Old men aren't plagued with indecision. They aren't bothered that some great and new thing will elude them. They KNOW what they want from years of experience and so do just what they like. The biggest decisions of their life have already passed. Dreams come and gone. I envy the calmness in such a state. As a young man today life is full of potential regret. Every option is perceivably at our fingertips both large and small. There are a multitude of choices one must navigate just to get through the day much less what to do with careers and relationships. Access to information abounds, more products than anyone needs or wants are battling for attention, and the mobility of our lives is unmatched in the history of the world. From the food we eat to the technology we use, we can essentially live the same life almost anywhere in the world. In such an environment it takes extreme conviction to block out the noise and move purposefully in a direction. Failure to do so results in a kind of paralysis, wandering aimlessly like a blind horse through the field. Without choice, you don't question yourself. Without money you don't worry that you will waste it. Without access to endless info-tainment you focus with more clarity on what surrounds you. The path traveled through life then constitutes a more natural, almost 'excusable' existence. This is the great fallacy of our current society. Not to say that mankind was better off living in caves thinking only of his next meal, but is it not so out of the question?
It is the availability of excess that causes subconscious anxiety. We are biologically hard-wired to find and take advantage of opportunity, a characteristic that has become completely useless in the condition of abundance which mass production has allowed. Freedom lacks a certain kind of gravity and we are left with the terrible decision of how to define ourselves, or in which way our lives should flow. It has been impressed upon us, under the guise of raising up individual freedom no less, that each of us is a blank slate ‘free’ of gender, ethnicity, class and anything that separates or otherwise hinders us. ‘Free’ of the very things that define us ‘free’ of our differences and ‘free’ of our individuality. The directions to go from here are vast. We find ourselves in a hallway of seemingly endless half-open doors. Behind each one is a trail that leads to a different peak. The desire to choose so overwhelming that, in my opinion, many of us never leave. Or have at the very least never climbed a mountain, having turned back partway after realizing that it might be better to spend our efforts on some different endeavor while time lasts. This resembles stagnation rather than progress. Again, it is not my view that we are worse off now than in the past or that a young wealthy student has a harder life than someone more disadvantaged. Rather, it is my view that we find ourselves in an increasingly paramount position of responsibility. That if we are to be fulfilled by the changes or so called 'advancements' of our species we must be intentional and thoughtfully motivated in our actions and choices. We risk not only purposelessness but slavery to the entities that recruit education and technology to take advantage of this mass state of indecision. The battle for control has always been. You must understand this if you are to truly chase your own freedom.