Welcome to heaven.
In this your eternal reward for being a human being, you will enjoy many of these wonders simultaneously. Have yourself a blast.
You will be raised in an environment that promotes free thinking and free will, and you will be loved. You will have enough to eat, nice clothes to wear, transportation, running water and other ways to control your environment. You will be educated, exposed to many ideas over the course of your childhood and adulthood. You will be given the freedom of your own opinion about those ideas. You will not be hunted, bombed, or otherwise threatened.
After some trial and error, you will meet your lifemate and you will recognize him. He will help you recover from the ill effects of the aforementioned trials and errors. He will help you re-establish your identity, self-respect and passion. He will drive you crazy sometimes, but through knowing him you will become a more forgiving, tolerant person, and you will learn different methods of communication and discourse.
Together, you will usher into earthly existence another life-light, a child. This child will teach you more ways to love than you ever thought were possible. This child will transform your life and tear open your soul. She will depend on you completely for the same love and nurturing that you were given as a child, and you will find yourself strong enough to provide it. You will have the unbelievable honor of witnessing and leading her growth.
You will live in a temperate, pastoral land. You will live with misty sunrises and green mountains, sparkling blue oceans and the warm light of the sun, cool nights decorated with fireflies and bright stars. This gentle land is capable of sustaining you and your family, if you manage it properly.
You will be surrounded by a family of blood relations and friends who will walk beside you and occasionally run with you in wilder moments. When you stumble and fall flat on your face, they will help pick you up and get you walking again. Many of these people will share your perceptions of the world. Even when they don't, they will accept you completely.
You will have access to a network of information and people at your fingertips. You will have the intellectual capabilities to evaluate that information. You will have the freedom and resources to build a place on the network to share your deeply-felt opinions.
You will live in a society where there is great potential for individual involvement in the political process. You will have the freedom to hold a worldview that the majority of others in that society do not share.
Finally, you will be blessed with a mental illness that causes you to perceive and appreciate all these things with exquisite, sometimes heartbreaking clarity.
Welcome to hell.
In this your eternal damnation for being a passionate liberal-minded person, you will suffer many of these torments simultaneously. Have yourself a blast.
What you believed was your voice in the democratic process, your vote, will become meaningless. If it does manage to be counted, you will live in a state where it is subsumed by votes cast out of fear and ignorance. If you don’t live in such a state, your vote will be eaten by the electoral college and crapped out on the steps of the White House.
How you cast your vote will be compromised. And because the big dogs run the show, the voting process itself will never be audited or examined in a systematic, unbiased way, leaving it open to further corruption by whomever has the most money and motivation. But because it exists, the big dogs will elevate it as a bastion of an enlightened culture. You will retain shreds of irrational hope during each election, and each time an election is lost to the big dogs, you will grieve, mourn, and rage.
The facts you need to make decisions will be denied to you. The organizations that were responsible for providing those facts will be feeding from the banquet tables of the big dogs. You will not know who to trust. Sometimes you will not even be able to trust your own instincts.
Your way of life will pollute the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat and feed to your children.
The work you do to sustain that way of life will fund the big dogs’ dinner. Every day when you clock in, you will think about the deaths of people around the world, by neglect, starvation, and war. You will think about how this money and the resources it represents could be used to improve the lives of those people instead of killing them.
Language, the lifeblood of your communication system, will be subverted and twisted by the big dogs so that words themselves are utterly meaningless. You will find yourself driven to protest this using that same language. You will be trapped in an endless, infuriating cycle of fingerpointing, outrage, and political discourse that will make you feel useless and defeated.
Your leaders will leave their souls at the doors of courthouses and political institutions. They will be guided by self-interest and fear, but the corruption of language and perception will allow them to believe and preach that activism and reform are the bane of your society.
You will live in a place where your opinions are seen as outrageous and dangerous, and you will be cowed into silence. You will choke on your own fear of rejection by the herd.
Your public institutions will be guided by the religious views of the loudest worshippers. Since you don’t accept the traditional version of how God works in the world, these public institutions will not accept your lifestyle choices and the choices you make for your children. These institutions will force your children to learn the guiding principles of these worshippers, but will not include your guiding principles, or anyone else’s, alongside them. Your children will be educated in a system that chooses dogma over conscience, and wastes valuable money and time in the process of disseminating their ideology.
Your culture will be steeped in irrelevance. Images and sounds that are ridiculous, absurd, violent, and ugly will bombard you on all sides.
Finally, you will be cursed with a mental illness that causes you to perceive all these things in excruciating, heartbreaking clarity. There will be no escape.
Welcome to my world.