You’ve only got one shot to get it right. ONE FUCKING SHOT!
Imagine if, when you were a baby, and you only had one opportunity to get walking right. You had to nail it on your first try or you were forever doomed to crawl around and shit your pants the rest of your life. How shameful.
I made a mistake a few years ago. Well, it wasn’t really a mistake, more like I had to break an agreement, a contract. I signed a one year lease for an apartment, and after two months of living there, I got a job offer in a different state and was going to have to move. Obviously i was going to fail to honor the contract, so I had to break it. And I did, without “properly” getting out of it.
So the management company sicked the dogs on me and put a measly $1400 that I owed them on my credit. Now it follows me around, and if I try to rent an apartment through the standard channels, I get fucked in the ass because of that one little mistake. It will follow me for another couple of years, then drop off my credit like it never happened. It’s like a jail sentence for my finances.
I started thinking about attention deficit disorder, and how it’s not a real thing, but rather, a convenient excuse for doctors to prescribe drugs and schedule expensive office visits. When a kid has a hard time sitting still in a classroom and can’t pay attention to a boring ass teacher, then he has ADD. I know there’s a whole test (charade) that doctors put a kid through to make the determination, but I look at it like a can’t fail test. The medical system, and teachers and parents, have everything to gain by a positive diagnosis. Kids get screwed and become zombies, because we refuse to change the system, because that’s really, really hard.
So now schools have this thing called “lockdown,” that apparently they initiate when there’s a threat someone is going to start shooting the place up, or when there’s an insane asylum escapee running around stabbing people with make shift eye glass knives. How far away are we from just merging schools with prisons? They’re not that far apart now. The only difference is, kids get to leave and go home at the end of the day. While they are in school, the doors are locked so no one can get in, but also, no one can get out. Maybe we can turn prisoners into school teachers and see how that works out.
People go to prison because they made a mistake, or two, or three. People make mistakes in school and are punished, which become stones of the prison being built in their minds. Kids are usually forced to work alone to solve problems, so their individual aptitude can be properly measured. Prisoners, nowadays, have a cell all to themselves, where they spend 95% of their day. They are left to sort out their own issues, all alone.
The real world works in a way where people work together to create things and solve problems. In the job force though, you are still judged based on your individual performance, or more realistically, you’re judged by another person and his/her biases towards/against you. Regardless, if you make a mistake or fail, you are punished. In school, when you fuck up you get sent to the principle. In the work force, when you fuck up you get written up. Same concept, different execution. The people lording over you like reminding you of the fact that they are still lording over you, and you best stop making mistakes according to their rules, or else.
ADD meds turn kids into zombies, so they are more docile and receptive to programming. I wonder how long before those meds are just injected at an early age, like a flu shot that has to be taken every year? Just neuter them before they’re able to make any memories. Or take it a step further and sell a drug that parents or teachers can inject to turn a kid “off” when they don’t want to deal with them. Might be easier to implant a chip directly into our brains and give remote controls to those in power so they can manipulate our minds whenever they please. We’re already there anyway, I suppose. Perhaps we don’t need the hardware after all?
There’s no judgement calls on the mistakes that get slapped on our records. The person isn’t taken into consideration, how they’ve changed or what they’re like now, as opposed to the possibly several years ago when the mistake occurred. Maybe the mistake was out of our control? All that matters is the piece of paper produced by the keepers of the record that show the mistake. It doesn’t show extenuating circumstances, just the basic facts. ”Well, it says here you fucked up 10 years ago. I understand you’ve changed and haven’t made that mistake again, but it says here you fucked up 10 years ago, and that gives us the leverage to fuck you any way we want.”
What if we reversed that paradigm? What if we took the diagnosis of ADD as an indication of a problem with the system the kid is living in (very hard), rather than a problem with the kid (very easy)? What if we recorded all our good deeds, like the ones that really mattered, like the time you gave a bum $5 and somehow that changed his whole life, and now he’s a billionaire? He doesn’t have to become a billionaire; maybe he uses that $5 to buy a cheap bottle of liquor that he wouldn’t have purchased had you not given it to him, and something happened to him that transformed his entire existence for the better?
What if we gave prisoners opportunities to make good in the real world, on their own, like an exercise that they creatively think of on their own, and weigh that against their past crimes? They could develop a good deed they wanted to execute, like volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, or teach an arts and crafts class to elderly people. Then they could be judged based on their initiative instead of on how much time they’ve spent wasting away in their cell. Most prisoners are decent folks who got sucked into bad situations and made mistakes. It’s hard not to when everyone else around you is.
Then our good deeds could be weighed alongside our mistakes. And maybe all the good things I’ve done since that horrible moment when I broke the rules and cost a billion dollar company a measly thousand bucks could be pitted against my good record. If the reverse had happened and they would’ve somehow set me, the little guy, back $1400, I’d have no recourse, except maybe logging a complaint in an anonymous online forum that nobody visits. I can’t call the credit bureau and say “hey, they owe me $1400, put it on their record.” Little guys have no power like that. (Isn’t it funny how credit bureaus just take their word for it, like they couldn’t possibly be making this shit up?)
And so the system brainwashes us to believe that after we take our one shot, and if we fail, we must go back to the land of the walking dead. Eeking through life, a failure, forever doomed to be amongst the mediocre. Kids who get the ADD label are forever brainwashed to believe they are somehow different; they have a disability that affects the way they learn and interact with the world. Once that becomes a belief, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. No one thinks about the long term effects. Maybe some time in the future, when he’s 20 something, and wants to do something extraordinary, he thinks to himself, “but I have ADD…people with ADD can’t do that.”
What if that had been the reasoning of Martin Luther King Jr., or Steve Jobs, or the Wright Brothers?
I made a mistake over 5 years ago. A mistake out of necessity, really, an oversight, because I could’ve paid it off and followed the stupid fucking rules. But I didn’t, my brain is imperfect and things slip through the cracks sometimes. And it will haunt me for a few more years. Then it will have served its sentence, much like a prisoner, an arbitrary amount of time determined by someone in a suit or black robe or impressive looking uniform. It will be released into the nether. Until then, I will feel shame whenever it affects my activities as a human on planet earth living, under the rule of the system.