Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel
I just created a MySpace page to see what all the fuss is about. Frankly, the user interface is horrible, and I won’t be using it. And the ads! Wow! So many ads flashing, whirring, scrolling… it’s very annoying. As I was clicking around, I was struck by how many people use their pages to express their anger, frustration, sexual conquests, complaints… So many girls seem to try to look like Paris Hilton, all airbrushed, blonde and fake-n’-baked, and the guys are some kind of hybrid between ‘gangstah rap’ and the spikey-haired porcupine prep look. I just don’t get it. And the angst! Oh the angst! Every second page is all about angst – “Life is so hard, I’m so misunderstood, I have nothing, I am nothing” – yada yada.
Well, you’d think that in this age of mass media, of access to information at the click of a button, people would read up on things that are going on in the world and take stock of their own privilege and good fortune, and appreciate what they have. We have a lot more than most people in the African countries, or in Iraq, or Sri Lanka, or India, or even Russia! We need to appreciate what we have by comparing it to those who don’t have. When we were in Poland this summer, we rode on trains from probably just after WWII and technology was not as advanced as in Germany, for instance. There were buildings that had obviously been repaired after being partially destroyed in the war, and were people’s homes! We are very fortunate over here.
We had this earthquake threat a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about what I take for granted, and how that could change in an instant. I get water that flows through pipes, into the building and pours into a glass which I put under a faucet that is attached to a water filter in the kitchen. I can pick up the phone, hear a dial tone and call whoever I want whenever I want. I have a computer to type a blog entry at anytime of the day or night. I have heat, electricity & food. What I desire is in excess of what I need. If there was an earthquake tomorrow, all my wonts would be upset, and then what? I suppose after a period of shock, I’d begin to adapt, and only the essentials would be important; the essentials, which include Neil and our families, and of course the Fredster! I’m reminded, as I write this, of my favourite quote which is by Antoine Saint-Exupery: “It is only with our hearts one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Although this is a romantic idea, it can also be practically applied. In the case of a natural disaster, our hearts, which is to say our instincts for survival, would direct us to seek the essentials.
Here are two people who are doing something possitive. Angela and Seth. They are quite inspiring!
So, when I look at the bottled blondes, Inflate-A-Boobs, Puffed Pectorals and Abs of Steel, I am at once disgusted and intrigued. How has a society moved so quickly from breaking land, to barely breaking into a sweat while wearing Lululemon, in about 200 years? And from having the nearest neighbours being a mile away to 6000 friends on a MySpace account? What a world!