This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

The silver spoon

They say that were born with a “silver spoon in your mouth”, if not economically, then certainly from a historical perspective. You have things better than anyone ever has before—you are at the height of civilization, born in the greatest nation in the world (if you happen to be an American). That’s your great privilege. So why, then, do you sometimes feel cursed?

The truth is that we’d have settled for wooden spoons. All we really ever wanted was the soup that was supposed to be on the thing. But instead we were born and had these shiny silver things shoved into our mouths. When we quietly asked about the missing soup, we learned that such questions were profoundly ungrateful. “We gave you silver and you ask for soup! You’re a spoiled lot, aren’t you!” All the while these things are being waved in our faces while we are told how grateful we should be for the nasty metallic aftertaste.

You needn’t be grateful—not for this. You do have things to be thankful for, things that have been handed down to you by your elders. We must never deny that. But what is worthy of your gratitude and what isn’t, are not great mysteries. You can see them for yourself, and judge them accordingly. You don’t need anyone else telling you where to heap your gratitude. Hold onto your thanks for a worthy cause. Our ancestors left us plenty of things to be thankful for, but this so-called silver spoon, I’m sorry to say, is not one of them. And even if it is, we’ve got to admit that there is a strange overemphasis on its value.

You were born in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but you knew that already, because all your life you’ve been reminded. That metaphorical ‘spoon’ is your smartphone and your HD TV and the car that was given to you at sixteen. It is your sedation dentistry, your caffeine, your fast food, and all the various things flaunted in front of you while you are reminded how lucky you are. And on top of all this wealth, you also have your ‘freedom’—but we’ll get to that in due time.

These are the things you must appreciate, if you want to pass through the tambourine frenzy without being reprimanded. But you can’t. Try as you may, you can’t appreciate them as deeply and as fully as you are told that you should, and the reason is simple: these things aren’t appreciable! You can’t deeply appreciate a radio or a cell phone. It isn’t human. You can become addicted to those things. You can become obsessed with something like a television, and dependent on fast food, but you can’t appreciate them as if they were a symphony or a Cathedral or a literary masterpiece.

I would praise your ingratitude and your inability to appreciate these things, even if others condemn you for it. Your ingratitude is evidence that humanity still lives in you. Even if I must watch a dozen of my generation sit at a table in silence, each glued to his mobile device, I know that, addicted as we are to these things, we do not appreciate them. Thank God for that. Enough with the silver spoon then. Wealth is really just the beginning—just a superficiality.

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