Why I dropped out of the System

4 Responses to “Why I dropped out of the System”

  1. Joanne says:

    It seems we are all reluctant to comment. Because we have chosen different routes? because we dont know what the future holds for you? (there may be acceptable compromises, in niches of ‘the system’?) It certainly is a brave choice.

  2. You know, I must point out how vague this is with respect to just how much it was a genuinely deliberate choice.

    That is not a criticism. I just think there should be some recognition this it’s really a little more complicated than just choosing to drop out of “the system”.

    I’ll speak only for myself here. You, Jelte, may or may not feel similarly with respect to yourself and your life.

    I did choose to go about things in a certain way, and that had consequences. I chose not to do things in the standard way, the formula and model “the system” tries to force us all into.

    But I made those choices because of something I could not choose: that following that standard model ultimately felt fake and disingenuous. It felt like a lie. And I really could not pretend it wasn’t.

    We don’t choose how we interpret the world – we may make choices about which values guide our interpretation of the world, when there are values competing with each other, but it may not really be a choice which values get weighted more heavily than others. When I say, for example, “I could not live with myself if I had chosen X, instead of Y”, there is a superficial sense in which that is a choice, but another in which it really is not. It is similar to, say, a man being threatened by his oppressive government to betray his brother, whom he loves dearly, or else the government would do everything in it’s power to destroy his business, and so destroy his ability to take care of his family, ruin his reputation so he has difficulty finding work, etc. When he betrays his brother, sure, it was a choice. But it is NOT really a choice, for it is not what he willed to be – he did not will upon himself those circumstances.

    Making a choice and being forced to make a choice are very different. And for myself, when forced to choose between living disingenuously in order to “succeed” in “the system”, and living up to what I believe in, but taking huge risks in doing so, well the choice is really already made, because I cannot live a lie, as it would ultimately be asking me to destroy myself.

    I always knew that I didn’t fit into that model; I had hoped I might be able to do enough to get by, but of course, only because “succeeding” in “the system” was really just a means to a further end, but by no means a necessary one. In a way, it was a sort of mutual discovery: “You don’t really fit here.” “You’re right, I really don’t, and I don’t like it here anymore.”

    So, when it comes down to it for me: I know what I have to choose. And I’ve always known that. I’ve always been prepared for it. And maybe, in some ways, I’ve always known that I would have to make that choice.

    And so my life begins.

  3. JeWeHa says:

    Hmmm. Is this THE system? No, it’s a (one) view of Watts on what may be a system in a certain culture/environment. It that sense is simplistic. There are many more options, or combinations possible. I’ll be back..

  4. Joanne says:

    “To thine own self be true and it will follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Hamlet)

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