The Relative Irrelevance of Social Conditioning at Rumspringa

What contrived to make you angry today? Was it something beyond acceptability? The tragic death of an undeserving child? The cruelty of one nation against another? Or far more likely was it perhaps the foolish pronouncement of one man’s idiocy, someone who really should know much better? 

I have heard it said that limits on space can produce a reduction in thought, that being imprisoned physically results in the oppression of the mind. I find this difficult to accept. Did not Isaac Newton conjecture from the confines of an orchard the theory of gravitational influence and more miraculously did not Steven Hawking envision from an almost totally closeted physical state the wonder of black hole theorem? Why do we allow our concepts to shrink with our perspective? Imagination should never be fettered by a unwillingness to fly in the face of accepted reason or against insidious public proclamation.  

One of the side effects of the coronavirus is the sudden face-to-face confrontation of the isolated individual and unavoidable theatric production. Most certainly this is not a wholly new phenomenon, but the degree of interaction has gone from the occasional recreational to the seemingly unavoidable. The long-term effects of this increase of friction will become apparent when humankind in general returns to more normal activities. One wonders if this sudden overindulgence in fictional input will overwrite what would otherwise be a more reality-based outlook on life. Generally one knows if one is watching theatre, television, a movie, however constant overload tends to dull perception, even brainwash the intellect to accept fiction as reality, confuse and interchange imaginary and material.

Might we witness a sudden upsurge of physical and emotional overreactions upon release from internment, much as the prisoner released from incarceration is inclined to immediately shed all inhibitions in an attempt to compensate for lost experience and time? What might be the consequence of such sudden unconfined freedoms, with all the emotional instabilities and physical indulgencies such ‘Rumspringa’ are inclined to produce.

Will individuals concur to the strictures a  managed society must place upon them or will free expression spring from repression as unabashed and unapologetic as the hippies of the 1960’s followed the recession of the 1950’s.

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