“To be, or not to be: that is the question.” But is it really? To all my fellow Millennials (aka the Net Generation) out there, I suggest that we turn to a new query. For Hamlet, his physical being was at stake. He stood at a cross roads: (1.) try to live in an unlivable world where his mother dove into the incestuous sheets of his father’s killer or (2.) escape everything and leap headlong into the undiscovered country. While we are not contemplating suicide, we too face a fearsome danger. From the time we were old enough to watch cartoons, we have been prey.
We are fighting not for our mortality but, instead, for our minds. It is difficult to maintain some sense of self when ubiquitous media, TV shows, and ads attempt to define who we should be and how we should think. This trend is exacerbated by the anti-intellectual culture so pervasive in the West; however, within American teen culture, the trend is even more pernicious. We are told not to think but to buy. We are told not to understand but to memorize. We are told not to question but to conform.
For Hamlet, death makes cowards of us all. In our age, however, apathy coupled with consumerism makes fools of us all. Instead of “to be or not to be,” we should ask ourselves “to ponder or not to ponder”/ “to think or not to think.” Because our beliefs are so heavily influenced by outside factors, it is only when we think about why we hold certain beliefs that we can determine whether or not they are our own. As I post this first entry, I sound a clarion call to rethink everything—all the time.
Please join me as I ponder perchance to dream of a different, better world.
-Zenzele, The Introspective Blogger