I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about social contracts – those implicit, rarely stated, seemingly “universal” silent agreements about how we behave together. The thing in the background that tells us “how rude!” when someone else breaks that contract, or we find ourselves shrugging off our own behavior (“sorry, I’m just being a bitch”, “sorry, I’m a dick sometimes”), and making an excuse. The specifics vary by region, by community, by employer, by in-group, by geography, religion, even time of year… weird, right?

…Who wrote these contracts??…

Trust me, most of us signed one before we knew anything about language at all. A rare few enter one explicitly understanding it, signing with their eyes open, fully aware of what they are agreeing to… Which is weird, right? I mean… “read the contract” is even a thing we’re told to do, when we get old enough to start signing things. How is it that, as a culture, as a global community of adult, reasoning, human beings, we haven’t done a better job of setting down clear rules for conduct and society that are more broadly accepted, and more thoroughly understood?

…Maybe we just suck at this thing called free will, competing with this other thing called agency, and both all tangled up with this bullshit we call “being successful”? I mean… we’ve got a Constitution, here in the United States. The world (by way of The United Nations) has the UN Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… both sound pretty all-encompassing, with the grave exception that a great many people don’t agree with either. So… yeah.

We have local laws, county ordinances, state laws, federal laws – and lots of people employed to enforce them, change them, write new ones, and the rest of the population following or breaking any number of those laws, every day. (Maybe we’d need fewer of them, if we had a better social contract in the first place?)

Maybe the problem is… us. We aren’t the best at “getting along”, being fairly territorial, more than a little bit delusional, prone to logical fallacies, emotional, and poorly educated (yeah, you too, college degree and all; there’s just too much to know). We get hung up on bullshit assumptions and expectations that we make up in our heads. We get angry, frustrated, sad, or depressed. We wander around feeling entitled to this or that experience, person, or object. We’re all about… us.

The moth does not understand metamorphosis.

I sit sipping my coffee. I’m hard on myself on this one. How do I live up to this committed desire to become the woman I most want to be? Who is she? How does she treat other people? How does she balance her commitments to others with adequate self-care? Where does she stand on the matter of people vs. profit? How does she live her life, moment to moment? What matters most to her? What does she not understand about getting where she wants to be in life? How does she know when to let go, and when to hold on? How does she know which questions to answer, and which ones are pure, sparkling, delicious rhetoric – intoxicating, but not nourishing?

More questions than answers on a quiet morning, and already it’s time to begin again. 🙂