One of my favorite reads is Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, a collection of his personal thoughts, observations and experiences in life. There’s a part of me that wonders how Aurelius would view the world we live in today. What would he have to say about the way society conducts itself now?

When you read his thoughts, you can see the marks of a man who spent a great deal of time in personal reflection. He articulates perspectives from the position of a person who has taken the time to sit and observe all possible viewpoints (when possible) prior to making a statement.

While I can’t claim for Aurelius, I have my own meditations and reflections on the world around us today, and I continue to find reasons to raise an eyebrow at the trends I see as them work their way through our culture.

One of the big Achilles heels in our culture is around the topic of mental health. Without adequate resources to help the population of those who suffer most, a lot of those with mental health challenges find themselves living on the streets. I remember how the streets were when I lived in Portland. They’re much worse now.

Mental health issues have also made themselves a mainstream conversation piece, especially around the topic of suicide. Now, threats of suicide or self harm are held up as a tool to pose demands on others.

”Meet my demands or I’m going to kill myself.” – Generation Z

I’ve noticed something about most of the people who hold their life up as a bargaining chip to enforce their way of life on others; it’s the inverse side of narcissism.

See, narcissists use their delusional visions of themselves to make everybody around them miserable; demanding they prop up the ego of the narcissist – or else. Generation Z tends to use their own view of themselves to also demand a change in behavior from all of those in their path.

I think it’s helpful to note that most Gen Z’ers are really keep on the idea of being against fascism. However, if you were to ask them to define fascism, most of them would probably give you themes of those who believe in making others follow their orders using an authoritarian system to enforce their demands.

Personally, I find most of the ways that this new generation makes their demands to be a lot more like the fascists they oppose than they might want to admit.

One of the hot topics in the media today centers around the idea of equality. Rich white men make up the majority of certain demographics, and are thus made responsible for an entire world of gender inequality because of a few statistics.

It’s convenient to note that 97% of brick layers are men, while a majority of women occupy air conditioned seats in HR departments and people operations. Should we level the playing field here and ensure there’s gender equality?

95% of those homeless on the street are men…

The list could go on…

As a Dad, I feel a responsibility to be informed about current social issues, as well as place intentional thought to forming my worldviews about a growing list of ‘new’ cultural trends that will someday be more relevant to Atlas’ life than my own.



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