Dream the Futile Dreams of Our Culture

God forbid you wake up and see. The futility. The emptiness. The meaningless pursuits. It is so much better to be blind and ignorant. It allows you to cope. Those of us who are awake thrash against this reality and suffer.

Humans don’t need much. We need shelter and food and a tribe that allows us to care for it and for it to care for us. But we complicate that. We have created housing that is unaffordable without two household incomes. The affordable versions, like tiny houses, do not pass most zoning and housing regulations. We have created education systems that leave our graduates poor and shackled to jobs with sufficient income to pay off their debts. We have a food system that does not allow for food security at the local level let alone individual level. We have created communities of isolation and independence with little room for interaction and communion. We are left needing so much.

And so, we are forced to play the game of this society. There is no room for an alternative except as a social outcast. We look down upon those people, our homeless, our transients, and our recluses. Do they really have it so wrong? But most of us stuff those thoughts down. We stay asleep and we dream the dreams of our culture.

The machine of the economy is reliant on us playing this game. We need consumers. We need cogs in the wheel. We need people striving to make it every month or they might just wake up. Could we not invent something better? We are a brilliant species but we are focusing our efforts on the margins. We are creating flying cars and ways to get to the moon. We are developing state of the art health augmentations and smart buildings. But we are not solving the most fundamental problems of all, how we can take care of everyone, end the striving and meaningless pursuit of wealth, and find wholeness.

If you are awake, I am sorry. It is a painful journey. You have seen behind the curtain. You know the futility of it all. But there is also some benefit to that. You have perspective and can discern what is truly important. You can resist the marketers and their hollow messages. You can stave off the striving and aim for enough. And most important of all, you can help us all dream and create the solutions we really need.