Monday, May 5, 2014

The Desolation of Maybe

I suppose I should say the ramification of maybe but desolation sounds more dramatic. 

We have become a society that worships maybe.

Don't get me wrong, the word maybe is not to be confused with the fundamentally beautiful concept of "hope" or the infinite potential of "possibility."  The maybephilic nature of man has come from an influx of choices and an overload of options.  What has happened is that we've all inadvertently become "bigger better deal"-ers.  Historically, the limiting factor of our choices has always been quite literally what we had in front of us. Food choices were dictated by what we could reach out and grab.  Our mate was selected for us and typically as simply as the closest age appropriate non-relative in the village.  Our occupation was defined largely via familial apprenticeship or matter-of-factly what one physically or mentally was best suited to handle based on what the village needed.

Now, with the globalization of the economy, the industrial revolution moving into the information revolution, the limiting factor is no longer our physical world, it has reached a metaphysical point to now becoming more intrinsic. Whatever our imagination can possibly come up with we now feel obligated to pursue and at our worse, feel entitled to deserve.  I digress.  Now with communication ostensibly being instantaneous, we've come to feel that our commitment based decisions no longer have to be.  We no longer need to commit to any one particular thing because the mere possibility of something better happening at the very last minute is worth keeping all other options at bay until the final bastion of consideration requires us to cancel or make a choice.  This has become increasingly prevalent in the younger generation having grown up with this "access" they have no reference point about making plans and not having the ability to change them last minute.  They don't recall the panic of being dropped off at the mall at noon by your parents to watch a movie and if your friends weren't there within a few minutes your mind racing to determine whether or not you made a mistake as to what exactly the plans were or if they were involved in a horrific traffic collision en route.  I've seen that this abstraction has been so deeply ingrained in my psyche that even now my initial reaction towards non-communication tends to lean towards the exaggeratedly and unnecessarily tragic.  It has become completely acceptable to send:

This is even more common in the friendly application of the word in efforts to not seem insensitive. I feel that we need to embrace the magnificent finality that is the word "No." A commitment to release another's commitment to an obligation is equally as ignored.

This is more venting that I originally intended when I started writing but I believe this is a fundamental flaw in our culture and our society that we need to make efforts to change. I believe that most wonderful things in life come from when we commit ourselves. Commitment to each other in the form of friendships and relationships.  Commitment to our beliefs and the constant internal struggle that form them and make us who we are.  A commitment to our goals and being unapologetically honest about what makes us happy and our completely acceptable commitment towards the attainment of such.

This will certainly be a topic for further discussion but for now, I will certainly commit to using the word "maybe" less and the words "yes" and "no" more. I will accept that this might result in me paying my due share of opportunity costs.  I will accept that this may mean that some people will quickly realize where they fall within my social hierarchy and sometimes brutal force ranking of priorities, but I also will accept that in turn I will fall victim to the same.  People are constantly telling you where you fall within their priority list. Allow them to and listen to what they're saying.  Your placement on this list has no inherent positive or negative connotation.  Distress and turmoil only comes when you're unhappy with where you fall on this list, but you should never take this feeling and turn it into blame, we are all doing the same thing to our world as well.  The sooner you realize this, the more grateful you will be when finding people who have more similar priorities to yours.

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