"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed, and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." Morpheus - The Matrix
From the moment we were born, our lives have been decided. Let's all grow up, go to school, finish school, get a job, find a spouse, have kids, raise our kids, grow old, raise our grandkids, then enjoy the rest of our lives until we die. Ever asked why are we here? What is our purpose? What is life? Is it about success? Money? Helping others? Or survival? Certainly, before the invention of currency (whether it be social or monetary) humans lived for food and survival.
We should know that life is a game if we choose to play it. Aptitude tests were created to gamify the education system so we have a sense of progress, thin out the herd, provide metrics and statistics, but it doesn't give us happiness. Social media sites and apps were created to engage us in envy, dispute, resentment, comparison, jealousy, anger, just about anything that frankly just doesn't matter. Money was created to eliminate the system of barter so that we can purchase tangible goods, yet many view it as social status and acceptance. And there are many more. All of these were created so that we can take part in them at some point in our lives.
In a changing world, the information revolution is reversing the industrial revolution. During the industrial age, the gatekeepers created systems and processes, so people get together and built things together like factories and corporatization. Now the information age is breaking the communication barrier. The gatekeepers are no longer able to keep the prisoners within. More and more people are breaking free. Showing themselves to the world their true colors. Creating new and innovative solutions, impacting the lives of others. Some are able to do so at an early age, they understand the game and are able to walk out of it if need be. While others never have the guts to break free.
In this day and age the word "success" gets chattered frequently, yet not many understand its meaning. The truth is, the more success you have the more ego gets built up, the more fearful you have of losing it all, the more you care about what other people think, the more you compare yourself to others, and the more you get caught up in this dream of who you think you are. However, if you have the foresight or insight to know yourself at an early age, material success will actually take you away from it.
So what should you do? Take the blue pill? The red pill? Or neither? I leave that choice to you. It is your life. What I can tell you is that the future depends on our children and grandchildren. Teaching our children how to: optimize happiness, nutrition, exercise, build good habits, break bad habits, have good relationships, find the right spouse, meditate or pray (if you do any), build basic skills, not memorize lots of facts, choose what books to read (preferably older ones that have withstood the test of time), understand the concept of money and business by opening up a lemonade stand or something similar, have some charitable work, witness true suffering by taking them to a third world country, speak in public, do business writing, persuade others, programming, etc. will make the future of humanity brighter. Now the question is what do we emphasize? We should not educate every child in everything. Instead, focus on their aptitude and what is practical to their goals and passion.
All of us should understand the game of life. Understand why we have to get good grades, why we go to a good school, why we want to be a doctor or lawyer or teacher or anyone, why we need to make more money, why we chose to do or not to do things, why you are reading this essay, and so on. Understand that happiness is an internal state, not the instant gratification we experience from time to time - they are actually dopamine snacks for our brain. Only when we understand them, we have a chance to be free. Recognizing then won't change a thing. As the proverb says, "Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it."
"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self." - Albert Einstein