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All my life, I have watched my mother’s love and humor and how it has altered the world around me. Whenever I was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, throughout my childhood, all I could ever think of was that effect I always saw. I thought that, as far as something to do, that was the only thing worth my time. In the world we live in, many people have grown hardwired to seek the rewards of possession, power & money, etc., and have subsequently lost touch with reality. Unfortunately, it is just too easy to be blinded by the distractions and responsibilities of modern-day life, such as the media or our jobs. We often tend to always either be running from something or towards something, and it is often hard to tell which. Regardless, it is often in an egocentric pursuit of our own desires, and we sometimes fail to see how the pathways that we lay out affect one another’s’.     Over two centuries ago, our nation was established under the simple premise of individualism. We broke free from tyranny and sought to create a more sovereign nation under the ideation that each and every man was born with certain unalienable rights. In the past two hundred years, however, we have experienced a vast and rapid expansion in consciousness as a species and have transcended our own potential beyond what was once thought possible. We have witnessed the birth and exponential growth of industrialization in the western world and how it has changed the way we live our lives in every aspect. We have seen the rise and fall of civilizations as a whole, as well as extinction, nuclear warfare and global economic collapse. Throughout all the downfall, though, it truly is quite the time to be alive. So, in a society wherein our success in life is most often measured by monetary wealth and external possession, we have correspondingly deluded ourselves to believe that in pursuit of these things, we are working towards a long-term state of happiness. However, as we continue on in this repetitious and tunnel-visioned cycle of work and reward, this dependency grows into that of an addiction, and as with any addiction, there is always a price to be paid. Unfortunately, this cost is depicted through a lifetime of damaged relationships and wasted time, all sacrificed to the wheel of work and consumption. Inadvertently, this focus on self-pursuit undermines human relations in small, pervasive and insidious ways, and erodes the very things that make life worthwhile.

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