Any future envisioned to be “like Burning Man” will have to wrestle with this fundamental fact: Burning Man forces you to make meaningful choices. Some people do this well, some people do it poorly, and some don’t really know how to do it and just follow the herd they’re with. But the option to make a meaningful choice … here, right now, in this moment … is constant at Burning Man.
Burning Man is not an escape from personal responsibility – it is an embrace of it. How else would you explain the mass numbers of people who take their “leisure” at Burning Man by building vast and elaborate camps, or spending the entire year designing a massive sculpture or crafting an art car out of scrap?
This has nothing to do with sex and drugs and leisure: these people made a choice. No one forced them to. In many cases no one even asked them to. No one said it would be easy, and it virtually never is. They did it anyway.
Burning Man is perhaps too often thought of as a vacation or escape when in fact it is a series of ongoing existential choices. Given the chance to do anything … anything at all … in a place where almost anything is possible, what do you do?
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