Independent society

“Everyone’s the good guy in their own story.” It’s funny how perspective works: we get so focused on living our own lives that we sometimes forget that everyone around us is trying to do exactly the same thing. Marketing departments and Tea Partiers want us to be our own unique selves, but how can we do that without getting in each other’s way?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the fundamental freedoms necessary for each citizen to be their own person, but until now they haven’t had access to the sheer amount of esoterica that can craft a unique persona. The rise of social media changed that, which is why so many suburban white kids now have a taste for kimchi.

Expanding cultural horizons is always a good thing, but sometimes it smacks of desperation. It is possible to spend too much effort on introspection, to examine one’s self so closely that you will inevitably find an excuse to continue a self-aggrandizing search for happiness.

The more we spend looking at ourselves, the less we see of other people. That makes social interactions more difficult, because everyone else starts to seem like an obstacle, or a pawn. We deserve to make ourselves happy, but we need to remember that everyone else is doing the same thing.

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