Wednesday, October 12, 2022

4016: "My" lives of others

I am talking to someone who tells me - that "if my dad knew I was in love with this person, he would kill both me and them."....

Of course, the "killing" is figurative. Though it is hugely illustrative of the agency problem in our lives. Recently I sat through a thought experiment - where the person conducting it, said - "I am speaking to 60 of you. There is a good chance at least 20 of you won't like me or my ideas. What stops you from walking out of this discussion right now? Say fkoff and just go. Have a lovely lunch with friend instead."

In that moment, I truly wondered, why do we tolerate so much shit in our lives. I can speak for myself. I do. I am polite to a point of taking on personal hurt. I give up my loves to accommodate someone else's puritanical impulses, I give up my freedom for being in someone's control hair. I make my food choices so as to not hurt the table. I give up my happiness, at the altar of my own agency. So often in just a single day.

Since that thought experiment day....I am nowadays magically aware. I now realise that I did not choose my parents, or my kid. And yet, I allowed the ecosystem around me to grow. Which means I chose my spouse, my place of work, the table I sit and eat at, my social media connects - and if that is true....I am often choosing the wrong people. The one who interfere in my own ability to exercise my agency. 

The point being, the people who are closest to us, can sometimes be also the most belligerent in this aspect. Not because they are evil, but because for them the boundaries are blurred. You(I) have allowed that to happen. We are partners in that crime.

Two truths I learnt in the past few years. Agency is strongly linked to happiness. A man (or woman) will happily see their house burn down, if they lit it themselves. Second, a life bereft of agency in key matters, is utterly joyless. Try arguing this out with me!!

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