Home The Child Within

Throughout history the child has been seen as a symbol of innocence and purity. It is not hard to understand why; the child is the awake and curious amoralist, seeking answers to everything, testing what seems to be broken and daring to take on an adventure, even though it may cause harm or suffering. Children are naive but idealistic creatures, wandering in the forest for hours to look for berries to eat, often acting selfishly, but doing so in an honest and straightforward way. If a child thinks your new tie looks ugly, he will tell you so without making up some bad excuse. If you try to hide something from a child, he will only dedicate more energy and time to looking for the missing item.

While childhood represents a stage in life when we are curious but selfish, it is nonetheless important for a person, as an adult, to be in close touch with the child inside. With this I mean that we must not lose our sense of feeling and love of magic; we must dare to take on new challenges and adventures and see the world through an amoralistic point of view - to be as honest and full of life as children are. The modern adult has suppressed his inner child and replaced him with a self-deceitful materialist, emotionally broken and detached from reality. Today we do not live by the motto Carpe diem, but "I must survive". In other words: instead of letting go of our material comfort and seeking out new adventures in life, we've regressed into a state of self-defensiveness and inner fear of being left alone to our own destinies.

We can see this in all levels of society: in politics, where leaders make decisions not after what is best for the citizens, but what will keep them in power for another four years, in culture, where today a mix of technological consumer products and rearranged TV-shows display the "freedom" of materialism, and in nature, where "dangerous" animals such as wolves are killed, so that over class families can wander around in a square of grass and exclaim how beautiful "nature" is in summertime or where entire wild forests are cut down so that another set of fast food restaurants can feed the hungry middle class workers. As modern people we're afraid of anything that threatens our comfortable existences, as this means giving up on our egos and instead pursuing ideals or goals, which of course means we'll have to endure either pain or embarrassment.

Our society has therefore become a teenage party, where a crowd of people have teamed up and formed social rules that at all costs must be obeyed, or else the circle is broken. You have the basic set of individuals listening to mass-produced popular music, trying to get drunk, and lashing out against anyone who refuses to join the "fun". That dissident voice is being demonized for not participating in the "freedom" that the party offers, and runs the risk of being threatened, humiliated, or even killed (Socrates, bin Laden, Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam) for revealing the truth behind the social scheme of thought. A crowd of people do this because they're dependant on a social agreement, and if someone points out the basic idea keeping them together (insecurity, personal fear), that person automatically becomes the "evil" one to hunt down and kill.

So when I say that our modern society functions like a teenage party, I refer to our way of reinforcing ideas through social acceptance, and as such, denying reality as reference. It is like alcohol to a group of misled teenagers: they drink so that they for a moment or two become detached from each other, and thus are able to live out a) all the things they couldn't do when they were children and b) the things that are a direct result of living in a neurotic and fatalistic society, without any ideals, dreams, or hopes, other than trying not to offend and hunting down dissidents.

This never works. Sooner or later they are thrown back into reality, and this time it will seem twice as cruel as before. He, who couldn't get over the fact that his immature girlfriend left him, will wake up depressed and lonely with nothing to live for. He, who lacks any real friends, will one day notice that the bottle is empty, and seek shelter deeper within himself, thus creating a negative circle he cannot break. He, whose personality consists of a replication of what has been on TV since last week, is well aware that nobody thinks much of him, therefore drinks to become more interesting, fails, commits a stupid thing that cannot be reversed, and wakes up wanting to commit suicide. While these are examples of how many people today feel inside, it is never revealed to someone inside the social circle, as they all share one thing in common: they're drunk and lack any form of self-reflection. What keeps them together is a basic feeling of fear, and as long as nobody points that out, they'll continue to ruin both their own lives and other people's lives.

