From the fertile mind of George Carlin, a succint description of Purgatory-on-Earth.
Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.
Why? Why do people settle for this obnoxious, life-sapping, painful existence?
Fear? Of course. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being different, fear of angering mommy and daddy and the neighbors and who knows who else... Fear as the ruling force in life. How utterly deplorable.
Envy? Certainly. It's easier to rail against the rich and successful, to wallow in green-eyed jealousy than to admit that what they have is often earned. Easier to sling blame like runny mud than to accept that they are no better than I and therefore--therefore!--I can do the same. (Here's a visual.) For in acknowledging that agonizing Truth, one must accept the sibling Truth that one is afraid to try. And We're back to Fear again.
Ignorance? Maybe. Not as a natural characteristic, for self-interest is practically genetic, but as an acquired deficiency, product of sloppy thinking perpetrated by schools, religions and the massive ignorance of the crowds. "Do as you're told!" "Put others before you!" "You were born poor and you can't be rich!" Crap, all of it. But if you know it's crap and still believe in it and remain in Purgatory-on-Earth, then it bears asking again: Why? And I'm sure We'll hit Fear not too far down that road.
Apathy? Conformity taken to the extreme of self-denial? Wallowing in quiet desperation or even total freaking numbness? Is that Life? It is only if you consider mummies go-getters.
Day after day, a marginal existence where pain outweighs pleasure, where hope is a distant background to anxiety, where alcohol and soap operas and lotteries not only make sense, they are deemed necessary, a barely-tolerable stumble through Purgatory while others--almost molecularly similar--dance and skip through Life.
It boils down--as ever--to choice. Maybe that's the ultimate Fear that saps life from Life and leads to Purgatory-on-Earth: The Fear of Choice. How utterly deplorable. How utterly...common.
The Jenius Has Spoken.