I remember being in school, and I asked my teacher, "How do you know?" I can't remember the exact subject, but I argued that she didn't know anything because we only know what we are told. I went on a rant about colors and noted if I moved to an island and changed the color names, people would do the same (of course, if I were the leader). Our island would have new meaning around the colors. For example, blue would be red and so on. The children would grow up believing what we've told them—blue is red or whatever we had decided. As you can imagine, my statement wasn't received too well, and I was asked to leave. However, I later realized, she put me out because she didn't know why any of the information she described rung true.
I understand language is a means to facilitate cohesion between people for communicative purposes. Similarly, some would argue cultural norms encourage a peaceful environment. In the case of the language and culture, it does help to have common ground. However, what about social constructs that do not benefit the whole?
In our communities, we've hailed institutions and accepted their truths unequivocally as our own. Celebrity culture fuels our desires. We consume voraciously to elevate ourselves in social circles, only to learn its never enough. Someone will always rise to the top for the moment. We compete on jobs with endless markers for success, and again we chase moving targets, which will never end with true fulfillment. When does it stop?
Have you ever sat in a quiet room with no calls, no texts, no information from the outside world, and asked yourself, "What is important to me?" Think about it. What would you like if it weren't advertised? Would you want half of the stuff you have?
On average, most of us will see 80 years of age. So, try this. Subtract your age from 80 and multiply it by 365 (your age -80 X 365). What you get is roughly the number of days you possibly have left. Not much, right? Looking at the average amount of days (some more or less), would you keep doing what you are doing today?
You have a choice. That is the greatest gift to us all. You have the power to choose your next move. It doesn't have to be what society deems as valuable. It's what you want. You don't have to walk away from your job or anything drastic.
However, you can begin by making one change toward that thing—that thing most important to you before you die. That thing you only have X amount of days to do. Don't wait to move to a new island to change your colors. Change your colors now.