Are You Unhappy? Blame It On the Liquid Society
In this century, to achieve a balanced life full of opportunities, reinvention throughout life will be fundamental. But is all this change making us miserable?
2,400 years ago Plato, one of the greatest minds of humankind, quoted Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus in his masterful piece Cratylus, “You could not step twice into the same river,” suggesting that there’s nothing permanent in this world.
But is constant change beneficial in the long-term? Why is our society so obsessed with reinventing ourselves? And can we escape from a world where nothing lasts and uncertainty rules our lives?
Undoubtedly, continuous and unrelenting change has confronted humanity from the misty dawn of our existence to our present times. The only certainty in a human’s foreseeable future is that there will most probably be…more change. Heraclitus also wrote: “Everything flows and nothing stays”.
We as homo sapiens used to go berserk for change. As nomads, we were defined by change. With the arrival of agriculture and the emergence of the state and private property, we have become animals of tradition. The way we perceive life, how we interact with each other and with the world surrounding us changed entirely. Stability and social structures became the common regulator in our lives. Yet, our post-modern lives are completely the opposite. Nomadism has become, again, a powerful characteristic of a modern person.
Let us take as an example Millennials, a generation dealing with one of the greatest challenges our society has ever faced: stability. Young people are the latest victims of a process manufactured by the contemporary post-modern world: The liquid society. Radically transforming, at a great speed, the social forms and the experience of what it means to be human are being liquefied. But what exactly is a liquid society?
According to sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, author of “Liquid Modernity,” liquids, unlike solids, can’t hold their shape. Liquids are fluid, they flow, spill, drip, ooze, in our society that means that we are “being transformed from the ‘solid’ to ‘liquid’ phase of modernity.” Flexibility has replaced stability…