on paths

Wanderlust examines the path here:

An older generation that once succumbed to a frustrated life of duty, repsonsibility, and expectations went on to create children who, a few decades down the road, mirrored their parents. A lawyer’s son is doomed to be a lawyer. I’ve seen the minds of countless children brainwashed by their parents. The windows in their rooms have been boarded and nailed shut, their phone lines disconnected, their T.V. privileges snatched away from them at the beginning of the school year, and the playground declared out of bounds. The Spartan remake begins as early as grade 6 to ward off evil distractions from their life’s goal. The parents goal. It took my brother twelve years to convince my father that he didn’t want to study to be an accountant for the rest of his life.

How can a person break away from a never ending cycle if s/he was born into it? How can a generation or a society be expected to bring about significant progress or change, it the majority of the population is made up of frustrated individuals who, at the end of the day, choose to take the “safe” road home? How is the pull of gold so strong that it causes people to unwittingly and unknowingly hand themselves over as slaves in exchange for a handful of coins? I have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to wrap my mind around this concept. There has to be more to life than social acceptance and money.

I wonder if it’s profitable to ask the question: why must there be “more than” social acceptance and money. Social acceptance can be rewarding, can it not, and very deep, since part of the social involves relationships, friendships, and enemies? Can we claim that this is a problem with confusing, or often confusing, work with life or working with living. Don’t we often learn that what we’re born into is often just fine unless, of course, that space has been destructive of others and destruictive of ideas?

3 thoughts on “on paths

  1. Neha

    Hmm..you’re right. I’ve neglected to look at the positive effects. My story cannot always be my excuse.

  2. joanne

    S, without negating the importance of relationships, friendships, isn’t it more important to attempt to make oneself happy, content, fulfilled, (spiritually – whatever that may mean for us individually) apart from the exterior stuff. I know that it’s possible to be happy without money (experienced) and I keep hearing how money doesn’t make you happy (that is usually profferred by people who have lots of it!) of course,it does make it much easier to pay bills and survive. I don’t know that many people are really happy with their “work” the label itself an implication that it is not meant to be enjoyed – but in the best scenario shouldn’t it be intertwined and a part of “living”

  3. steve


    I can point to Boethius in his Consolation of Philosophy. Generally, the book is not about “happiness” but about trying to acquire what lasts or is lasting, knowledge being something that doesn’t suffer from material deterioration. Can one, let’s say, be “contented” with something that can be taken away from you or that can be lost? I myself don’t know the answer to that question; I simply offer it as something to consider in the Boethiun vein. In that vein, Fortune turns always and doesn’t always have your best interests at heart, because Fortune has no interests at all.

    Neha, however, I think tends to the searching side, questing for a truth she knows or thinks is out there: she’s on a journey for knowledge, which is a form of breaking from the “traditional,” a fine quest. For Plato, it’s the journey that counts, the seeking for the “Good.” (See Plato, Symposium).

    The question may be one for predilection. But, most need some food in the gu even for quests. For the rich a bottle of milk costs less than for the poor, who have less left over after the purchase.

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