job…or a house…or a car…or designer labels. Feeling the freedom of simply being yourself and day by day experiencing the expansiveness that you are…there are no words.
So before we all become robots, ask yourself again “Is this the life I want to live?” “Are these the people I want to surround myself with?” “Is this fear mine or something that’s been imposed on me?” If the answer to any or all of those questions is no…ask the toughest question of all, “If this isn’t the life you want to live, what is?”