Spirit of the People

Spirit of the People

A man walks into a building to work at a job that he hates because ten years ago he proposed to a pretty girl. He sits at a desk that faces a sealed window and does just enough work so that he doesn’t get fired. He defends the company that he works for while he updates his resume on the tenth day of every month. Buried deep in his mind are fifty typewritten pages of every case of fraud, discrimination, and sin that his company has committed in the last eight years, a list that he will forever be too afraid to reveal, even after he has been laid off. And if he survives another fifteen years, he knows that his future will be paid for by the sweat of the newly recruited.

A woman drinks her coffee and takes a picture of her morning bagel. She will take a picture of every food that she puts inside her mouth, will tell everyone what she’s feeling as soon as she’s feeling it, and will dedicatingly like and comment every post by her online friends, adding to this group of friends at the minimum rate of thirty new ones a month. She will make herself believe that she knows all of them very well. For every wrong that has been done to her in the past, she will post an encouraging quote by a famous person.

Two brothers compete through the endless trophies won by their children. Two sisters compete through their unnatural flattery of each other. Instead of time and patience and silence, gifts are given.

A family living in a four-bedroom house with an empty guest bedroom files a lawsuit against a senior living facility for neglecting their grandparent. A university’s vice president votes himself a fifteen percent raise, paying for it by raising the tuition of every student. Students protest this, with ten seconds of their voices heard and their faces seen on the local news before thirty seconds of celebrity gossip is featured.

Technology makes it easy for every person to show that they support social change without actually doing anything about it.

This is the world where I live, where I choose to live. And if someone asks if, despite it all, I am encouraged for the future, I have no choice but to say yes.