Anything, I tell ya!
There is a well spread belief that has its roots in American propaganda – well, I am not sure about that last part, but I assume it is, as I have never heard it being used to such extent in any other culture. I am also too lazy to check it out right now and it really is not essential to my point.
I am sure you have been exposed to the old time blurb of – you could be anything you want! I am pausing here, so you can feel the power of the sentence. You can be anything you want! Gush! The wave of opportunity and endless possibilities swishes over you, doesnt it?
But is it so? Nah. And if you really think it is, where do you live? I might uproot my whole family and come and join you there.
It is not actually possible for everyone to be CEOs and movie stars. Who will do the work? And do you really believe that everyone can be a president/prime minister? Just calculate your chances based on the simple (very) crude figures – 50 years when you possibliy can; during which there will be at most 10 heads of state – if you are in the US, your chance of grabbing the top position is 1:150,000,000 ; if you are in Australia its 1:15,000,00. You might as well play the lotto.
I wonder how the loads of ‘actors’ and ‘actresses’ staffing the cafes and strip clubs in LA, feel about this motto, when they get old and gray and rest their aching bodies on the couch long after the dream has died and for many, sucked their youth like a hungry leach.
How about the crying souls who will never be the lead in Swan Lake, or the solo violin in their dream sonata, despite the sleepless nights and bleeding extremities they have lived through?
Most devastating is the perception that if you are not “somebody” its all your freaking fault, cause you see, you could be anything, dear, and only your own limited wonky dreams and lazy behind can be to blame.
If you dont buy into the capitalist mantra, you are treated as a failure, even if you are actually happy. For goodness sakes, mothers are made to feel inferior if they chose to raise the next generation, instead of doing mostly administrative work, but have “careers”. Lets see – whats more valuable – typing letters or growing even one healthy happy human? Doh!
And of course, this perception serves as a most convenient reason to refuse help to people in need. They dont need it, cause they have chosen to be in that position. It is not the system that is flawed, its THEM. *#&$& THEM!. Thankfully this is still mostly an American “benefit” and I hope it doesnt overcome the rest of the world too, because then we are trully screwed.
In reality most western countries are based on the notion that the few exploit the many. The many cant become part of the few, just because they so wish. The hyperbole of “You can be anything you want” is just a drug that keeps the masses happy and optimistic enough to do the hard work and waste their lives in cubicles away from their families making money for the few.
“Anything” is quite depressing and can cause a considerable amount of self loathing, when one is middle aged, with average paying job, fat spouse and kids plus a mortgage that eats a hole in one’s brain. And that is where the vast majority of people will be.
Forget anything, be something that makes you happy. Cause you certainly cannot be anything you want.