Apr 05, 2022
4 mins read
9.30 pm. The second clicking on the ‘next’ button was corroborating the growing impatience I was no longer harbouring. ‘Your transaction was unsuccessful’. “Darn!” – I screamed. This was the second time I tried to process a transaction to buy a ticket flight to visit my hometown. The frustration I experienced transmuted into anger, and eventually left me with a painful sensation of defeat. I was hoping to buy a ticket flight to visit my ill grandmother, who I had not seen in nearly four years. And now I would have to try to buy another day or another week. Maybe next month. Uncertainty devoured our wishes like the exasperating randomness devours the few exactitudes people hold on to in life. I tried to overcome the pain inflicted by this misfortune as fast as I could, as I recognised the value that exists in showing courage and a willingness to solve problems instead of crying and showing sadness. And nevertheless, an echoing frustration permeated my being. I felt as if though trying to quickly overcome frustration, I had concealed it and in doing so, I had tried to hide one of the realities of my life. This was by no means helpful, as trying to deny something just made me feel as if I would be applying a temporary relief, a one-time-only solution, a superficial response to a reality that demanded more... Is it that in trying to become beings capable of rapidly adapting to change and to the difficulties of life, we choose to use a façade to conceal the painful realities of it?
As I look deeper into contemporary Western society, I notice the desire of individuals to conceal the pains they undergo, to only showcase the beautiful aspects of their lives, and to find beauty in even the most difficult times. Social media platforms showcase targeted advertisement where we see famous people partying and living extravagant life, which talks to us of the bright side they wish to display and hides the moments of profound sorrow they may feel. Today, we seem to be bombarded by continuous advertisement that sells us the idea of living every time more pleasant, convenient, and sophisticated lives. Targeted advertisement preys upon the fears and emotions of individuals in order to be successful by selling them products to temporarily conceal the anxieties of individuals. Is this okay? Should any of this be of our concern? Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World narrates the story of a society where individuals are blinded to the injustice of the government through continuous exposure to superfluous distractions which keep them occupied with superficial preoccupations such as partying and sex. These distractions effectively preclude individuals from rebelling against the government. The similarities with contemporary society are notorious in that the West is constantly exposed to sources of distraction through their mobiles phones and computers. The neoliberal framework in which we live preys upon individuals’ emotions to sell them products, which often keeps them distracted from the happenings around them. Are we trying to conceal the pains of our existence through appealing to consumerism to provide a temporary relief to the problems and pains of our contemporary lives?
The fast-paced modern society in which we live has resulted in our need to problem-solve in a timely manner, often disregarding the simple beauty of being alive. It is in these circumstances that we have forgotten the 'dasein', a term coined by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Dasein, or being here, reminds us of the simplicity that exists in living in the present moment. This existentialist ideology shaped Europe after the Nazi holocaust, which had profound consequences on the lives of many, and which is the basis of the modern-day ideologies which undergird society, such as liberal democracy. And yet, the fast-paced world in which we live has traded the simplicity of being here by exposing us to the modifications of the market, one that often suggests to us that we need to keep buying, that we aren’t satisfied and that we need many façades and/or distractions to conceal the negative aspects of the reality of life.
This being said, I'm not against neoliberalism or capitalism. I'm simply remembering that I'm alive and that I feel appeal to the idea of facing the realities of my life instead of using a façade or a temporary fix. This world requires change and improvement, and I don't want to conceal the realities of my life to blind me to the true fixes that my life requires. I want to experiment life in all its magnificence, including both positive and negative aspects. But this is simply my opinion, shaped by my own experience and biases. Others may have their viewpoints, equally valid and valuable for their own experience.
This was my exploration of creative writing. Any suggestion is welcome.