how to stop doing business as usual

Chewbacca with a medal drawn on him

So it’s time to stop being good little minions and tear down the damn machine. We have to stop being helpful cogs and start being the grit that grinds the gears. To push this metaphor to the limit, we need to shatter this machine and build ourselves a new one that actually works. Or leave machines behind entirely and grow a plant. Or a jellyfish.

But how do we get there? How do we stop letting the machine govern our thinking? The machine is our lives.

One thing we can do is nudge ourselves. Teach the lizard in the back of our brains that we don’t always have to accept the crap we’re given and then say thank you. Here are a few nudges:

1 – If you read paper books, write in them. A book is not a lecture. You don’t have to sit quietly absorbing what it tells you. Pick up a pen, and make your book a conversation. Mark the things you don’t agree with. Refute untruths in the margins. Cross out the sexist language and write in something that works. You are not an empty vessel to be filled with information. You have wisdom. Feel free to use it.

2- Stop buying things. For a day, or a week, or a month. Quit shopping, and quit buying. Give your brain a break from capitalism. Stop thinking about what products you might want and how much you’ll pay for them. The work-earn-buy paradigm doesn’t possess your soul.

3 – Every time you read, or watch, or listen to the news take a second afterward and remind yourself “Some of what I just heard is not true.” You don’t even have to identify which parts are wrong. You just have to remember – the news as we know it is a narrative construct created to sell the news. It is full of errors, biases, omissions, and misrepresentations. It does not accurately reflect the world we live in.