Do you want to participate in modern times?

I used to be a smoker. Both my parents smoked (they know best). And by the time I was 17 it still looked cool.

I often think about whether I'd take an impeccable health record over the straying times indulged in drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and carousing. In relation to the healthy prescription of our times, I ironically had a lot of experiences that outweigh the detriments. In college — just a year into my full-time smoking career — I met many of my friends over a cigarette; one of them became my best. It made a lot of sense, but I also had “forever” to live.

Perhaps it depends on your personality and constitution. I've always been about human connections and the moment over conventional wisdom. And so when I accept conventional wisdom: buying a house and getting a steady 9-5 job, I get a lot of cognitive dissonance. I'm used to rowdy socializing and staying up if I've met a particularly interesting human being on any given night. I'm used to sleeping in to continue the natural rhythm of my life if I need it.

But it's largely incompatible with conventional adult life.

There also comes a time, like now for me at the tender age of 32, when I'm still in a stage of discovery. Stability is the enemy of exploration, and thus I instinctively reject any signs of it despite being subsumed by it.

Allow me to get existential for a second, but this gets down to what your meaning of life is: do you want to play one of the many arcade games life offers? Perhaps Career Pinball Mania! Or maybe Just Getting By: Part II. Society and the American Dream are not hospitable towards individual goals of upsetting the norm, being honestly imaginative, or discovering new ways of thought. It's like we can't continue on such a path until we've started to prove everyone wrong — and to get there we must already be obstinate enough to defy convention.

You also don't see many revolutionaries adhering to the “livestrong” philosophy. I think it comes down to this:

you and you alone are responsible for the world you want to see. No one else will enact it without your influence. We all have an element of revolution in us, but there are some of us that feel it strong enough to act upon it. If you are one, you are obligated to do so. Without you, there is no change. There is only conventional wisdom and more of the same. You must show that it's okay to act on what you want. That we can all form the world we want and ultimately end up working towards a world we can all live in, content that we've built it ourselves, instead of at the hands of some nameless King or Lord of the land. This is the goal of any self-aware human, creature, and being of this world.