Perhaps one of the most gruesome eventualities of vicious capitalism is the complete evisceration of our individual perception of us. I believe it is beyond argument that when a flashy television actress waves her heavily-treated crop in front of dozens of cameras, a sort of envy and inferiority is present within those observing.
Day after day, we poor peasants are bombarded with fancy imagery of lives “well-spent” – at least more than ours. There are people who look better than us, write better than us, make art better than us, and learn better than us, live better than us. And it’s only natural for us to feel as if there is something wrong, that we are not doing something right. I mean, they are humans too right? A pair of eyes, two hands, and a nose.
Yes, they are, without a doubt. But that’s where the problem lies! We live in a nauseatingly success-obsessed world. While that is fair, considering how capitalism has shaped us to think that productivity can be the only source of self-contentment, it’s still pointless to expect victory from every maneuver.
The result of this you ask? We have people exclusively flaunting their success to be seen millions. Nobody talks of the rough days, the day’s productivity is an alien concept, and the day’s burnout suffocates the soul. Everywhere the eye looks, someone is the epitome of conventional attractiveness. Every place the ear listens; someone is realizing their ultimate dream. It’s insanity.
It’s far from the truth though. There are countless resources that have almost become a prerequisite to economic success, at least. That teenage millionaire probably attended a prestigious private school, funded by their guardians. That influencer probably spent a fortune on cosmetic surgery.
And it’s certainly exhausting functioning with this constant subconscious realization that your entire efforts amount to nothing if you do not “make it” someday like someone else did. Even though you do, and you do every single day, you don’t do enough.
It’s okay. Sit down. Drink some water. You look fine; those are some fine-looking shoes. Your grades are improving; you studied extra hard this time. That was a superb basket in the basketball match last week. You are doing great!
There are numerous eloquent pieces of literature expanding on this very topic. How the modern societal systems are designed to tear you down, but how you can put up a fight. Quit social apps, even for a bit. Focus on yourself. And finally, just know that you were not conceived to make headlines, to break all records, it’s acceptable to just inhale and then exhale sometimes.