Saturday, 10 October 2009

Habits, alibis

Play safe, play habitual. Habits are the highways and the boundaries of social living. They improve the speed and the easiness to do something. If you don’t need to think to what you do, you’ll do it better. “You” it’s a very heavy operative system; every time you require the use of “You”, the entire system is called. Think to driving: a set of relative complex cognitive tasks, with manual ability. The first time is a nightmare, because “You” is involved. And when “You” is involved, you are driving and you are feeling emotions, you remember, you pay attention to the street, you see details, you are there. And all this is extremely tiring. After a while, you drive “You-less” . It’s not You, it’s just yours (body, cognitive system, user-friendly electronic device, etc. etc.). You drive in absence of You. It’s a zen experience.

Very often this kind of experience is even more pervasive. Your social role, your character are built in the environmental infrastructures. You are a salesman, after your day, seated with a drink in your hand, in the other, your head. While you're drinking your pint (of wine), you remember the days you wanted to write, the days of your warm thinking and feeling, then your boss, "you're clever, boy", the good sales, the good money. Before finishing your drink, you want to kill yourself. Really. And you’re right. But your alcoholism is stronger than your wisdom and you pour a second one quicker than any possible suicidal plan. The day after you’ll start again in your habits. Everything is fine.

The point is: you can’t be present in every moment of your life. Too heavy (for your operative system), too dangerous (for you and society). You are required to do things: you require to do things! And of course You too, requires to do things: you know what to do, because You knows what to do. You is the boss, delegates and leaves automatisms to do the dirty job. The environment and your cognitive system know how to take care of your actions. These are habits. And you should be grateful to them: you’ve been built and designed by your habits. But from the entanglements of your habits, the shadow of You emerges. Nothing wrong, nothing bad, nothing atypical. It’s normal, it’s you.

As soon as You takes the driving seat, we see the troubles. If You is driving, he wants to feel, he accelerates, he changes route, he overtakes. Bad, bad, bad boy. The same if you take You to your job place. Try to speak with your boss in the You shoes. Go to hell. I’m not interested. Not my problem. You know what you can do with the company's vision? I’m not mad. I’m You, You is in charge now, You and I now are free men.

Exactly, fired. Changing habits at work is redundancy (unless you pay someone else to change your organization, hire consultants to put in place new habits as new clothes, without You involved).
Habits are also damningly innocent: you can’t do wrong until you follow them. The definition of committing crimes could be: breaching the habits. Every crime committed is a diversion from habits. Every time You appears, he wants to try something different. Let’s see what happen if I hammer the head of the sweat Mrs Gonzalo. But also: my life is more than this, I deserve more, I can do it. Let me see what there is round the corner: please let me turn! If you permit You coming out, you accept the risk: you’ll see your creativity, you’ll see You in the process of building new places, maybe future habits, maybe not. It’s you.
Where were you last night? As usual, I went home, it was 7,30, like every day; a quick stop to the drugstore, say at 7,53. Stairs, keys, door. Light, a glass, two fingers, scotch. 8,01. Mrs Gonzalo has been killed at 7? I’m innocent then. Your alibi. Your habits. It was You.

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