When I was thirteen, I was shipped off to Christian camp. I can’t complain, because it wasn’t really a bunch of bible beating and talk of fire and brimstone. If anything, it was sleeping under a huge tree all day outside of my cabin. No, I’m not much for sports, honestly.
But, there was one tradition we did carry from year to year. Our cabin leader, an older teenager, would pick one story to read. She would read for either a half an hour, or through one chapter. The book that she chose that year was “The Giver”.
We never did finish the book at camp. But, I remember that was the first thing I did when I got home. I had to see if he made it to the city. I had to know the ending. For the first time in my young life, I was actually eager to finish a book. It touched something in me that no other book could.
“The Giver” opened my young eyes to the bigger, badder world that existed around all around me. It completely shattered all naïve notions that kept my protective bubble intact. We did not live in a world where people really looked out for each other. It was really every man for himself, and a battle for control. Most of us live in that protective bubble, never to open our eyes to the truths around us. How could this be?
Today, in the Western world, we are free. But, there may come a day where we are not. But, in a way, how free are we? Sure, we are not deprived of our sense of the world around us, or denied our sexuality. But, the people living in that society didn’t know any better. Only The Giver and The Receiver knew better. What if our world is like this? What if I see only the things I’m conditioned to see?
What if our entire lives are sketched out in the design of a bigger game by another entity (not meaning God)? We’re all pawns in the greater scope of things. Control is an illusion given to us to make us believe that we really are free to live our own lives and makes our own choices. When we look at the capitalistic machine we live in, how free are we?
Honestly, how free are we? Do we know all of the evil underlying truths? Can we even conceptualize the extent of how trapped we are in our lives? There is no dropping everything and going our own directions. We are on the assembly line, manufactured for a purpose – just a purpose that we get to choose. And even then, not so much.
We are born into the lives that we are designed to live, and not lead. Typically, if a person is born into poverty, they will remain in poverty, or maybe just a tiny bit better. The illusion of choice and opportunity exists, hanging above our heads, just out of our grasp. And somehow, we rationalize why we don’t have those things and others do. The point is, they are afforded to some and not to others by the choice of someone else.
We are always reliant on the choices of someone else, eventually leading up to a handful of people controlling the purse strings with power and money. Corruption, greed, domination, we all become sheep. Some of us are sheered, and others are slaughtered. We don’t know any other life.
But one day, like The Receiver, we will be able to open our eyes and make a break for it. We’ll step out of society, standing up and announcing our individuality. And we’ll depart from these meaningless, mundane lives forever.