Locked in our own Prison

FullSizeRender

Over a 7 billion souls on Earth, with over a 7 billion distinctive characters, yet each person behaves and acts in unison defined by one set of outdated rules: The norms of society.

People laugh and cry as society dictates them to… even implying when and where to show joy or despair.

We spend our hard-earned cash by joining the race to get the jobs noone really wants. Getting involved in unleashing creativity like doing arts, crafts, music, writing, film-making does not pay, having connections do… we do everything to please the society and just to be accepted.

Freedom exists only in schoolbooks, yet everyone is directed into thinking they’re free as a bird. But, aren’t birds are freer in so many ways we can’t anticipate? They can fly forward, backward, up and down demolishing physical boundaries and… and they’re never judged for any action by their own kind. There are bird parks where they live in peace but never societies where they’re stripped off what they are. And yet again, we have the expression “bird-brained” to look down on them in a world where they literally look down on us.

Even the language tricks us: “Free will” is two words in which the latter can be considered as an indication of the future… meaning not now, maybe never. We live in a dystopia disguised as an utopia… where there are no “Free Won’t”s… not even in the language.

The society deceives us, breaks us and shapes us as if we were mass produced. Some unaware people may beg to differ but actually we “differ to beg” for so many things that we want happening in our lives. Them; acceptance… us; total freedom.

But, how? How do we achieve total freedom?

Here are some ideas:

1. Be totally honest with everyone even if you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Wounds heal but deception does not. Besides, total honesty removes any kind of communicative barrier.

2. Have no expectations from anyone, anytime. Expectations only bring disappointments but receiving without expecting is true bliss.

3. Treat your happiness as a treasure. Treat your unhappiness to feel better. If you are happy, you make everyone around you happy. It’s highly contagious.

4. Watch kids and learn from them. They can do many things that we long for.

5. Try humor if everything else fails. Try it if everything goes well, too. Humor is essential.

 

From Bending the Truth to Total Honesty

In our infancy, we were taught the wickedness of lying and that we should always be honest towards other kids/people.

Not much time passes before we learn that a society without lies is an utopia. You may have realized this at an early stage (if you’re smart enough) when your parents lie to you to protect you (or at least this is how they defend themselves). That’s the initial shock.

The next stage is in adapting to the society is conceptualizing the degree of lying; believing that white lies are actually necessary to secure a spot amongst friends or society. 

Imagine your best friend asking how her new, but horrible dress (let’s say it’s yellow) looks… I can almost hear you saying “Nice”, especially avoiding stronger positive adjectives or exclamations like “wow!” which we consider to be a form of lying. The use of the word “nice” and rolling your eyes to avoid further eye contact really helps you to remain besties. 

But, it’s still lying, isn’t it? What is worse is that you’re lying to your best friend…

So, what can be done to ensure not pissing your mate while uttering words of truth.

The answer is simple: Bending the truth! Or not having to lie but still sharing your true opinion/emotions. But how?

Okay, the first lesson is free: “Bending the Truth 101″…

All you have to do is to mumble something barely audible like “hmmm”, following a statement somewhat true : “I think, it would suit you much better if it was in blue”

The key phrase here is “much better”… as “better” doesn’t always mean good. However, it can make the transition from “terrible” to a plain “bad”. The real message you convey would be “Your dress looks bad!”

Another tip is to select words wisely. Here’s another case I once read in an ELT Activity book:

A little girl goes to her mother and asks if she could have ice-cream before dinner. The mother says no. Then, the little girl goes to her father to ask him the same question. The father asks her if she had asked her mother. The girl nods her head in confirmation. The father says “Then, I suppose you can have one”. The girl runs happily towards the ice-cream stash.

Does the girl have a hidden agenda? Yes

Is she lying? No.

 

Here’s a personal story; I used to live only a couple of blocks from my previous work place (which was on a very busy street) and it usually took me 3 minutes to walk to work. Nobody knew where I lived so whenever I was late for a meeting I would tell my boss that there was heavy traffic (which was indeed true although it never affected me).

No lying, no hard feelings…

As I got older, I mastered truth bending and got along pretty well with friends. But, it wasn’t enough. I started dreaming of a world of total honesty like in the Ricky Gervais movie “The invention of Lying”. 

Then, I decided to give it a try; being totally honest with everyone. I lost many friends but the ones who remained… they became my true friends because when you’re totally honest, they become the same and you begin to share the most intimate secrets with each other…That’s priceless…The connection becomes concrete…

You should give it a try to see for yourself. 

P.S: I do think this is not one of my best work… but it is to the point… and I admit I’m expecting a few good words about this entry nevertheless.