I wrote this in the notes section of my iPhone over a couple days and a couple bus rides on the way to work. Philosophy is seen as a dead study, but I think imma be a philosopher one day; Add it to the list. (I wish I took an ‘Intro to Philosophy’ course in University – oh well).
[I originally wrote this in August 2018, and have only now rediscovered it in March 2019… after reading it I understand why I probably couldn’t publish it at the time]
I see it all. I watch from the 2nd deck window as they step in the sneakers that I wish I had, while being embraced by the people that I wish would embrace me (picture this: being well-dressed and being tenderly acknowledged by other well-dressed people). I long to have a lot of the stuff they have.
I might have written about this already, but I guess I realized a long time ago that sometimes you have to forego common luxuries if you don’t want to live a common life.
I think that people don’t listen anymore. We put our headphones in (EarPods if you’re not poor, I’m sure) and refuse to listen to the sounds of life that are happening all around us. It can be detrimental but often therapeutic. When people talk at us we hear but don’t often listen; we rarely hear the painful cries of terror from around us and we’re even worse at understanding true affection. We don’t listen to ourselves or our heart and rarely leave time for reason. Most people don’t even hear, much less listen, to the bullshit that spews from their own mouths daily. We don’t listen to the horror stories or even those of success.
The people who are the angriest and least satisfied with life are those who don’t listen; they may consider themselves to be ‘good listeners’, but rather they are appreciated for being good at hearing. Their anger and another person’s depression are not the same, as listening may very well leave you depressed: Understand the difference between a choice and a reaction.
There’s a bridge that I cross right before I get to work – the Waterloo bridge. When I’m running late, the sight of it is a subtle blessing from the heavens, making me aware that I’ll soon be of relief wherever I’m needed. When I’m on time, or even early (a rare occurrence), it’s a dreadful sight. This alone is telling.
To certainly toot my own horn, I’ve been working a desk job – a 9-5 – for 2 months, and I’ve already identified the dangerous trap of it all. I thought I wasn’t good enough when I was making $2800 in 100 hours each month, but somehow $3000 in 2000 hours has been sold to me as ‘security’. I’m convinced that security is sold to us as a means to keep us in line… bare with me:
Ever feel like you needed to ‘look busy’ at work because everyone will be mad if you’re not doing as much as them? Ever feel like there are not quite enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on your list because everything closes 30 minutes after you leave work, so you have to push it over to your weekend? Ever feel like with just one more day in the weekend you could accomplish all those hobbies and personal projects that you started and never finished?
Somewhere along the line, you were conditioned to believe that you don’t have a choice in how it all works. But, Fool not – for all may have if they dare try, a glorious life or grave.
I believe that standardized desk jobs are a trap meant to stifle ambition (I’m pretty sure I believe this, at least). All of those things you wrote down in your to-do list aren’t going to get done if you stay complacent. Security in life is an illusion. You want the safety, but your next paycheck is never guaranteed and your next set of expenses are never foreseeable. Time is an illusion. You’re not running out of time, and life is not short… in fact, life is the longest thing you’ll ever do. What you are doing, by checking the calendar and watching the clock, is wasting your time. I’d rather go broke chasing something crazy than go crazy trying to avoid being broke; Wouldn’t you? (read as: shouldn’t you?)
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
In conclusion: The common man’s luxury is the thing that makes him feel okay. A common luxury is his ability to remain oblivious and distracted from what is really going on around him; he will never take out his headphones. A common luxury is never having enough time to feel comfortable enough in releasing oneself from the falsehoods of security; he will never quit his comfy job. But he will remain common forever.
-A philosophical iPhone note about taking your headphones off on the bus-ride to work.