The 1980s self-help turned into an 18-hour long commercial with one person yelling at you as a form of motivation – and while you were motivated: selling you shit. Given the batshit epoch that was the 20th century, it was only fitting it ended with spirituality accompanying self-help dictum.
And then came the Internet blitzkrieg. We entered one of the most peaceful eras in history. This wasn’t great for self-help, an industry whose success is predicated on having problems. So we invented new problems: relationships, happiness, anxiety, and hating oneself.
We picked happiness to start with because it sounded like the panacea. So the shitstorm began. Books, seminars, and products – all promising a happy fruckin life. The first blog I started was called pursuit of happyness. Vomit bag, anyone?
All o’ a sudden, there were a gazillion ways to be happy. You didn’t know which one to choose and that made us, bite this, unhappy.
Amidst all this, social media ambled along and showed you the rich, fantastic, and dope-slap-dandy lives people were living while you were throwing up inside a bottomless vomit bag.
This re-birthed Nihilism. Only this time, it took the form of bitter cynicism. Basically, self-help with an insecurity problem.
This manifested through ideas such as I don’t give a shit about what people think about me; I am different; No one understands my greatness; I am sexy and only I know it because everyone else is jealous. This felt great. Because it was screaming freedom. We fell in love with our cage. A fanatic that has forgotten his (/her) cause.
The operating model of – Everyone’s such a douche-bag and I can say anything I want because I don’t give a shit about anyone/anything because, like I said earlier, everyone’s a douche-bag – took us away from us the single biggest thing that revived the 20th century: Responsibility. Without responsibility, you are yet another delusional freakshow. What’s worse in this state is that you don’t even realize you need help.
So, here’s something that may actually help: start caring.
To care about something, anything not out of prestige, guilt or fanaticism but out of love and hope does something magical. What everyone else thinks automatically falls in the wayside. You don’t have to explicitly give everyone the finger.
We have become slaves to freedom. It’s the hamartia of the 21st century. The deep, desperate need to show how much you don’t care is an empty proof of life. If you want to make a difference and feel some semblance of life – find and do something worthy of that life. A life that’s yours.