Friday, August 25, 2006

Exhaustion as Truth Serum

Some days, I'm just too tired to repress my feelings.

I'm usually someone who speaks my mind, but energy gives me the option to make strategic choices about timing: a different context, fewer distractions, a waiting period to see if an issue turns out to be a serious concern I need to address or a minor annoyance I can let go.

On the days when I'm broken down, though, I have no choice but to answer the questions put to me. Exhaustion as truth serum.

I just made the terrible connection that this is how torture works -- a torturer wears victims down until they have no defenses left and give up the required information. Only...I've been the one torturing myself.

Is our society of constant motion a large-scale example of torture in action? Have we gotten to the point where this pathology seems normal? Millions of people with Stockholm Syndrome, acting as both captor and victim? Are we pushing ourselves with insane work hours, overbooking, heaps of stress, over-the-top multitasking, and the constant need to produce as a way to break ourselves down enough that we have no choice but to tell the truth about our lives?

What would happen if we all took a healthier approach, ensuring we each had enough energy to make real choices about when and how we expressed ourselves? What would American society look like then?


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