This is the first of my four part blog.
“Modernity is a deal. All of us sign up to this deal on the day we were born. Very few of us can ever rescind or transcend this deal. It shapes our food, our jobs and our dreams, and it decides where we dwell, whom we love and how we pass away. The deal is we humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power” – that’s Yuval Noah Harari from his latest work HOMO DEUS.
We humans agree to give up meaning for power because trying to understand the meaning of life is like reading the terms and conditions before creating an account on gmail. We simply check the “I agree” box without reading the contract. Because we think trying to understand the meaning of life is meaningless and that those who get too deeply involved in understanding the greatest mystery of life will get run over by the real world.
But the actual problem is vice-versa – we are getting run over by the real world because we haven’t given serious thought to the meaning of life. And because we agree to exchange meaning for power, we push our children across the cliff into the deep valley of real world stories—“try to be productive for the nation, be competitive, be ‘practical’, don’t spend time on ‘useless’ and ‘unproductive’ activities, climb up the corporate ladder” that can be translated to “if you don’t run the rat race, you will be crushed by the real world.”
But is running the rat race the solution to the problem? Or is it just a way to escape the problem? How do we want to cross a turbulent river—by building a bridge with solid foundations or by jumping into the river and swimming amidst the turbulent chaos? The time is ripe we detached from the chaos for a while and thought logically about the road ahead.
By Guduri Harsha, Research Intern, LemonBridge