Off of the Prescribed Path

As young adults in twenty-first century America, we are implicitly told that there are a very few narratives upon which we can base our lives.

Attending college, for many of us, was a next step on that prescribed path.

You graduate high school, maybe attend college, find work in your field of study, find a mate, find a comfortable apartment or house near your job, maybe procreate (or at least get a parakeet/dog/hamster), work 40-70 hours a week to pay off the mortgage, buy lots of processed foods and vehicles and Ikea furniture, retire to Florida, and die in a softly padded hospital bed.

With minor variations like what kind of job, the sex of your partner, and area of settlement, most Americans plod along through life on this pre-established path.

One of the areas of small variance is politics, in which the Left often points an accusatory finger at the Right for its backwards, narrow-minded perspectives.

The Left, however, continues to vomit the same small set of narratives of impersonal, uncreative, exploitative, and consumerist lifestyles.

Left and Right American politics, often portrayed as polar opposites encapsulating the entire spectrum of valid ways to think and live, both nestle happily into the tiny bower that is Western capitalist thought.

Rather than building our experiences and life plans within these myopic lenses, a major overhaul of thought allows us to explore other lifestyles and experiences.

The prescribed American Dream is built on the exploited labor and resources of others, and its structure cultivates anxiety, mood disorders, and loss of interpersonal connection for its adherents.

It stunts awareness of self and others, devalues interdependence in relationships, and limits the integration of both self and other into a larger social context which values personal and communal psychological health.

Overcoming these unhealthy parameters requires searching more diligently for alternative narratives, and writing new ones of our own.

-Randi B. Hagi, Co-Editor In Chief

Categories: Opinion


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