The Cure for Complacency


Complacency is the hardest disease to cure. It is a beast that lives within all of us. It keeps us blind, sedated with false promises, and much easier to control. It is so much easier to live a complacent life, so much easier not to ask the big questions, so much easier not to wonder beyond the bubble we have built around ourselves. 

Children are born into this world with a blank slate. Their minds are free of prejudice, of opinions and biases, of hate and love, and knowledge. Through observation and a bit of naive imagination they soak human existence up like a sponge. Everything is new to them at first. The first sting to the eyes from looking at the sun. The first crunch of autumn leaves under their feet. Their first swim in the river, the lake, the ocean. Their first betrayal, broken heart, or shattered promise. Children are molded by these events until these events stop being new and start being predictable. As we grow older we fall into a common rhythm of life and we stop observing the world. What had once been a Technicolor landscape for our childish eyes to take in is now a desolate screen with the same old images. We become bored with living. We stop asking questions because we think we know everything.

But we must not stop asking questions. Because, in the big scheme of things, we know nothing. The easiest part of this explanation is to start with science. But how could something so linear, numerical, and powerful offer an explanation into the unknown. For all the power it wields in our lives, it cannot yet explain whether matter is actually energy, nor can it predict whether electromagnetic radiation is a wave or a particle (stating that it exists somewhere in between). Even time, something so constant in our daily lives, is lost to scientific equations in the concept of relativity. Science cannot tell us whether we live in a simulation, whether parallel universes exist, or whether or brain, so defaulted by the process of evolution, hallucinates our reality. And what about the big question of consciousness? How can we know that the human experience is something more than a temporary collection of atoms going down a predetermined path? How can a three-pound organ within our skulls give rise to that voice inside of our heads? Where do our thoughts even come from? And can we even control them? Or are they just a product of a combination of external physical factors, with our lives nothing more than a chain of causes and effects? Are we just cogs in a machine doing what we were always meant to do, or are we free?

The fact that humans life exists is a miracle. The fact that one electron has the same magnitude of charge as a proton is a miracle. The fact that earth is the exact distance away from its parents star, allowing it to have water, is also a miracle. We must embrace these phenomena, these wonders, and this sheer uncertainty surrounding human existence, uncage the thoughts inside our heads and let them soar free.

We live in a society where it is frighteningly easy to obey the social standard and follow along with the person ahead of you, but when our bodies become slaves to conformity, having a rebellious and critical mind is the best cure for complacency.

© Kat’s Observations – 2018 

For more of my existential thoughts, visit Kat’s Observations 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. My complacency is borne, not from a lack of questions, but an apathy for so many of the answers…
    I mean, I don’t just wandering around with a perpetual “what’s the use?” mentality, but a lot of the magic of the world is certainly lost on me.
    Then again, most people tell me I’m weirdly wired… 🙃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think it that “what’s the use” isn’t the right question to ask. More like, “why are things the way they are” There isn’t always an answer to those kind of questions. But wondering about them regardless is a great way to not be complacent.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. tara caribou says:

      I wouldn’t say “weirdly” wired just different. Personally, I think in a good way. It’s a breath of fresh air, frankly.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. tara caribou says:

    I agree with AP, mine isn’t born from a lack of questions either BUT I *do* experience the magic of the world around me on a daily basis. It’s people and society that I tend to become apathetic towards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… interesting. I guess we have very different perspectives on the world, but that is what makes the world so magical.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tara caribou says:

        Possibly. It might also be different life experiences and reactions. I live quite rurally so I am immersed in the natural world heavily and as a result I see magic everywhere. When I lived in the city, not so much.


  3. Nitin says:

    This is such an extremely interesting, well thought out piece. For a while I thought you were wandering but then you brought it all back together and tied it up. I’m sorry that I’m only commenting on the structure and that’s trite but the content speaks for itself. You have a very good way of provoking thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m always worried that my writing goes off on tangents, but I’m glad it worked out here. Sometimes I can’t control my wandering mind!

      Liked by 1 person

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