Time confines our life. Our life is a collection of our days. We can compare the relationship between our days and our lives to the relationship between a brick and a building: one can use bricks to create an ordinary dwelling or to create an awe-inspiring castle. To formulate the latter, each brick is required to be thoughtfully placed, supporting the other bricks as well as the ultimate vision of the structure. By reflecting over our days we embody the age-old aphorism carpe diem.
We are living through a primitive episode of history. For the last hundred years, we have developed rapidly, resulting in a shift of our basic tenets; this came with repercussions. We set aside the religious center and exposed an abyss in dire need of filling. This ruination led to the haul towards Busyness. Today, we are obsessed with Productivity—which derives from the word Production—we want to get more into our days, a religion without a god.
Our shift towards the relentless pursuit of productivity has led to negative consequences, such as burnout, depression, and anxiety. We are so focused on getting things done we lose sight of what truly matters. Our sense of worth and value is based on how effective we are and where we stand in the deceptive social hierarchy. We consider a day as “good” considered good if we completed all of our tasks and met our expectations; is this the purpose of a day? Of our life?
For a behavior or idea to stick, it needs to move us either toward pleasure or away from pain. I believe the faults of our culture stem from attempting to escape from a spiritual chasm. An inherent part of being a human is to experience sorrows: anxieties, fears, grievances, and mortality. For millenniums, religion was the source of power and truth that shined upon the melancholic sides of life; now, a hollow idol stands in its place.
In one century we have eradicated the house of worship built from our commencement; not offering a replacement. Darkness spurted and shroud the land, outcries echoed; the pain exalted an answer: progression, with the roots of escapism. We have decided to turn away from the abyss, and instead, occupy our hands and minds toward advancement; building the sequel to the Tower of Babel.
To our disappointment, ignored problems have a tendency to appear in other manners. As we feel the pressure from the abyss warping around us, demanding attention. Unable to withstand it, we turn to consumption: media, news, food, sex, drugs, and even travel—this is the reason those industries have been booming in the last decades. As sleep breaks, the flee from stillness begins. This is why I appreciate the raising popularity of spirituality, allowing us to face the problem head-on.
Resembling a production line—which accomplishes steps in order to create some output—we fool ourselves that if enough accomplishment will get us that definitive point: where we are done, and life will take care of itself. Our days become theological, to get closer to “that point”; when we are not working, we either think about work or distract ourselves with the infinite options available. As a result, the present moment becomes the waiting room for the future.
This can be seen in the process of children’s maturation. As they gradually transition from their humanity to upholding societal expectations; a standard that does not take into account the complexity and diversity of human nature. This leads them to lose touch with their individuality: from joyful, eccentric, and energetic kids, they turn into dismal, ordinary, and lethargic adults.
When we constantly live for the future, we deprive the flow of life. Such a future never arrives, for life is perfect only in the present, and eventually, we confront all that we have neglected for decades. Our modern, production-based culture supplies us with distractions from the ordeals of life in exchange for our quiddity.
Per the thoughts above, I often ponder about what should one do. I do not yet have an answer, the more I dig the grander the dilemma. There are, however, a few pieces left by the greatest explorers, all the way from Ancient Greece to Classical French the same ideals held ground: wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance.