Apr. 23rd, 2017

mtbc: maze L (green-white)
I found myself reflecting on some of the periods of history that, in my ignorance, interest me. For example, in the early 1980s we had all manner of social developments with organizations ranging from the Socialist International to the Red Army Faction. I imagine these groups of earnest young people and this curious sense they must have had that, whether inside or outside the rules, change is possible and that their actions matter. Despite the many elections around now, perhaps more common in my universe is a defeatist attitude: accepting the roles into which society places us and having no great hope for potential to effect improvements in governance.

The above got me wondering if I am thinking too much inside the box, if television and suchlike gives me enough escape that I become too apathetic about and accepting of how the real world structures my existence: if there is change I should pursue, for myself or more widely, that might be more fulfilling than working to maintain a fairly normal life. I do not define myself by my consumer choices or by social approval but I still have a nagging sense of having blindly gone well off-track.

At present I have a family to support so I shall continue much as I am for some years yet. Still, an outcome of my ongoing recovery from my breakdown a decade ago is my working harder to try to see more clearly and my having less fear of consequences: even if I am skeptical about affecting society at large, those changes in me could at least help me toward some interesting challenges that would work for me personally.

I may not have the imagination to see what those challenges should be but, once my children are grown and making their own lives, I have the vague plan to try to empty and simplify my own life, reducing my income requirements, then to see what attracts me as ways to consider filling it again. I wonder if I could do so with a sense that I had been clearheaded enough to find a good path.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

July 2017

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