“If I were you, I might be a little angry that my culture neglected to tell me the truth about these things, that my education did not prepare me for adversity. I might be upset that I had not gained an understanding of economic forces, of class forces, of the way power is wielded in hidden ways in the workplace, how we are led to believe that things will be easy when they are actually hard. I might be angry that I did not study how advertising and popular culture portray a world in which problems can be solved instantly, by making certain purchases or wearing certain clothes.
“That just isn’t how it is. There are reasons for the distortions you have been shown. Our economy has a lopsided reliance on the production and consumption of nonessential goods; for these goods to be sold, certain messages must be promulgated; certain illusions must be upheld — that these products and services will make you happy, that certain professions will make you happy, etc. These beliefs motivate us to continue, like the carrot dangled before the nose of the greyhound. They serve a purpose. But they are not always in our best interests. They serve the interests of other people, with whom we are in competition for finite resources.
“You are beginning to see that much of what you have assumed to be true is false. That is a good thing. Now you must begin to replace your assumptions with a more balanced view.
“That takes a lifetime.”