Life In Checkboxes

Checkboxes are a major part of many lives. People might not realise it directly, but almost everything they do is driven by the desire to check a box and move on to the next checkboxes in the sense of passage rights.

At what age one learns to read, choose the right schools, get a steady and well-paid job, marry, first child, second child, and plan for life after work… These sort of things are all checkboxes, which once ticked, turn out to be nothing more than a step up in the ladder.

In between these checkboxes, one makes huge investments and compromises. One studies hard to get into the right university or trains hard aiming to get to the Olympics. One operates the utterly inept boss, hoping for him or her to move up, so a spot-up could open and promotion to be rightfully obtained.

An own roof over the head is one of them major checkboxes, no matter the illogical amount of debt acquired to pursue this goal. Renovations, friends over for dinner, remodelling the bathroom, the kitchen, the children rooms, the garage for the Porsche at his 40s, her shoe closet… No dime, owned and borrowed, is spared.

Some try to marry the right person, others marry for love. And yet, in both cases, they tick a checkbox. A few go to church on Sunday, many prefer being entertained by the TV set prior, during and after dinner. Love grows, love winds down, but the important thing is still to stick to it, even if it hurts.

In the pursuit of ticking checkboxes, life sort of happens to people. Everything seems to be a momentary in-between. No moment is spared on contemplation or reflection, behavioural change or shift in strategy and path taken. A few lucky ones aim to happen to live. Them forces of nature!

Checkboxes are also in the wise lyrics of a song in the soundtrack of Trainspotting. Society wants everybody to conform and play ball:

Choose life.
Choose a job.
Choose a career.
Choose a family…

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