How does one describe the magic that lies within a first, and a last encounter?
I came across these words below recently, and even if the man behind the words can be, and has been questioned, I can not deny that I find his description of our society very accurate and thought provoking. Already when I was a young girl I felt that there’s something strange about the world that I’m living in. Back then I couldn’t put my finger on it, because it was the only world I knew of, yet I remember a strong feeling telling me that something just isn’t right. I remember wondering if maybe it wasn’t the world that wasn’t right, maybe it was me. Maybe there was something wrong with me, because in my 10 year old eyes everyone else seemed to satisfactorily have found their place around here. 15 years later I still feel just as much a stranger to this world as I did back then. Only now I know that I’m not alone in that and now I realise that it’s not the whole world itself that is wrong, it’s our society;
The Paradox Of Our Age
“We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, thow-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!”
Dr. Bob Moorehead
I really can’t say what the saddest part about all this is. But the scariest part might just be that it is so astonishingly easy to go along with all of this, get caught up and lose oneself in it. It might even be impossible not to at some point and for some time in our lives. I know there are many times that I find myself feeling powerless, thinking that maybe there is no fighting this. That it’s too big and that I’m too small. But then I think of the one phrase that always takes my doubts away and reminds me of the little girl in me that is convinced that there’s something better to strive for;
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
And with her as my inspiration I try to think about what really matters to me & stay true to her and with that to myself.
What makes me feel real? Is it the envy in other girls faces as they see me in a new pair of recklessly expensive Louboutins before they all get the same ones and look like cloned barbies that haven’t learned how to walk properly, or is it the joy and pride in the eyes of orphan children who thanks to a donation get to enter a shoe shop and for the first time in their lives, instead of receiving used shoes, get to choose by themselves which pair of brand new shoes they wish to buy?
What makes me feel satisfied and successful? Is it long working hours in an office and a good-looking salary, a house in the city, bigger than I can keep clean and competitive kids with top grades striving to please me by doing everything to become perfect in hopes of getting my attention and making me realise that they are worth at least some of my precious time, or is it a small cottage nearby nature and the sea-side, where the kids can be kids and where I can afford not to work day and night but actually devote the bigger part of my day to quality time with my family and friends?
What makes me feel good and healthy? Is it the fake tan, the once-and-never-again used outfits, the perfect body and all the hours spent at the gym, in the solarium and in in front of the mirror, or is it a good book, a day of creativity, a mindful walk along the beach and a good laugh with an old friend, or maybe even with a complete stranger?
What makes me feel alive? Is it the safety and comfort that economic prosperity brings, or is an almost empty bank account and a fat photo album filled with travels, experiences and encounters that have moved me and taught me a bit more about myself and about life?
What brings me peace within? Is it what others think of me and of what I have gained, or is it what I feel about myself and of what I have given?
At times when I feel I have lost orientation or sight of my values I ask myself; “If I were to die today, what would it say on my gravestone?” “Is that what I want it to say?” If your answer to this question is yes, you should feel very proud for truly living authentically and in balance with your nature. If not, you might ask yourself “What would I like it to say?” and take some time to reflect about how that insight affects you & your life.
“Step softly, a dream lies buried here.”
As magical as it gets.