Go ahead. Tell me all you really want is…a life spent in the furious pursuit of…buying stuff you don’t want with money you don’t have by doing jobs you can’t stand to impress people you don’t like to fit in instead of stand out…just so you don’t have to remember, even for a nanosecond, there’s a truer reason you are here. To live a life that matters.
Sure. You can tell yourself that’s all there is to life. But nobody’s going to believe you. Even you.
And so to begin unearthing a few clues about a life that amounts to more than the soul-crushing futility of all the above, allow me to ask you: quick — what’s your favorite buzzword of the last year? And by favorite buzzword, I mean “what makes your skin crawl and stomach churn”? “Big data”? “Millennials”? The “sharing economy”? “Wearables”? “Leaning in”?
In 1975, R.D. Rosen coined the term “psychobabble”—to refer to popular but often empty pseudo-psychological nostrums, which let people replace insight about their inner lives with something like McWisdom. And today, we might speak of what you might call babble overload…babble about babble…internet-babble about…about techno-babble…about leadership-babble…about econo-babble….about psychobabble…on and on and on…in a vast, endless echo chamber.