Recently I had an interesting discussion about society. It’s a burden, but you can not go without it. Wikipedia says society is a group of people involved in persistent interpersonal relationships, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory. So you can’t do much about it. Most of the time you are born into it. You are raised in it and you are influenced by it before you have developed enough brain to realize it.

The funny thing is, society comes with lots of rules and even worse, it comes with lots of expectations. Society forces you to behave in certain ways. It demands what to do and what not to do. It influences your entire behavior, your way to interact with people, the way you are organizing your life. Simple example, have you ever farted in a noisy way in a restaurant? Probably not intentionally. Suddenly all people around ignore you with an OMG face or stare at you, trying to kill you with their eyes. It’s a normal body function, designed by nature to avoid random ugly human explosions. There is air inside your body which needs to get out, and there are not too many body exits. Everybody farts, but most of us secretly, pretending they never did. And the society stands in front of you, looking shocked and waving with a raised index finger, saying “no no no, you are not supposed to do that, you are a bad bad boy”.

Society forces you to suppress your natural body functions and needs, wow. Well, in this case I would support society in the restaurant case. Not because of the “oh noo, nice people don’t do that” reason, rather because this might influences my taste experience in a negative way. And I simply don’t wanna smell what the other person had for breakfast. But you get the point, society forces you to behave in certain ways and if somebody steps out of the row, society will punish him or her. There are so many examples, showing too much skin,  tattoos, faces full of metal, and much more. Just being different triggers the society punishment machine already. This is actually quite sad.

So what expects society from you? Are you expected to behave polite, honest, respectable? Certainly. Boys don’t cry for example, they are supposed to be strong. The interesting thing here is, society slowly changes its mind and it becomes accepted slowly that men can be sensitive and soft. Some decades ago no man would have agreed to advertise body lotions, no way. But this makes it even more difficult. Those society expectations are at times even contradicting. As before men are expected to lead, to be strong, to drive, to create, to establish, to make a point. And at the same time they are expected to be emotional, sensitive, romantic, caring and compassionate. This rarely works out. What usually happens is that girls are attracted by the first kind and then they try to transform the men after marriage into the second kind, which of course generates some friction. And know what, when they succeed with that transformation, then they complain that you are not the tough guy anymore they married some years back. Irony of society.

But same problems for girls. They have to fit into the current beauty ideal. which is almost impossible. But to give all girls some hope, the beauty ideal changes over time. In times of less food and starving we might switch back to the ideal from the time of Rubens. Current society expects girls to be beautiful, agile, sporty and sexy. And at the same time girls have to behave modest, polite, shy, cautious . This doesn’t fit. Men expect their women to be presentable, they wanna boast with their girls and at the same time they get angry and jealous of another guy gets attracted and dares a look. World is full of contradictions triggered by society.

Some people don’t accept the pressure from society and become rebellious. They actively behave against societies expectations. And there are many ways to do this, starting with fancy hair cuts, tattoos, piercings and different clothing styles. There are so many different scenes out there, revolting against the expectations of society. But most of them give up over time and become society conform, owning a little house, having children, running to work every day. It’s hard to fight society long-term.

And it’s also hard to escape society completely. Some people try, with leaving the country, moving to different parts of the world. But this is no real escape. They just move into a different society with different expectations and rules and sooner or later they will be caught by the new society and adapt. A very few people try to escape completely, living alone up in the mountains or deep in forests. This is the only way to get out of this game. But then you have eliminated also the good sides of society. Then you have to live without any health care, without dentists. In fact you have to do everything on your own, you have to get the knowledge and skills to survive without society. All the knowledge which is distributed over many people in a society, dentists, butchers, farmers, construction workers, … You do not have access to this knowledge anymore and you have to gather it as good as you can by yourself.

So, it’s hard to live with and without society. But a little rebellion can not harm. So next time you are sitting in a restaurant, fart as loud as you can and feel good about it. Or simply play with societies hate and say out loudly to your neighbors table with a shocked facial expression “oh my god, did you really do that here?! what the hell did you eat?!”. And then lean back with a huge internal smile and watch the show of society. Life is beautiful, isn’t it?


These days I am visiting the place I grew up. I spent so many years here. All here is so familiar, every tree, every house, every meadow. I am sure I will not be able to live here anymore. I would have trouble to reintegrate, but everything here smells like home, feels like home. There are the neighbors pulling me into conversations. They want to know how I am and what I am doing and within seconds I am the little boy again, living here, playing tricks on my neighbors, stealing raspberries from their bushes. It feels good.

This morning I decided to go out for a run. It was about 8am in the morning. Dark grey clouds passing low or hanging on the mountains around. Morning fog everywhere and the air was clear and humid. A deep breath and I started. I passed the houses of our neighbors and it almost appears that the time didn’t move that much forward here. Many of the former agricultural or industrial buildings are not used anymore and empty since a few years. They are decomposing or collapsing. Trees and bushes, nature is taking back the places slowly. It is sad to see this, the former bustle is gone, silence. But despite of all this, there is a feeling of peace noticeable.

This is my village, almost a feeling of security. All those houses and people, which appear so familiar, but also so unfamiliar meanwhile at the same time. Strange feeling. I am passing a memorial of World War II. As pupil I have been here many times with my school class. I remember the muster, hoisted flags and the battle songs.

I am running through the forests of my youth. Here I learned cross-country skiing. Here I participated so many competitions in running and skiing. Here are the places my dad took me with ski during winter times. He took me so many times on skiing tours into these mountains, explained the trees and animals living here, showed me traces and could name every mountain in visibility range with name and exact height. I haven’t been here for years but up here I know almost every tree. So many memories around. I also found the place where I knocked myself unconscious with a skiing stick. I was a kid and I wanted to show something with the ski pole to the guy behind me. I was fast and the pointy end of the stick hit a tree and within the next second the other end hit my head and knocked me out. I passed this place today with a smile.

So many paths I almost forgot, but I know them all. And there the little lake in the forest. Here we built a raft out of self-chopped trees. We have been kids. How many times did I pass these trees on skis. Uncountable times. Meanwhile the clouds vanished partly and the first sun beams are falling through the trees. This forest smells even more like home.

This morning I passed many of those places. There are so many memories around here. A herd of cows was interested in me and followed me as long as the meadow fence allowed. Funny scene when about 200 cows are coming towards you and run for some time next to you. Obviously not too many people are coming to those lonely places. And I also saw some deers in the forest and on the meadows. Everything appears so intact, almost untouched and nature is taking back every sign of former hustle.

When I returned the sun was shining and warming up the landscape already. Most of the clouds and fog were gone and a beautiful new day started in my home village. Nice to be back.