“The Human Clone Commercial Enterprise™” by Anonymous
Graduation: the official end of high school. For some, graduation could not come fast enough. For others, it is the deadline for deciding what to do with his or her lives. Memories of graduation can vary since they can be held at different times of the day. For me, it was early in the morning. Great. I remember I woke up early and got dressed and waited for my family to be ready. But since it’s my family, it doesn’t matter how fast we go. We are always late. So we rush over there. I throw on my graduation robe and run ahead of my family because they also have a knack for being incredibly slow when I happen to be in a hurry. But I am not allowed to complain because the same thing can happen vice versa, and I am the one slowing them down in other occasions. So I rush past the families waiting outside to go in. I am in high heels, which I don’t wear often, so I am almost galloping through the crowds yelling, “Excuse me, I need to get through!” I run into the building and find my place in the line. I also happen to have no friends with similar last names so I just wait in line with a bunch of kids I never met before. Needless to say, it was pretty boring. After that, it’s typical. The music plays, you are led out to the chairs in front of the stage. Students and teachers say their speeches, you get your diploma, you sit back down and you think about how they should hurry up because you’re starting to get hungry. At least that was the case for me. Afterwards, you take pictures with all your friends, and it’s true what other people say about never seeing most of them again. It’s pretty cool, feeling how you finally graduated. But then the hype goes down and you realize how really screwed you are. At least… that’s how I felt. Everyone is expected to have an exact idea of what they are going to do with their life by the end of high school, but in what way does high school actually prepare someone for this decision? It’s all fun and games when people are kids. It is easy.
Who doesn’t prefer elementary math to calculus? Who doesn’t miss nap time or enjoying toy commercials? When we’re kids, we have a whole life of memories to make and experience. We start to learn what we like and what we dislike. We start to get the idea of who we are and we imagine all the directions our lives can go. Some kids want to be astronauts or rock stars. Others want to heal people or stop world hunger. As for me, when I was a kid, I wanted to work at McDonalds so I could get free happy meals. Don’t judge. But when you’re older, it’s different. You actually have to think things through and God forbid, think about the consequences of your actions. When time goes by and we grow older, we go out into the real world and learn how it works. These days, living is like a business. You have to do whatever you can to make the most profit from the time you have left in your life. People go through life and public school, and they are forced to choose a life, whether they are ready or not. In the end, who decides what life we want? Basically, we are shaped into what society wants us to be. People these days can’t just go into a career that makes them happy. Instead they have to think about what the world wants. People have to think about supply and demand. What does society demand? It demands doctors, computer engineers, programmers, social media directors, nurses, lawyers–take your pick! We also need people to do hard labor jobs, but don’t worry, we have immigrants for that! If the world demands it, you supply it! Screw individuality and what your heart wants. If you want to make enough money to live comfortably, then you better get with the program and start reading, “Geriatric Care for Dummies.” People have to mold themselves to fit the “perfect employee profile.” People have to think of themselves as a product and sell themselves to the world. They have to shed who they used to be and conform to what society wants and demands. But people can’t do it alone. Schools help by giving us standardized tests. We learn that there’s usually just one answer to a problem.
Public schools hardly emphasize thinking outside the box. A perfect example is this paper. I’ve gotten so used to writing research papers, that I am finding it hard to write a narrative, which should be considerably easier. No wonder everyone wants to be a kid again. It’s because we wish for what we had and who we were. But why wouldn’t we, when who we were back then made us so much happier? We swallow all the commercials and advertisements that the world practically shoots at us. Everywhere people go, all they hear is “Buy one get another 1/5th off,” “Try Nutrisystem for a 30-day trial to finally be loved,” “Try our new Cinnamon Soy Chai Green tea latte or else!” We convince ourselves that we actually want all of these things. Before we know it, we are all consumerism clones. In the end, are people living up to their childhood dreams? Are people banding together to save the planet, or end poverty? Of course not. Cars and gas need to be sold, money has to be made, forests need to be cut down, and the American dream has to live on. Corporations can’t have a decrease in sales. Just put out another Volkswagen or Doritos commercial and they’ll forget about the real issues out there, at least for a while. Where do I fit into this? I too fall into the consumerism and memes that plague modern society. For example, the rumor that Ted Cruz is the zodiac killer cracks me up. Sometimes, it even distracts me from paying attention to what the candidates are saying. Another way that society has changed me is how it made me into a selfish person. I used to imagine how I would make the world a better place and now I still worry about the world’s problems. I just don’t have time to solve those problems since I have my own to deal with. All my life I have felt like I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. I could not have been more wrong. I graduated and chose a career that offered stability rather than happiness. I chose another course of study instead of pursuing cinematography. I dream about cinematography, and think about it all day, and I brighten up when films are discussed. But the fact is film is risky and I have myself and later a family to take care of. I may love film, but I also love structure and planning, and my course of study offers a much more predictable path. It offers a good and steady paycheck. The world runs on money, and I am too much of a coward to take risks.
Isn’t that what it all boils down to? It is not about the pursuit of happiness, it’s about the pursuit of money. Most people choose a career that pays good money. But who can blame them? Everyone, including me, wants to be financially stable and live comfortably. People are not encouraged to find themselves, they are taught to sell themselves, change themselves, surgically “repair” their personality. It does not matter if you have to make a deal with the Devil to do it, just do it. So we do as society says. We pick from the list of “Careers that Society has Pre-approved” and hope like crazy that we actually end up liking it. We conform and gobble up what society feeds us. Ignore the fact that society tries to make people into a human clone army against true innovation. Forget about being an astronaut or stopping world hunger. Forget about saving the planet or helping endangered species. Forget about making a difference, and dreaming big, and being happy. Ultimately, forget about being true to yourself because it probably wouldn’t sell anyway.