Chameleons and Truth

At an early age, we experience the judgment of others. The unmitigated harshness of reality is painful and difficult to understand. The majority of us retreat within ourselves in hopes of shielding ourselves from the pain of further criticism from our fellow travelers upon this chaotic spinning ball that serves as a de facto prison. As a result, we make cellmates of our hopes, dreams, and passions that propel us forward into an unknown future. The only certainty is that our existence is finite. Our goals and our expectations for the future minuscule and seemingly unimportant when we consider the universe, and it’s grand scale. Some can shrug off the pain of the past and seek to meet the world as our true selves.
The problem with this approach is that many live each day not being honest with themselves or others, and the image they present to the world is a fairy tale concoction meant to mitigate whatever pain they suffered so long ago. They are incapable of recognizing the truth in others because they have forgotten what is in themselves. They project their illusionary behavior upon the human race as a whole. They make an assumption based on odds. Tribalism is ingrained in our DNA as a species and the animal kingdom as a whole. When one sheep leading a pack travels over the cliff, the others follow sure that they are making the proper decision.
Human beings, despite our desire to be more evolved than more primitive species of this illustrious planet, follow others like mewling cattle to the slaughter. We are all too willing to embrace an idea or behavior because the herd embraces it. So we end up with a planet inhabited by shapeshifters, those with convictions so light that they are carried from one direction to the next by winds of societal drift. Many hollow people, straw men, and women are lacking substance, conviction, or any morals not given to them by someone else.
Those that honestly present themselves are presumed to participate in this chaotic and highly-inept con game. Therefore, the few of us that don’t cling to this herd mentality find themselves misinterpreted by willing participants as playing the same childish games that the majority play. Misinterpretation leads to a lot of heartache for those of us that seek truth and honesty. Few remain that believe in the value of a person’s word or that a handshake is sufficient to cement a pact. We find that others project their motivations and their disregard for honor upon the few that still hold things like honor and loyalty sacrosanct.
We become encompassed by imposters, weak, and ineffectual people only out for personal gain with no regard for the well being of others. The empty vessels are amongst the best at convincing others of their integrity and honesty as they have spent their entire lives honing their craft of hiding from the world, and presenting an image of uprightness and forthrightness. They know the values that are expected of an honorable human being and so wish to display that image to the world. However, a righteous journey is a lonely journey and a difficult one. Humans, like many of the more “primitive” mammals, seek the path of least resistance.
What could be easier than to appear to be a thing and receive rewards without real effort? If evil has a goal, then that goal is to circumvent the rules and circumvent actual values in favor of paper values. Paper values, lacking in any tangible substance change with the direction of the wind like the hollow vessels that contain them. It is no coincidence that a decline in work ethic has also lead to an erosion of principles. If you can get your honey and money without having to work for either, these rewards become less of a reward and more of an entitlement. If we lie our way into success in either careers or love, we lose the incentive to put forth any real effort. Whether we realize it or not, we lose respect for things obtained so cheaply, and it cheapens our existence and damages our self-respect.
The badly-acted plays and poorly prepared actors on this stage of life have only themselves to blame for the emptiness they seek to fill with things. The void is filled by adherence to principle and respect. People are things to other people; this is how far society has fallen. Money doesn’t buy peace; it doesn’t buy someone to love. It might make your nights less lonely is a physical sense. Chameleons are what we have become. Married men and women lie down in many cases with strangers every night of their lives, because we perpetuate duplicity and honor the great thieves while excoriating the little ones. Is society doomed? Perhaps, but is it a society when everyone is a stranger to everyone else?

Author: James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.

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