This piece might get a little edgy, but I swear it’s ultimately about self-care. I recently posted a bit about dealing with people who don’t understand the creative mindset. Here in Finland, among the international community that we live in, I’ve dealt with less of that. I think a lot of that has to do with the necessity of being open minded in order to live in a foreign country around people that are different than you. There is an American-ness, though, to default to stare decisis, to rely on established precedent rather than engaging in critical thinking. Unfortunately, that tends to preclude any sort of introspection. I believe that introspection is essential to happiness.
Hand-in-hand with the flawed logic of “why make a thing when a more popular version of that thing already exists” are the two go-to documents of American culture: the Bible and the Constitution. I’m not looking to make waves, I’m only trying to make a point. There are a lot of problems that exist today because people fall back on “the Bible says this, period, no need for further discussion” or “the Constitution says that, boom! and it’s settled”. J.K. Rowling’s popularity means that’s how you should write a fantasy novel, and the success of Avengers: Endgame means that’s how you need to make a movie.
Introspection and Happiness
It would be actually useful if people took a breath and looked at the problem that was being solved for. Instead of the literal meaning of the words, the letter of the law, try to comprehend the intentions. Then imagine the possibilities. If that work did not exists — the New Testament, the Bill of Rights, the Harry Potter series, whatever — how would you approach things? Imagine having to look at all of the information we have in front of us today. Picture having to create something, from scratch, to solve the problem.
I know, I know, those things do exist. Those works define current reality and establish our operating parameters. That’s why your fantasy world looks like a Hogwarts knockoff, and you throw out quotes instead of answers. The unwillingness to consider other possibilities affects your life. You limit your own potential. Things that could possibly make you happy have been cut off, voluntarily and by you, because you’ve accepted an orthodoxy about the way things have to be.