Where Are We Going?

Why am I here?
What are we chasing?
Who am I trying to please?
Where are we going?

There is an energy that rushes into the city each morning,
A pulse that awakens a great and terrible machine;
Pulled along by a mighty current,
The masses moving as one.

But why do they do it?
What drives them to give up so much,
To fuel a process they know so little about?
Health, time, peace, creativity, all sacrificed, and for what?

I am not one of them, but I am changing.
I stand apart, but their whispers draw me onwards,
Ever closer to the heart of the city,
Towards a somewhere I’m not so sure should be my here.

Soon I may not have the wherewithal to ask these questions;
Soon I may not even notice.
Already I feel a dulling,
A muting of that voice that use to be so loud.

The voice would tell me to listen to the beauty of the world,
To stand barefoot and feel the blades of grass with my toes,
To make time for children and squirrels and roses,
And to always hold the door with a smile on my face.

The voice would inspire me with stories,
With joyful visions of a not-so-far-off tomorrow.
The voice would make me feel like my life had a purpose,
As if my time here was meant to be used and not passed.

But that voice is quieter now;
It’s competing with louder calls.
A cacophony of melodrama drowning all else out,
Until even the choir of angels fades into nothingness.

When wise men before me have been swallowed whole,
And strong women have been devoured,
How can little old me stand a chance
Against a force as fierce as this?

Will I remember that voice,
Even after I am so engrained in the machine?
Will I remember the way home,
Even after being carried so far away?

I leave behind these words,
Tiny breadcrumbs to help me find my way back.
A goodbye note to a younger me,
And perhaps a warning to an eager you.

Before you set out to join the machine,
Before you begin on something new,
Make sure to ask yourself one simple question:
Where are we going?

For you may not like the answer,
And trust me when I say,
It is easier to listen to your own voice,
When you have yet to join the machine.

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