I put myself in the chair of the host and hearing someone ask me what they should do about their huge debt. I hope I would have the strength to hide my thankfulness of not being in their position, and instead look at their core condition. Debt is a fact of their existence. The worst advice is to say they need to get that debt to zero.
Had you had that confidence at the age of 17, I’m confident I would be in a very similar situation as I am right now but with a memory of a life lived differently. I can’t tell if it would be happier or not, but I do know I would have had more time for doing what I love most: solitude, contemplation, and living simply. I’m guessing I would be here similarly situated but with more stories that I would be eager to tell. My lack of confidence in what I knew to be true denied me those stories of living an authentic life.
This appeal to our most admired authorities defines our spoiler-based culture. We can save ourselves the time and energy of experiencing and interpreting a first reading of some topic by just getting the spoiler review from our preferred content provider.
The delusion of injustice is that there cannot be privately negotiated justice that may be acceptable only to the private parties based on the particular context that they agree to keep private. As a result of this, we overrule such private agreements and require a fresh trial in a public or formal setting based on current sensibilities and on lost information about the full context of the earlier event. In the re-airing of past events, society regresses to a more immature level where every human interaction needs adult supervision and every offense be reported to authorities for a formal justice.
In doing so, I’m satisfying my fatherly instincts by contributing to the human hive rather than to my biological offspring. Even if I had children, it is almost certain they would not have benefited as much as the unrelated people who happened to be in the right position for me to influence.
We need a new approach to governance at all scales in order to sustain and build upon our culture. I think a new approach is possible by recognizing that narratives are expendable. We do not need consistency of narratives over time, for all narratives at all scales from nations to individuals.
Success or fame in the current environment is a lottery prize given to great and weak with equal probability. In such an environment, it makes sense to put as little effort into success as one would put into buying a lottery ticket. A weekly effort, perhaps, but one that takes only a few minutes, leaving the rest of the week free.