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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

In The Midst of Lies

Lately I learn much about deceit. I have always known that life is never what it seems to be, but what I learn lately has been disheartening. It seemed to me that everything around me are lies, carefully and cunningly designed to make me feel they speak to me, they speak for me. In reality, they lure me into quicksand and left me there, slowly drowned in my own weight. 

From the slope of Mount Hollywood, sitting at the Griffith Observatory and looking down to the city of Los Angeles below I ponder: is this the only real thing in life? The nature and all its might? The cool breeze touch my face and I shivered. The fog still gathers in the cold cloudy morning. Everything feels so real, yet I know the unreal world is only a few minutes away. The unreal world starts when I step into the car, fully equipped with things that I do not need but sold to me as things that I need, cleverly confusing me between my needs and my wants. Lies, lies, and more lies.

It has always been that way, the clever design where I lost my true identity and became a sheep in the flock. In the end, the only true Lord that people worship these days is Power and Profit, despite whatever reasoning one may say. Everyone needs money. Everyone want money. Money brings power, an elevation of status, stability. And actually, it is not that bad. In the world of today, money equals to what you can or can not do in life. Regardless on how brilliant a person is, he/she will not last long if he/she do not have enough money to sustain themselves. Gone are the days where people plow their land to make a living and be independent, but even in those early days you still need money or some sort of bartering items to get things that you can't make/produce yourself. 

When done right, money gives us a mean of living, a mean to reach our goal and fulfill our life. You can easily gauge how good you are at things with the money you can generate with your work. You can set a goal and know how to reach it since money is a valid and stable variable. Money itself is not evil. Nor is power. Yet money breeds power, which then breeds more money. This cycle quickly generates the temptation that human finds impossible to resist, and sucked us in like a big whirlpool in the ocean. This is not brand new, human has been fighting greed since the beginning of time, or to be precise, the beginning of human conscience. We look up to the underdogs, or to people who have power but do not abuse their power and instead stay humble. Yet at the same time, we adore power and wanted to be lead. We look up to people who have power (and money), and consequently, we too want to be looked up and adored.  

For big players, this means generating things in a way that speaks to (read: brainwash) the audience to fell in favor with whatever the big players want us to think. Whether they are selling products or ideas, we are buying them in astonishing speed because, you know, those guys have money and power so they must be right, right? A good campaigner made us feel like we are a part of an exclusive group by joining their cause, be it as an owner of a specific brand or a religious devotee. And that's the thing. We want to be exclusive. We want to feel the power of being right. We want to be, ah, a cut above the rest. The big players tapped into these instincts and present us with things that we want to see, things that we want to be. In the end, we were sold to their presentation and they too make their much wanted profit and power. In the end, we are defeated by greed and lust.

Sit and think for a moment. Can you really believe everything said in the media? Do you really need every item sold? The realization came to me when I realize I spent unhealthy amount of time doing online shopping. They all seemed to make sense to me: I need the clothes for this and that reason. Yet it took me a great deal of strength to say to myself: Stop, you don' t need that. It took more strength to actually stop browsing the websites to satiate my need, no, my want. With so many choices bombarded in your face, it is difficult to keep track of things that you actually need vs things that you are conditioned to need (a.k.a the wants disguised as needs). How many people spent nights thinking how their life will be better if only they have a bigger house/better car/finer life? It is one thing to be ambitious and actively reach for betterment, it is another thing to keep looking ahead and being consumed by the emptiness and hunger in you. The same thing happen with the media, that, depends on which channel/outlet you choose seemed to accurately (or inaccurately) speaks for you. We got swept away in the stream of opinion, convinced that our belief is right without stopping to think how that opinion could help fix the problem. Speak up, they say. The Oppressor will listen if you speak up.  Will they really though? Or are we merely pawn, an asset that unknowingly contributes their ever growing power? Everyone has his/her own agenda. Everything in this world is a facade.

It feels so disheartening. I do not trust media, I do not trust corporation, I do not trust people. My life is crumbling beneath my feet and I do not know what to do. But the sun stays the same, is it not? And smile and kind words from a stranger feels good anytime. I love the city too, the unnerving city with all her flaws and beauty. These are the things I could hold on to. These are the things that I have to hold on to, the real tangible things in the world of lies. I look at the city below once again. I have come a long way, yet even in my native country greed and ignorance and lies spread like wildfire on a hot summer day. In times, there might be nothing left but ashes and amber, burned to the ground by human greed and lust. But trees can still grow out from the ashes. I can not lose hope.

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