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Dangerous Perspectives

Preparation can be a dangerous activity. Consider the moments ahead of you. How should you act? What type of person does your future interactions require? Is there a certain dress code? code of behavior or code of language you must use in order to render success in the approaching moments? These are common questions explored and defeated instantaneously; questions whose considerations TS Eliot’s poetry characterized as “time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.” These questions and answers occur in all of our interactions and assist us in carving the role we need to play in the unique format of social interactions in the future. Beyond this lower level; I argue, is a richer, more personal series of considerations we use to prepare for the future: considerations that hinge themselves solely at the personal level of happiness and expectation.

If our memory is a scrapbook of moments we can look back in our mind at our personal history as a series of reactions to events. We do not remember moments as cold moments in history devoid of personal data. Instead each memory exists as a data point of personal reaction. We collect moments of rage, joy and all the other human emotions within our memory as a form of catalog of human life. This is the past from which we form our expectations of what is to come: what the future holds is never a new reaction; instead our experiences of the future are largely pre-ordained repetitions of moments we have already experienced. We don’t have new experiences, we simply mimic previous reactions to new moments that appear similar to personal history.

We run into trouble when we play these games of expectations. We become short-sighted and enter new experiences with a false expectation that can destroy the possibility of a moment. We hate certain foods because we had a sample some years ago and didn’t like it. We can’t stand Actor X because he made that horrible movie last year. We loathe the heat and dread the holidays. New possibilities disregarded simply because of past experience. This is a tragic and absurd reaction analogous to avoiding the alphabet simply because the letter S looks so egotistical.

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