Often it is said that our society is becoming more transient, disposable, and/or impatient. This could be due to a number of factors, including the numerous technological advances beginning during the industrial revolutions of western nations, or increased freedom of romantic relationships. Whatever the cause, there is no reason to assume this is the inevitable norm now restricting vitality and integrity. Deeply imbedded into our beings is the capacity of choice; this capacity unabatedly catapults our potential not only as individuals, but as a society. The decisions of others, so often the preadolescent lesson of a child’s early years, known as peer-pressure, continues on into adulthood. This mentality (though not new), has brought the lessons of childhood of this generation to determine the reach during adulthood. When guys ask “Am I strong?”, or ladies ask “Am I beautiful?” in their hearts, the response they get is more emphatically that of society telling them “it depends on how much you act on it…”. This response, initially very freeing to the ears of youth, becomes the launching pad for a reactionary lifestyle of personal discovery. Rather then taking up the (economically stabilizing) family business, the young guy or girl wants to go to college to try something else, and then loses heart somewhere amidst the required years of preparation. Some find a seeming right-of-passage developing a brand all their own, hopefully monetizing a new experimental product or service. Some find a measure of success down this path – but then something falls through that either negates or devalues all the work it took getting there.
It has been said our world is slowing getting darker (not with holding the prospect of a dying earth/sun), and a post-modern “do-it-yourself success” model is the inclined norm to preserve some normality in the mysterious currents of our future. Blended or delinquent families are now commonplace, as well as unemployment, and the increased need for healthcare as a result of the corrupted societal foundation model: the family. One night stands seem to be an inevitably temporary situation, rather then a future-proofing variable of “discovered” joy as past generations had previously experienced in more formal arrangements. While happiness is a common state of mind today, a lifestyle of joy is much harder to move into – one that advances forward with occasional states of happiness, but nonetheless an optimistic view of the future. The almighty career is a major push today, and without this life goal, many would not have a reason to go on living. But maybe there is something bigger that a career, marriage, and past-on family legacy to our children.
I have heard stories as well as know families directly that live the adventure. It is a lifestyle that has to be chosen intentionally amidst a world that doesn’t understand it. And “Happily Ever After” moments are just that, but there is a lifestyle that can be adopted that is full, beautiful, and life-giving. My own personal experience has yet to see it, but I am convinced it’s achievable when the moments of our lives are still based on the actions we take. There is no required living accommodation that must be given the family but what is suggested by a market-driven society. Just as the pioneers of early America, people have shown that they can make their own way independent of the culture that has compartmentalized professions. Such individuals still today have shown that this kind of pioneership still exists, and they are shifting the culture-consuming economy with their industry monopolies. Freedom of choice is being reduced to culturally-defined options. If freedom is potential, then liberty is actual. What kind of liberating lifestyle are you choosing let yourself have?