When I was very young, and–in fact–throughout most of my childhood, I was told over and over again that I was special. I was told that the light that shone from within me was entirely unique; that my life–that all life–was a miracle. I’ve since learned that most children in the western world were brainwashed with the same silly sentiments.
Each of us grew up to believe his or her life mattered. It was a symptom of living in the age of arrogance.
These aphorisms, I believe, were deeply rooted in both democracy and in capitalism: the notion we were special; that we each had a voice; that we each could achieve our dreams.
Yet, at the time of my writing this, there are well over 7 billion people on Earth. We are being born far faster than we are dying (I know it may be hard for you to believe as you investigate the strata of our wrecked world, but long before the vast wasteland you see before you, we as a people were thriving–all too well, I think).
Therefore, it seems to me that the numbers don’t match the platitudes.
I don’t think we were that special, and certainly our lives didn’t seem to be a miracle. Since death was rarer than life in a sense, why was death not deemed a miracle? Because death was promised? Well, then–so wasn’t life for those who lived?
I wonder what the implications would’ve been if more people had realized this? How might they have lived their lives differently? I think we would’ve tried to make our lives mean more–we would’ve tried to actually be special–if we didn’t assume we already were.
At any rate, as it just so happened to turn out, I actually was special.
To my Contemporaries: Please feel free to leave a message to Postremo in one of two ways:
- Leave a comment based on the questions I’ve asked below.
- For a chance to be a featured representative of our age (what I’ll call The Glass Age), speak on a subject of your choosing by completing the form here.
So…let’s give this a try. Here are some questions. I’m sure Postremo would love hearing your answers:
Were we special? Is life a miracle? If we were to believe that life isn’t a miracle, would that make us any less likely to value it? Are “being special” and “being part of miracle” directly linked to morality? Would we cease to be moral without these beliefs?