This week’s Dose is all about the phases of life that we move through. Let’s start with when we’re young and we see the world as material. Here’s an idea that seems good on the surface—a place that teaches kids how the economy works, and what it’s like to sacrifice fun to go to work, and how you can save and spend money. I noticed however they don’t seem to cover the idea of debt, which most 30 and 40 year olds will tell you is one of the most important words in their life and one they wished they’d learned about sooner. This feels place feels more like it indoctrinates kids into a world where having a job is presumed when such a thing has only existed for a relatively short time. It also teaches consumerism, as though fun is buying. Brands know that the sooner they imprint their product in your head the better, so this is perfect from the “sponsor’s” standpoint. Parents delivering their kids to and paying for the privilege of looking at advertising? What business doesn’t like that? And what an interesting business strategy it is. One location in each country all over the world when usually companies master a market and them move with all of their borrowing power and expertise into a new market. This is more like planting an idea all over the world rather than the usual expansion by geography. But if people dress up four year olds in sexy outfits for beauty pageants then I have no doubt that there’s also people who will flock to a place like this, but that feels a little sad. Certainly the idea of what fun is has changed almost completely within my short lifetime. These kids are learning to work in fast food or a factory. This honestly feels like it should be one of those subtly satirical ads that you’d see on the TV in an 80’s science fiction film like Total Recall. How did we come that far that fast? Is this Kidzania or Insania?
Now we’ll look at the next phase of life, which involves the attraction of mates and the establishment of status within our existing subculture. Here’s where we hand over a lot of our freedom and we believe we’re being individual because we’re no longer conforming to what our parents chose for us, but we’re failing to notice that some industry ads are what informs a girl what colour her hair should be and how her eyeliner should look. And so in their effort to exert their “freedom,” teens will often just join some corporate camp where they’re dressed just like everyone else in their subculture whether that’s Gap or Goth. Here’s an example of how the beauty industry has rotated through different versions of beautiful once the market was saturated with the materials required to achieve the old beautiful.
So after all that let’s finish off with something that feels super-real. Something that seems beneath all the crap and pulls and lies and manipulations. Something pure. Something that makes some sense of all the chaos. Alan Watts is often good for that. In this talk he addresses the real you:
Have an amazing, beautiful day you incredibly gorgeous soul you. 🙂
The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own over-thinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.