This morning, David Brooks, one of my favorite NYTimes op-ed contributors, published a sad but true piece depicting what I believe to be a painful observation of our generation’s loss of idealism.
This stark epiphany stems from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road 50th anniversary (last month) and the ensuing lack of appreciation today compared to half a century ago.
Quite frankly, we have become jaded. Driven by instant gratification and our obsession for seamless execution, we have deviated far from “the Road.” The hackneyed cliché “it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey” could not be more wrong. Instead of enjoying this road of “youthful and reckless energy,” we have opted for the gloomy superhighways, saturated with boring societal speed limits – a paradigm for cultural mediocrity. And I, like many others, am responsible for this mediocrity.
Our friend Matt just returned from a much-anticipated trip around the country. 50 years after Kerouac’s exploits, I’d be happy to see how his experience compares. Regardless, I have to praise him for saying “fuck it” and taking the initiative to hit the road on a solo mission. It seems that we’ve lost our ability to think spontaneously and act on impulse. What was once seen as a bad ass idea is now often times considered an act of reclusive behavior.
So at the risk of contradicting this noble platform, I would urge us to un-tighten our perceptions of the unknown and get the hell out every once in a while.… And if that’s beyond the realms of reality, then just go see “Into the Wild” and live vicariously, even for just the weekend.