By Daniel Kelly
A Compulsory Introspection
‘GO TO YOUR ROOM AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU DID’
So you go to your room. You sit on your bed. You think about what you did.
In school you’re given detention. You go to a classroom at your inconvenience and think about what you did.
You get a parking ticket. As you hand over your £70 fine, you’re supposed reflect on what you did.
If you reach adulthood and you haven’t learned, you’re locked up and told to think about what you did.
You’re given time off work and school. That time is a chance to reflect on what you’ve done.
If you had a religious upbringing, like me, you might have been expected to pray. It involves getting on your hands and knees and begging forgiveness from a higher power. If you’ve been made to pray, you’ll know how this feels. You close your eyes and search in the darkness for something to occupy your mind. For me it was anticipation for the moment I would be doing absolutely anything other than praying.
You get depressed and you search within yourself for the reason. If you know the reason you search in yourself for why it isn’t your fault. If you feel it is your fault you try and find a way to alleviate the guilt.
You watch a TED talk and some wanker who was in the right place at the right time will consciously wonder aloud with a smile both wide and wry: Why haven’t you achieved as much as me yet?
He/she or they are allowed to do that because we’re all one in the spirit of capitalism. We’re encouraged to introspect. And reflect on our feelings. And reflect on the reflections of our feelings. Eventually we want those feelings commodified. A great many choose to have those feelings broadcast on social media. For some of us, those feelings are required to be broadcast in the guise of knowing ourselves. A more authentic us known only through what we can elucidate. To get us used to the idea of becoming mouthpieces for forces so egregious, a leviathan so terrific, that we’d crumble in its gaze. Because if the buck starts and stops with you and you’re only ever tethered to the harddoneby individual, you can do no wrong.
Make sure you know yourself intimately. Know your brand. You have moral worth as an individual. Remember to keep thinking about who you are.