We live in such a world where everyone wants to be liberated, and so, liberal, but no one really knows what either means anymore. It's very sad, and that's too simple of an expression to be accurate given the gravity of the statement. Indulge me by allowing me to provide a few examples: Americans who claim to want to buy American products, but only at their convenience; women who defend patriarchy; men who defend patriarchy; parents who claim love but only speak and do hateful things; children who are ungrateful; friends who claim friendship but ignore you, or resent you, or, both; spouses who keep score.
Misery loves company, you see....
It's all about judgement: yours, mine and ours. "You don't think my life, my job, my family (fill in the blank) is important enough to spend your time, money, energy, dollars (fill in the blank) on me...so I will criticize you behind your back to everyone in my immediate circle and yours. I will attempt to make you a social pariah, or at least, put you under the shadow of social suspicion, because of this."
Sound familiar? Know what the REAL reason is behind the derision? GREED.
It's always about GREED. Always. Even with people we love and who we believe love us.
Whoever said you can't buy love was a liar. And a bad one, at that.
Our social interactions depend COMPLETELY on our spending our time, our energy, and perhaps most importantly, our MONEY on others. The moment you're unable to comply with this very real social tax, people think you're angry, or aloof, or apathetic. No one considers anything else. Like maybe the fact that you've been unemployed for the last three years. Or, that you have children in college. Or, are just trying to save for your retirement. Or perhaps that special vacation you've waited 20 years to take. Words like "family" and phrases like "I'd give anything to do (fill in the blank)" get liberally thrown around as a defensive measure in response to your daring to not comply with the social expectation of the people you share your life with. Because, you can only have that priviledge if you pay for it.
Even something as natural as motherhood costs money. In today's society, our children only believe they are loved by the measure of things we "provide" for them. We are "good parents" if we take our children on expensive Disney vacations. Our social circles think us excellent parents if we take our children to Europe or pay what is every accurate cent of $200,000 for a four-year degree. If you don't do these things, you are not openly criticized--just whispered about at the holiday party or at Thanksgiving, or the family wedding. You weren't "responsible" or "supportive." You didn't work hard enough. Or, my personal favorite--the logical fallacy: "They go on vacation every year but they never saved anything to send Junior to school...." Or, "Have you seen her wedding ring? But no dollars for college!" "Maybe if they didn't spend so much money on (fill in the blank), they could pay for college."
Can you say, CRAZY??? Because that's what social expectations are. And sadly, humans can't live well, or long, outside of society.
I could lecture you on what is truly important. I could tell you all about the need for empathy. The social gap left behind without compassion. Or, that a person's life is sometimes LARGER than the scope of a typical human's imagination. But it doesn't matter. Because even if you haven't participated in social suspicion yet, or the launching of the latest social pariah, it's likely you will. Wittingly. Or unwittingly.
All that I ask today is that you do the unusual: THINK.
Whether it's today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. Do it. And soon. Because if you don't, there will be consequences.
Youth is no excuse...even if you're almost 70-years old.