‘I want it now!’ is a common cry from toddlers. I can empathise, for our brain is wired up to want immediate gratification. I think current society intensifies the insatiable appetite of this inner pleasure-seekng toddler. I don’t know about you, but I often feel as though I’m living off quick-fixes. We don’t have to fend for/grow food anymore, as it’s so easy to just buy a ready meal which will, as the name gives away, be ready in just a few minutes (although you’ll probably have to wait for it to cool down). We don’t have to digest full current affairs articles as you can get bite-sized snippets of the news online. We don’t have to make plans to see how our friend is as you can just look on his Facebook wall. We don’t really even have to read books anymore as you can get the gist of them by reading quotes/the wikipedia page (haha I should know – I’m studying English and the internet has saved me so many hours of reading). We don’t even really have to use our brains to think about problems anymore as you can just ask google. Life is so easy for some people, everything we need at our fingertips… but this doesn’t feel right somehow. Not only because it’s wrong that there should be so much inequality in lifestyle in the world. But also because I believe that this consumer culture makes us somehow less human, and more like idle sheep that aren’t tapping into their own abilities.
We got where we are now because of our brain and our faculties to imagine, to think, to make things. We still have that brain and it’s still just as amazing and capable. It takes effort to use it, yes. But isn’t it so much more gratifying to know that you’re using yourself, rather than expecting the world to give you what you want? Maybe that’s why so many people today seem to feel alienated and unfulfilled. You’ve got to create that feeling of fulfilment by tapping into who you are and contributing in the unique way that only you can. You feel alienated, perhaps, because you’re always looking outside, seeing how other people have contributed/created things, and thinking: what’s the point? This is ludicrous, like comparing an apple and an orange, as the world is made up of diversity and however you think/do/create cannot be compared to how another person thinks/does/creates. It’s not about originality, it’s about truth, and living whatever your truth is. If you’re blandly following the crowd, letting fear and comparison oppress you, and expecting your wildest dreams to somehow come at you from the outside, then you’re not really going to make any difference and your poor soul is going to sigh and hang its head and morph into a sheep.
Only you have the key to realise yourself. Google doesn’t. Your therapist doesn’t. That new brand of whatever clothing item or magic pill doesn’t. These can all be helpful tools, but if you don’t know yourself first and trust in your own being and its own faculties, then you will just become dependent on outside things that are hollow substitutes for the real feeling of fulfilment.
I think in earlier days and in other societies, there is more patience and connection. You have to sow to reap – otherwise you will be reaping someone else’s produce, not your own. And existence is not a one street of taking: you’re also here to give. So do yourself and the rest of the world a service by relying on your own capability and creative power more. If you’re feeling good and living as you, then you can and will inspire others to do the same. 🙂