When Did We Forget Our Dreams?

Dreams (Randall Munroe  |  xkcd.com)Dreams (Randall Munroe | xkcd.com)

An older but timeless philosophical sketch by @xkcd

It could be mistaken for a lengthy vulgar rant not worthy a cartoonist that, after all, is rather expected to express himself through drawings. 

But to me it is a masterwork. It feels as if Randall somehow managed to write down my innermost Monday morning laments. Like a mantra I should repeat to make it set in, to shake me awake, to open my eyes, to break me out of the eternal loop ...

It speaks my mind, but it's also deeply disconcerting. Just as the stick figure in the drawing, I tend to reason that if I manage the routine today, if only I can emphatically follow the gentle curves of societal norms and someone's expectations, then tomorrow I will unleash my creativity and pursue my real dreams. Which is such a fallacy!

The stickman's diatribe in textual form:

The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out before us. We see the same things every day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.

And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of some day easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up.

This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can:

Tomáš Fülöpp
Strijdersstraat 35, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium
July 16, 2021, October 29, 2022, October 30, 2022
Tomáš Fülöpp (2012)

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LanguageENGLISH Content typeARTICLELast updateFEBRUARY 24, 2024 AT 23:05:16 UTC