For the most part, I was invisible to the adults who defined my world… parents, relatives, teachers, neighbors, and clergy… until I broke one of their precious rules.
Submission to the authority of my “superiors”… obedience to my elders and teachers… piety before the church’s dogma… allegiance to the flag… were all expected without question.
To that end, every droplet of my uniqueness was wrung out of me… by a virtual boa constrictor that relaxed when I complied and squeezed when I resisted. A dozen times a day… in words, images, and actions… my domesticators extolled the “virtue” of my meekness and servitude and punished the sinful “pride” of my curiosity and initiative… all sanctioned in the name of love of God, duty to country, and respect for my elders.
And so it went day after day for thousands of days… trained to mutely embrace a world that I did not create… by people I was told to respect or else… by people who were supposed to know better… by people I trusted with my life… by people who were supposed to love me.