Do You Choose the Red Pill?
Computers have taken over the world and are using humans as living batteries to power their existence.
The computers found that humans waste away without something to live for, so they plug the humans into The Matrix-a computer simulation of everyday life in the late 1990's, complete with cubicles, rush hour, and the endless rat race.
The only problem with the Matrix is that there are a small percentage of people who feel in their soul that this existence is a lie.
Neo, the main character, is one of these, and starts searching for answers.
The pivotal scene unfolds.
Neo must choose whether to take the blue pill, and wake up in his bed the next morning to blindly continue his life in the Matrix, or take the red pill, and learn the truth.
My oldest son is finishing his junior year in high school, and he will soon be facing that same pivotal choice.
Life with the blue pill is very appealing.
Get a good job, start a family, live in the suburbs, work for 45 years, and retire comfortably.
He would never be fabulously wealthy, but he would do okay.
Our educational system is designed to mold our young people for this future.
After all, we need good workers, right? But what Matrix would he be living under? Would he be voluntarily conforming to the artificial boundaries of life in corporate America? When I was in his shoes, I didn't know there were other options.
I pursued the path of getting a good education as an engineer, getting a good job, and...
surprise, surprise! Life was not easy.
I could barely afford to buy a house in the suburbs, commuted an hour and a half each way to work, and never had time to spend with my kids.
I felt like the adults in my life had sold me a lie.
I grew up in a small town in Montana.
My parents ran a gift store and greenhouse, and had a small house on 40 acres of land just outside of town.
They struggled trying to make a living in a small town, but I lived the ideal life of a small boy...
fishing, hunting, and enjoying the outdoors.
My parents wanted more for me.
I dutifully set out for life in the big city, not because I had any desire to live there, but because I had been told this was what I should do.
My parents truly felt this was the best path.
About ten years ago, I chose to take the red pill.
I packed up my family in a U-Haul, and moved across the state to define my own existence.
I gave up the long commute and big city life for a something else.
Now, I work from my home office, and have the freedom to structure my life how I want to live.
Instead of heading out for the freeway, I spent this morning with my youngest son, having morning Donuts with Dad at his elementary school.
I've been to every one of my kids' basketball games, band concerts, and track meets this year.
I hunt and fish with my boys, and camp with the Boy Scouts.
Life is good.
If there is one gift I want to give my son, it is this truth.
He does not need to be contained by someone else's Matrix.
He does not need to conform to another person's ideal of how he should live his life.
He can choose.
If you have a teenager, make sure you talk to him or her about how they want to live their life.
Instead of asking them what they want to do, help them figure out how they want to live.
Do they want to live in the city, country, or somewhere in-between? Would they prefer an 8-to-5 job, with weekends and holidays off, or do they want a little more flexibility? Are they willing to work for themselves, and possibly give up vacations and holidays for a while in order to have more later? What kind of house do they want to live in? What car do they want to drive? Now, once these questions are answered, what kind of income do they need to create in order to live their life how they want to live? What education will they need to get to make this happen? What skills do they need to learn? What contacts do they need to make? Before your teenager succumbs to the pull of the blue pill, give them a wake up call.
The truth is that he or she has more opportunities and options now than ever before.
They can have the life of their dreams.
Don't get me wrong.
Choosing the red pill has its price.
The blue pill goes down ever so much easier.
After all, the blue pill is the normal path.
Following in the footsteps of the mindless masses is such a no-brainer.
A small part of me knows that life could be easier for my children if they did not know they have other options.
Conformity could be rewarded by comfort and ease.
But the possibilities of the red pill...