There was an obsession, in my generation, to reduce responsibility, to do the bare minimum on most days, and often, to not do anything at all. I did not understand this because the responsibility did not disappear even if we buried our heads in the sand; it dissipated. It went to the others who did not cut theirs down but lifted it instead. It went to the ones with individual agency, who struggled to keep the world afloat, the weight of the world crushing their shoulders while the others waltzed through life. Out of an unfounded pride, the latter often told the former they should do little. The former only smiled and went about fixing things silently. The latter did not repay this debt. They did not realise they were in one, but just as not paying our dues on time only increased the duration we’d be under them, this debt too was there, forever. No one would pay it. No one would ask for it either. The helpers rarely ask for anything in return. It does not mean they are not owed. It only means they have things to do.
There was a dearth of uniqueness, in my generation; you could hear it in how people talked. The dreams, the humour, the thoughts were all the same. Everyone had the same idea of a good life and the same places for a vacation. The same rote platitudes and maxims covered the need for wisdom, and the troubles were all the same, to the tee. Everything was one immaculate repetition. It was all a charade, some twisted caricature. People listened to the same ten songs month after month. There was no need to cultivate an individual taste for music or books or art anymore; we consumed what was served. There was no need for singular effort. There was no need to think. Our deepest points of view were handed to us on a platter as we went about repeating them, over and over, to talk to others who repeated what they had heard, over and over. It was a nightmare of epic proportions; it was a horror show.
I was not too far from this suffocating spiral of similarity, but I could not shake the feeling of something being off. I was but one man, though. The only person I could take charge of was myself. Now, I’d be damned if it was the answer after all.