Humor, Open Mic

Open Mic: The What-You-Feel-Like Way by Isaac Jo

Disclaimer: This article is satirical in nature and does not reflect either the author’s or clay’s true thoughts on the subject.

I should not have to say that the mental stability of the world is in distressing shape right now. Debates degrade into raging ad hominem contests, and international tensions escalate into full-blown war. Rising social unrest and political pessimism compound financial deficits and peer pressure, while paranoia pervades pop culture. No one seems to have a good grip on satisfaction—even the rich can’t stop trying to get richer. The slow, peaceful, and sensible approach to problems seems to be fading into oblivion, and it becomes increasingly hard to find someone with a good work-life balance or a comfortable family life. In short, it seems that the world’s emotional state is heading downhill.

Younger generations—the future of humanity—appear to be getting the worst of it. From personal experience, I can testify that the vast majority of my young friends are caught up in some internal struggle, and most of them fail to get more than six hours of sleep a night or eat three square meals a day. Whether it’s an ocean of homework, a hurricane of relational conflicts, a devastating clinical condition, or all of the above, the youth of this day and age seem to have their minds constantly overloaded. They are always being told what to do without knowing whether it is a good idea, and they never get a chance to stop and think for themselves. The overwhelming mentality is one of discontentment and imprisonment, accompanied by unrealistic expectations piled on from above.

You will consequently wonder how I, a teenager with a sizable workload myself, came to be stable and satisfied in life. And you would also be correct in assuming I was not always this way, but my story is not the point of this paper. You can bypass all the thinking and struggle I went through to get here by simply reading about my life’s lesson. Surprisingly, it can be boiled down into one idea–easy to make sense of, if difficult to maintain.

In common speech, the idea is often called moral relativism, although this term can be confusing to use. I prefer calling it the “What-You-Feel-Like Way.” This is the easiest way to understand it: just do what you feel like, not what anybody else wants you to do.

With this approach to life, there is absolutely no way for your mental health to falter. You will always be doing what you truly want to do, and you will therefore have no rational basis for regrets. You can never do something wrong if the only metric you measure your actions on is what you feel like doing. Other people stop mattering. Externally imposed laws and moral codes become entirely optional, and you become free of the discontentment and imprisonment you may feel now. Fear, anger, sadness, and any other negative emotions must inevitably disappear when the only one you are accountable to is yourself.

It may take a while to get used to as your superiors and peers will undoubtedly be confused at first, but only until they begin to pick up on it. When your irked boss finally takes after you, he will have to admit that you have no obligation to obey his instructions, and he will eventually stop being frustrated at your rebelliousness. After a few weeks of using this philosophy around your coworkers, they will realize that your way of life is infinitely more freeing than theirs, especially if the administration cooperates. If they happen to be exceptionally obtuse, feel free to give them a copy of this paper, which should do the trick.

Furthermore, my ideas will reduce relational conflict of all kinds, even if only one party holds to them, meaning that your own apathy will oil any situation even if it doesn’t rub off. For example, marital feuding will disintegrate when at least one partner realizes that they have no bearing on the other’s decisions. Political opponents will understand there is no way of influencing each other since all they care about is their own feelings, and partisan polarization will wind down. Suppose even your boss doesn’t get it—they will still at least know that you are inconvincible, and in time they will stop roughing up the situation. When you’re arguing with a rock wall, it only takes one to argue. It is the epitome of agreeing to disagree.

You will next object that while you and your acquaintances may gain from my proposition, it does not exactly solve all the world problems described above. Although this philosophy is as contagious as its opposites or more, even I can see that all of humanity isn’t going to suddenly adopt my methods. In effect, by joining me, you would be the only person directly benefitting from it, leaving the rest of the world in the dark. This would seem to be depression’s secret weapon against What-You-Feel-Like ideology: what about everybody else’s happiness? However, you must watch yourself carefully. Inconsistency is the bane of any worldview. Think: if all you are concerned about is your own contentment and mental well-being, and if all that counts is that you do what you feel like, does the state of current events around the world matter?

Of course not. In fact, you become entitled to complete apathy the moment you decide that your world revolves around you. If you are feeling sympathetic with those in worse situations, this only means that you are being rather hypocritical with your philosophies.

You see, the point of the What-You-Feel-Like way is not to end poverty or bring world peace. A simple worldview could never do that; trying is futility and the common mistake of both Marxists and Christians. I am as aware as anybody else that perfection is quite impossible, and therefore I cannot “solve all your problems.” All I have done is find a way to make people happy and content, regardless of their place in life. There will always be war and tension, but there need not be unhappiness. Happiness depends entirely on one’s own feelings, and if all external circumstances are disentangled from them, negative emotions cease to be an issue. You can undergo all sorts of injustice and come out undefeated as long as your emotional conscience is clean.

I concede that happiness is not absolutely essential to a successful life and that there are plenty of other ways to get it. However, throughout my experience, I have found no other worldview which gives such reliable results. Any dependence on something other than oneself leaves the possibility of disappointment, betrayal, loneliness, and many other unnecessary feelings. Only by self-containment can one reach ultimate emotional stability.

This concludes my short exposition on the What-You-Feel-Like Way. Please examine it as objectively as possible and only take it up if you feel like it. I mean to put no pressure on you as you have already taken up your own precious time reading this. If you decide it is absolute trash of an idea, feel free to mark me a lunatic in your own mind. After all, I could not care less.

 

Picture credits:

https://peanuts.fandom.com/wiki/October_1986_comic_strips

Meet the Author

How old are you?

I am seventeen.

Where do you live?

I live in Massachusetts.

What classes are you taking with TPS this year?

I am taking German 3H and Intro to Python.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

What I love about writing is its power. As demonstrated in the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword,” writing can do many things. It can encourage or depress, destroy or rebuild, and inspire or provoke. It is so powerful that many misuse it today with horrible consequences (as you might have noticed above), which has inspired me to strive to write for God’s glory. Words can change a person’s heart, tear down a person’s pride, and do so many other things. They have the power to affect not only the reader but also the writer. In my writing journeys, I have learned many things about God, life, and myself. Becoming a writer has changed me so that I can never stop being one. The power of words is unstoppable.

10 Comments

  1. great article.😀

    Hats off mate.

  2. *spends the better part of an hour alternating between laughter fits and absolutely tearing down why this is a terrible idea*
    XD well done though, that was both amusing and perhaps an advocate for why we shouldn’t ever do this

  3. Oh…now I guess I understand why my sister’s always telling me that apathy is really bad

  4. not me somehow missing the satire warning and being confused for a few paragraphs XDD

    you should write a book thoughhh, this is amazing.

  5. I read that whole paper without reading the disclaimer and was ready to launch a full on debate. lol.
    It’s definitely an interesting perspective.

  6. Anonymous Human Impressed by the Clay Staff

    This was incredibly interesting. Honestly, I can see why it would be so appealing if one were not a Christian. Extremely well done. Great job!

  7. Did you write the comic?