Only a dissident that stands outside of this crowd of lost individuals will notice the depth of degeneracy. Only someone with a firm attachment to reality will be able to point out the errors pursued and the useless attempts to deny the obvious: modern man is emotionally broken, and not until he quits drinking - whether he's into Smirnoff, Democracy, or Britney Spears - will he be able to find his child within. It can be as simple as stopping watching TV and taking the kids out to the local park, where he can play with them and remember the old times when he himself used to play and have fun. He can take his wife out for a walk in the open fields, enjoying the beauty of love and nature - things that for most people define the actual "freedom" they so often hear talked about on TV. He can begin pursuing an old dream, like collecting stamps, binding favourite books, composing a song, becoming a college professor, sponsoring a local cultural event - whatever satisfies his dreams and goals in life. This is his inner child acting: it tells him to leave his material comfort behind and instead look for the ideal: what do I live for? What do I love and how do I act so that I preserve it? Some people will never receive any answer, and perhaps commit suicide. This is a part of life. But most people, if they just dare to contemplate over their own existence as honestly as they can, will know why they are still here. Surprisingly, most of them will look for the same basic things: a healthy and stable family, walks in nature, a good and reliable job, friends one can trust - all the things that today are wrecked by modern society.

We miss the voice of our inner children; because we've grown up seeing all the things we love being destroyed by the people who claim they're our saviours. We've seen family after family being torn apart by feminism and egoism. We've witnessed entire forests being reduced to a path of trees next to shopping malls. We've seen national companies being sold out to foreign countries, where cheap labour has been used to generate mass-produced products without love or soul. We've experienced people we thought were our friends, lying and cheating us by the nose, so that they could gain a higher place in the social hierarchy, built up and maintained by people that don't even know what a real friend is. It's not strange that most people are depressed, either drinking themselves drunk with Bacardi, or with information from TV, so that they don't have to think about the failures we've caused. We're afraid of reality because it shows us a picture not in correlation with what our mental images tell us, so we relapse into our egos and hope that someone else will do the job for us - after all, we're alone and cannot do anything to change the world, right?

As thinkers like Mussolini and Nietzsche before us noted, crowd revolt - or groups of people enforcing their ideas through the sheer numbers they constitute - is a form of collective irresponsibility, as all people "want to help" but no one is interested in taking the responsibility for others' failures. In democracies the people blame the politicians and switch side from Left to Right or vice versa. In communist societies the people blame themselves for not having repeated the dogma often enough. Societies like liberal democracies or communist regimes, that are based on the idea of a mass of people revolting against political aristocracy, therefore quickly become degenerate societies where people only think of themselves, and as soon as someone points out the failure in this, all citizens team up together (suddenly "Left" and "Right" does not mean a single thing) to attack he or she who represents an alternative point of view. We're afraid of admitting to ourselves that we live in a society that is constantly failing, because it means we'll have to change our lives and work against something in which we're a part. Few people are ready to give up friends or social acceptance, to do what is right, which is another reason why democracies are inherently self-destructive. Still, this is the only way to help cause an impact and reverse the past failures, striving for a better world where we can leave our impotence behind.

Don't give up, because like in a teenage party, you are not really alone. If you dare to speak the truth, there is usually someone who will agree with you, even if in silence, and tomorrow act the same way as you do. Even the ones who keep up the hollow pretense, but deep down inside know that you're right, will have something to think about next time they put the bottle to the mouth, and while many of them will fail to change their lives, you can instead congratulate yourself with the fact that you resisted the obvious mistake and instead opted for success. It may not arrive today, tomorrow, or even next year, but one day it will, and knowing that possibility - knowing it'd be self-deceptive to betray your child within, screaming for you to get hold of yourself and start looking at what's really important in your life, you will slowly but safely become one of us who believe modern society can be altered and turned into something positive. You will be one of those who doesn't have to drown your sorrows in alcohol or petty slogans such as "freedom" or "equality", but look for reality and make up your own mind: what is "truth" in my life? What, to me, constitutes freedom and happiness? Do I need the choices put forward by those in power, or are they merely things that manipulate me or in other ways mislead me from my quest? If such, deny them, and affirm what is right to you. Affirm your child within and always let his voice guide you throughout your adventure - you will never again get lost.

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