As children we are made aware of the impending responsibilities that adulthood will bring. Whether it announces its presence through countless questioning of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to a constant reminder of witnessing a parent struggle. But what is adulthood exactly?
On the surface there seems to be this paralyzing and confining type of “playpen rules” and boundaries. The plan is usually laid out in front of you. Stay in school, get good grades and find a career. In regards to this plan, the standards of adulthood represent a vague outline of what success means in life or at least how to evaluate an adult.
So is adulthood merely a plethora of obligations that attach you to a concept of life that is widely adopted, or is there more to this standard of living? For some, the self-applied goals in life are the reward of this standard.
“I think that it is eventually what I want to achieve in life that keeps me happily responding to the everyday responsibilities,” said Antonio Jackson, student at UWG. “Like my own personal pursuit of happiness.”
In that context, is that not what everyone wants to achieve? If so, then why do we all have the obligations to the same standards? Society in its simplest form is an institution of humans actively living towards that same goal—happiness. It is nearly impossible for everyone that is a believer in this to society to achieve the same level of success, thus there will be those that are not successful at all.
Society does not award originality that is not accomplished; those constitute as failures. The people that fail to meet the standard of life and happiness afforded to those that have found passion in their career are just that: failures.
With that determined, why is individualism not more of an objective in life? Why is this not an interest of society to assist all humans? It is because our society also preaches looking like others, or at least having features that are popular, like a slim build, a nice car or expensive clothing. Material things have morphed our perception of happiness, creating this belief that the rewards of life can be purchased—that happiness can be bought.
The message should be plain and clear—preach individualism. Society should lend itself to assist the folks that inhibit it, instead of essentially turning them into materially driven machines that seek reward through superficial means.
Society is geared towards awarding a certain type of personality with a perception of happiness and not devoted to affording this to all types of personalities. The popular perspective of society is a mechanism that lends itself to the person that can devote as much of its time to the responsibilities of adulthood. However, some people are better suited when carrying out other actions, like creating art or providing thoughts that advance technology.
The crime is that society along with the responsibilities of adulthood strips the small chances of individuals finding a passion. As tragic as it is, it may not ever change.