Decadence Holds No shine Like Real Life

If we look around in our own lives and find too much tranquility, too much niceness, too much accommodation, then we had better be post-meditational buddhas, because the pre-enlightened version of tranquility has nothing but anxious questions. If we pretend we already have the answers then we have defeated the process of learning, defeated the true answers themselves, and just mutated our egos into new less reproachable forms – like the yoga teacher captivated by his new position of power.

I think what we will find, after all the trying to change, looking for something else, striking out anew, latching on to powerful people, and shopping for better workshops and books, is that we didn't need anything but attention and courage to get better at being our fragile selves, demanding our due, letting others be, and identifying what stands in our way. And if we do it often and long enough it will become our culture, and the history books will proclaim loudly that decadence holds no shine like real life.

Eben Carlson is a graphic designer, one of three owners of Three, a company that sells clothes and gives away ideas.

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