December 6, 2012

MUSE: How Rooted Are You?

On dark winter nights, my energy level is low and I'm content to sit in my overstuffed armchair and let Netflix take me away. One of the mindless shows I tapped into last night depicts a town in Kentucky, USA, as a hellish place to live. Uneducated and lawless brutes making moonshine and growing pot, living alongside law-abiding citizens who (most of them) are just saving their money to "get far away from here."

Tumblr collection by Steppenrat
Of course it's exaggerated, and of course it happens everywhere. Most of us struggle to live within the rules set by society: We go to school, get a job, pay our bills, and try not to spit in public. Yet we may find ourselves living alongside those with no regard for rules, people who will spit in your face if provoked -- because they're protecting what they believe is the ultimate freedom -- to do exactly as they please, regardless of how it impacts the rest of the world. This, we know, does not exist; we are never free from the consequences of our actions. It's human nature to try, though.

What would you do if you saw that the society around you was crumbling? If a war was erupting in your backyard, as it is for the people living in the Middle East and in many parts of the African continent? What would you do if you saw people turning a blind eye to injustice, either too fearful of retribution or too tired and worn out to care? Would you pull up stakes and find a different home? Or would you dig in your heels and fight back?

We are all rooted in some way, and it occurs to me that we are either rooted inside or outside. If you are rooted inside, you are more likely to roam, but you must bring your values with you or risk getting lost. Rooted outside means you know your boundaries and want to keep your field clean of debris. Either way, we take our clues from the society around us and do what needs to be done in order to survive and thrive. There is no right or wrong, just different ways to handle it. So which is it for you... fight or flight?

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